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All the Things I Thought About on Vacation With My OCD

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help, visit the International OCD Foundation’s website.

When I go on vacation, I take my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with me. My brain would have it no other way. My road trip across the Southeastern U.S. earlier this year was no different. Here are a variety of things that were of such importance to my brain that I could think of nothing else. You see, when I say “thought of,” I really mean some hardcore thinking of. 

1. I’m pretty sure there is a good chance the cat will be dead when we return. The cat is not used to being locked up in the back half of the house, and that’s going to cause a shock to her system that will kill her. Oh, I know she has enough food and water and plenty of clean places to do her business. But something will kill her and that will be something I will have to deal with both emotionally and figuratively.

2. I’m pretty damn smart that I figured I should subscribe to a service that pings my computer every five minutes and alerts me if it is not running. Oh, it’s not just important that I have it running for work purposes. No, the lack of alerts tells me no one has broken in and stolen the computer or ransacked the rest of the house (the thief would, at least, invariably, unplug the internet while doing whatever terrible things to my house.)

3. Will we be able to go the whole trip without anyone mentioning the concept of car accidents, therefore creating an omen, which will then — with our shared subconscious controlling a lot of actions we all take — increase the chances of a car accident happening? Oh, crap. I just thought of car accidents. Great job. Now I have to spend a few hours unthinking this.

4. My toothbrush is going to get contaminated and grow something rather disgusting being sealed in a zip-top bag all this time, at least after a few uses. The gunk is just festering in there, the toothbrush should be free and not contained. Containing a toothbrush grows bacteria and the like. 

5. Back to the cat; I have nowhere to bury the cat. I do not have a yard, it is all concrete. Should I just… throw her away? I suppose there is a chance she’ll be alive, maybe a good one, but it is best to be prepared for what I’ll have to do if that is not the case. 

6. Beaches are not relaxing. Everyone is wearing next to nothing, and I assume they all think I am thinking about them naked. I’m not, I don’t need to see naked people, but they think that. So now I’m that creepy guy. I mean, how do I know I’m not coming off as that creepy guy?

7. I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right? I took my meds, right?

8. Why didn’t I just buy a cheap camera to put up in the back of the house so I could check to make sure the cat is still alive? That would not have been too difficult. Now I am wanting to see what I can’t technologically see. Is the cat dead or alive? There is no way for me to know. I’m not going to call anyone to check. I promised myself I would stop doing that to people back home years ago. When I kept calling from Vegas to ask about the cat. And if the house was flooded. But also about the cat.

10. So I’ll need to replace that toothbrush when I get home. Problem! I don’t remember if I use a soft or medium toothbrush. If I purchase one that’s too soft, it won’t clean my teeth enough. If I purchase one too hard it’ll cut open my gums a little bit. Either of these things will accelerate the erosion of my teeth and now I’m back to thinking about how hard it will be to conduct business while missing teeth. Medium or soft, I should have written that down in my personal notes with my clothing sizes. Now another thing to do when I get back home. 

11. I should really find a way to just take a few days off from all this… thinking.

Next vacation.

Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash

Originally published: May 23, 2019
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