Struggle with OCD causes reflection


By Blake Dykes

There’s something so relaxing knowing that I’ll be doing the same exact thing at the same exact time everyday. Repetition, bland, monotonous? No. Order, planned.

There aren’t many people that could walk the same path that I do. After all, who wants to know what they will be doing a week from now at 3 p.m.? I do. But that’s me, I’m a planner, I’m a perfectionist… but the question is, am I insane?

The world I live in is different than most. I often envy the girl walking her dog down the street, happily skipping, hair bouncing, her fingers so delicately caressing the pink leash, not a care in the world. Her jaw drops and head is thrown back in a fit of laughter as she almost trips over her loosely tied converse. I wish I were those untied strings, loosened, freely doing what I wish, going with the flow. But I can’t do that. I am a prisoner of my own mind.

There’s something so unsettling about a t-shirt hanging out of a drawer, about a paper torn unevenly out of a notebook, about my pencils not lining up perfectly on my desk.

I’m crazy in it’s simplest form. Others laugh methodically, thinking that I control my own actions. No, sadly, they are so misinformed. Little do they know that if one piece of paper is hanging off my nightstand I’ll stare at it for an hour, before finally caving to the impulses inside my head. I’ll somehow get up and carefully align it in the correct way. If only they knew the hours I spent scrubbing down the entire kitchen, four times in a row, because four is my number. Four is my agonizingly painful number.

“Why do you brush your teeth four times in a row? Why do you get in bed, pull the covers over you, then get out of bed, only to repeat it four times? Why do you open and close the fridge four times?” Because four. That’s why.

People say every act that we take is free will. But I don’t feel free. Who wants to flip a light switch on and off 444 times before they go to bed?

See, I fight the urges to carry through with a certain ritual, but I can’t. I have an undying need to fulfill certain tasks, or else that’s all that will run through my tormented brain the entire day. I try to sleep, escape from these tasks gnawing at me, eating me alive, but I can’t escape them. I won’t sleep. I’ll think. I’ll fight the urge. Then, I’ll cave.

You see I’m plagued with a continuation of scenarios that won’t quit running through my mind. It’s like I’m running a race that doesn’t have an end. I stay up late at night, puzzling through these scenarios, only to piece them together again.

I don’t have the luxury of doing what I want. No. I’m not the type to just “skip the gym and go eat.” No, I’m the type to spend four hours at the gym only to come home and eat the same exact dinner that I have had for the past eight months in a row. “Don’t you get sick of chicken and potatoes?” There is something so comforting about eating the same exact meals everyday.

I’ve heard that relaxing is nice, watching TV is entertaining, taking a bubble bath is soothing. I wouldn’t know. It’s not because I’m packed with work and school, no, because I’d rather have work and school than thoughts alone with myself. I wouldn’t know because I am suffocating under my own made up list of things I must complete before going to bed.

You know I’ve gotten better. I used to write out my exact day, the day before. Wake up at 6:55, gym at 2:48, shower at 6:05, dinner at 6:30… No but I’ve gotten better.

There’s something so reassuring in being so organized… until you realize you aren’t gifted with organizational skills but instead are cursed with an anxiety disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

One thought on “Struggle with OCD causes reflection”

  1. wow a great description of OCD and OCD in your life! I liked the part about how people say we have free will, but us with OCD don’t and never will. We are bound by the devil to do things that cause us hell

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