That’s what I call a bad day.
You get up with an urge to be mischievous today. You get out of bed – not on the usual left hand side – no, you ignore that natural sense of turning left, that feeling you have every morning, and you get out of bed on the right hand side. You almost let out a laugh with surprise at how easy it was to defy normality and its mundane routine.
You walk to the bathroom and after showering, instead of touching each corner of every mirror three times before you leave, you practically skip out of the bathroom, ignoring that tingling feeling you have in your fingers because you’re not doing what you normally do, and you go to get ready for work.
With your chest puffed out with pride because you’re such a strong person, that you don’t need to do all of these stupid things that saves everyone, that you don’t need to touch and check every single little thing in your room, you get changed into the first outfit you find, without changing a couple of times, do your makeup and walk down the stairs without the usual counting and stepping of each step.
This feels great. This feels amazing. You’re almost flying down the stairs, you wonder why the hell you don’t begin every day like this, ignoring the rules.
It’s only when you reach for the handle on the front door that you catch a glimpse of the array of family photographs on the hallway table, right underneath the large mirror. You take your time looking from each framed photo to another, ending with your own framed photo with your reflection in the mirror, and that’s when you realise exactly why you don’t begin each day like this.
Before the guilt has properly sunk in, in its rightful guilt-shaped hole, you’re already racing back upstairs to touch the mirror corners, change your outfit five times until it feels right, and have made eye contact with each and every teddy bear in your room. Collapsing onto your with bed with a huge relaxed sigh, you realise that not following the usual rules doesn’t make you feel like a superhero, it makes you feel reckless and makes everything feel worse. It makes you check everything two or three times more just until it feels right that you’ve done it properly. It ruins the rest of your day because you feel like you’re constantly watching over your shoulder, constantly double checking you’re following your own rules and routine and not missing a step.
Following the rules, doing what you know and what you do best should stick. It’s why you’ve been doing it all for the last 20 odd years. It’s what has kept you and your family safe. Sounds stupid doesn’t it, but this is more like being a superhero for you. You juggle your job, your hobbies, your blog, your relationships, your guilt and your compulsions – all to keep those you love safe.
The thing with OCD that people misunderstand is that in some cases, all it takes is a thought. A bad thought. Thoughts that recur and persist despite efforts to ignore or confront them. An intrusive thought can be an image of yourself or someone you know getting hurt if you don’t perform a particular task.
So, you complete each task without fail, in order to keep them safe, in order to be the true superhero.
Day 9 of #BEDN and #NaBloPoMo