I have a habit of washing my hands as soon as I get home, period.
Doesn’t matter if I just came home from shopping, from work, from school or if I just came back from checking the mail. If I leave the house for any reason and come back, I have to wash my hands before I touch anything.
I get that living with someone with an anxiety disorder sucks. Believe me, it sucks for us too, there are times I try to bite my tongue and it just doesn’t work. There are times when I say things before I even think them and it’s in those moments that my actions — my life, is snatched away from me because of whatever hold is going on in my head.
The other day I said to my husband, “why don’t you ever wash your hands when you get home?” and he responded with, “I don’t feel dirty.” I brushed it off.
I went to take the clean towels out of the dryer earlier (and clean towels or clean pj’s or home clothes — it’s IMPORTANT that my hands are clean when I take them out) and I didn’t feel like washing my hands because I didn’t feel dirty so I took them out and threw them on the bed (the bed is another place that needs to be CLEAN) and I was fine. So I go sit back down and remember that I was touching the mouse which hasn’t been disinfected yet and I thought back to all the what if germs living on it.
Then I told my mind to shut the fuck up. The clothes are already folded and put away and you know what, they’re just as clean now as they were before I took them out of the dryer. And OCD is strange like that; I can tell you where every single thing in my apartment has been, who has touched it and where it has been put down. You keep tabs on the strangest thing and it’s not like you want to, it’s that you just do.
I bet this is why I’m “forgetful”, my OCD is taking up all the space in my memory that could be used for something useful, like my studies.
I always want to talk about anxiety, but sometimes I just don’t know what to say. It’s had to explain it to people who don’t know what it’s like because I’m totally aware of how crazy it all sounds. But I also think that people have misunderstandings when it comes to OCD. But honestly not even doctors can give you a solid answer on where it comes from, why it happens or how to get rid of it. As of now there is no “cure”. All there is is exposure therapy (which doesn’t always work) or pills.
The last 9 years with it has been a pretty tough journey and it’s crazy to think it one year it’ll be ten years since it started. And I still haven’t figured it out.