My Struggle with Anxiety/OCD- An example of my Confusing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Posted Aug 14 2012 10:05pm
Although I’m moving closer to stability, my anxiety refuses to go away. Last week was an anxiety filled nightmare. I made myself sick (something I used to do as a kid), convinced myself that someone or something was following me and I almost collapsed from fear of germs. It’s frustrating because every time I get closer to “normality” I end forcing myself to fall apart (well I don’t know if I’m consciously doing this, but something deep in my psyche is working against me). In fact, even with my medication my life is consumed by my obsessions…
For me to leave my apartment or go to sleep, I have to check everything to make sure it’s in the right place. I walk in circles examining various things because I’m convinced that if I don’t I will end up dying. If the word “off” on the oven knobs are not evenly split by the line marker (I don’t know what the line is called, it’s the mark you use to determine the level of heat the oven produces), I fear that the oven will turn on and fill my apartment with toxic gas causing me to suffocate in my sleep (or create a combustible environment where the apartment would explode when I open the front door). I then check all of the items on my kitchen counters out of fear that they will fall onto the floor, causing me to trip and break my while walking to the bathroom (during the night). From there I go to the bathroom and make sure that it is exactly the same as it was the day before (oddly, there is nothing that causes me fear here, it has just become part of my obsessive routine). Once I’ve checked the bathroom I then examine my TV, making sure that my protective movie stacks are in place so that my cat won’t jump up there and knock the TV over (I sleep on chair in my living room and the TV is right in front of me).
At this point I usually realize that I have wasted a tremendous amount of time, so I force myself to rush towards my next task: checking the front door. I have to touch each lock and door chain, making sure they are in place. I then relock the door handle, grip it and turn it 12 times. For me to be able to release the door knob it cannot make any noise, as I’m convinced that if it does the door is not really locked and someone could walk into my apartment and slit my throat while I was sleeping. This process usually lasts 10-15 minutes and always makes my anxiety worse. Once I’m satisfied the door is locked I move on to my last task: making sure the window blinds are fully closed. I walk back and forth while counting to three. I then move to the middle of the window where I look up and down making sure that the top, middle and bottom are closed. By this point I’m usually ready to pass out, so I go to my chair, sit down and look backwards to make sure everything is truly closed. (I apologize for this confusing/jumbled paragraph, as my anxiety has increased causing me to struggle with my ability to write. Hopefully it was readable).
Although the ending part deals with me going to sleep, the process is essentially the same when I try to go outside. When I’m really, really, really anxious/nervous this process can last for over an hour and a half.
This obsession drives me crazy because it’s completely irrational. I’ve been doing this for over a year and although I feel better, I can’t get rid of this pointless process. No matter how much I try to convince myself that I won’t die I can’t seem to stop myself.
Well that is all I can write at the moment. This post was hard to produce, as it forced me to confront my anxiety and obsessions.
I was wondering if any of my readers have had similar experiences and stories? Further if you have dealt with anxiety, do you have any tips to overcome these obsessions?
I hope you are all having a great week
Ps. My cat domino says hi and hopes everyone is doing well