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My Life With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Isn't What You Think It Is

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My desk is cluttered. I don’t care.

My laundry sits for days before being put away.

Being tidy isn’t always what obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is.

It’s counting the window panes.

The numbers in the tiles.

Who would have imagined you could put so much thought into the stripes of the bathroom rug?

It’s pausing at the end of every period to make a noise, and counting every single loop in every single letter.

“No, that’s not it. You don’t get it. No! I’m not mad at you! I’m not mad at anybody, except me.”

Did I lock the door?

Yes, I checked.

But check again.

No, I locked it.

This mistake could cost you your life.

All right, I’ll check, but this is the last time.

My hands are dirty.

I need to wash them.

I’m dirty. I need another shower.

I need to change my shirt.

Did I hurt someone? I don’t think so… I did. I must have.

What if I did and I don’t remember?

I can’t stop shaking. I feel awful.

You should. You did terrible things today.

I don’t think I did.

Then that’s even worse.

You can’t even tell that you did.

Stop it.

“Why are you doing that with your face?”

“…I…I have something in my eye.”

Just tell them the truth. It’s a tic.

But it’s weird. I don’t want to.

My face is so sore. It’s been twitching all day.

“What’s wrong?”


“Why are you making those noises? Are you sad?”

“No, I have to make them. I can’t help it.”


“I don’t know.”

“Why do you walk like that?”

“I have to touch the ground right. I have to do the right rhythm.”

“That’s weird.”

“Well, it’s me. And that’s my life.”

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Image via contributor.

Originally published: November 11, 2016
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