A Day In The Life Of…OCD

*This is a very short story based on the typical day of someone with mental health issues and while I have experience with various mental health issues, I can’t speak for everyone and every type of issue. This is purely from my experience. There are three stories and each one goes through the same day just to show the differences between them.*

I hear the beep of my alarm and reach over to turn it off. It’s 6.46am and no one else is up yet so I lie in bed for a little while before I move. When I do eventually move, I decide to get dressed, rushing the whole process. I try to keep my hands off the fabric as much as possible since the feel of it makes me retch, but it’s not fully possible to do that. 

When I leave for the bus, I think about my usual seat the whole walk there. What if it isn’t free? What if someone’s sat in the one next to it and I have to awkwardly sit next to them? What will happen if I can’t sit there? But when the bus finally arrives, my usual seat is free and I rush to sit in it, feeling a wave of relief rush over me once I’m there. 

At college, I sit in my usual seat and wait for my work to be returned to me. Once I hear my name called, I slip my jacket sleeves over my hand to hold the paper since it feels even worse than the fabric does to me. I slide the papers into a few plastic wallets just to stop it feeling that way to me. 

Once I’m home again, I decide to take my dog out for a walk. I follow the same route I always do with him, but when I see another dog on our path. This is super bad since my dog is very scared of other dogs so I sort of carry on hoping this dog and his owner will cross the road, but they don’t. Thinking of my dog and his welfare, I cross the road and head a different way, feeling my heart speed up as I’m aware of how different my route is now. I make it home 10 minutes later than I would have normally, and I start to feel better again once I’m back in my house. 

At home I go for a shower and whilst in there, I’m very thorough with my cleaning. I use three different shampoos and a conditioner, even though I know it’s bad to over-shampoo, it’s just a bad habit. I also scrub my whole body 4 times before I leave the shower. The worst part of it is the towel for drying off since the fabric rubs across me and it’s always worse when my skin is wet so this is basically my hell. I rush through it, get into my pyjamas and head down for dinner. 

I find it difficult to eat certain foods and my parents know this so there are very few issues with dinners here, but eating out or with friends is a whole other deal. In this case, my parents are having stew while I have ham, egg and chips as they know I can’t deal with the texture of stew (along with many other foods). 

I head upstairs for bed and watch the clock until it hits 9.38pm, at which point I settle down to sleep. 

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