Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Obsessive Side to OCD

I can't sleep. I'm exhausted. I want to sleep. I had a good workout at the gym. I got far too much sun. I spent the day watching my kids and my sister's kids while my husband and sister worked on her treehouse. By all rights, I should be able to fall into my bed and go to sleep right away, but I can't. My brain won't let go of one event that happened today, and it keeps going back again and again and again.

So, my sister painted her house in latex paint... and it's been really hard on my lungs and allergies. When I went to her house last night, it was bothering me still... even though it's been days since she painted. So, today, I was on the fence about going back. My husband told me that it'd be okay if I stayed home. I wanted to stay home. On the other hand, my sister has a two year old and having the older kids watch a two year old didn't sit right with me, so I went.

My sister's two year old is a wild child. He is trouble... boxed... canned... compacted... with a capital T. Trouble. So, I was checking on him frequently and trying to keep him out of too much trouble. One of the times I went to check on him, I found that he was downstairs with all the other kids... which was good. They were all engrossed on DSs or playing. On the other hand, the two year old had thrown my sister's little tiny dog into the aboveground pool before going off with the others. I dragged the exhausted dog out of the pool (because the sides were too slick for him to get out.) The dog collapsed in the sun for a long time to reheat and recover... but he was fine.

I'm not fine. I just keep thinking, "What if I hadn't gone outside to check on him?" "What if I hadn't gone today?" "What if...?"

My brain won't let it go.

I just want to turn it over and over and over in my head.

I can't sleep even though... technically... nothing bad happened.

I live my life in careful mode. I examine everything from every possible scenario several times. I plan for the worst possible eventualities.

It's not good. It's not easy. It's not fun, but that's how I live my life. That's what OCD means to me. I have to be extra extra extra careful because the world is full of people who won't be as careful... and bad things happen when people aren't careful. Bad things.

Bad things like my nephew drowning their dog because my sister has told him that dogs can swim and they've watched her put the dog in the pool to swim. Every time I've been there and they've put the dog in the pool, I've said, "Do you really think you should do that? If he gets put in there and they forget him... he'll drown." My sister has rolled her eyes at my overly careful attitude for years now... and, in so many cases, she's right. She lives her life with a lot more abandon than I do. She lets her 10 year old daughter use sharp knives and cook on the stove... and has for years. B will be able to drive before I let her do either of those things.

I'm stuck in permanent careful mode.

When this pays off... it's not a good thing, trust me. I just want to wrap the world in bubble wrap and tell them not to play with sharp objects. I just want to shake my sister for not planning for every possible bad thing in the entire world in multiple and often implausible scenarios.

I might never get to sleep.

There is this phrase: "You can never be too careful." It's a lie. You can. I'm living that phrase. I am the poster child for what happens if you're too careful. On the other hand, I also think it's true to the depths of my very OCD soul. It's true, you can never be too careful because, chances are, even if you try very, very, very hard, you'll never be as careful as me.

And that's the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your share. Stumbled upon this today. I too am the obsessive side of OCD. What you say about being "stuck in a permant careful mode" is perfect in describing how it is. The what ifs most definitely outweigh the actuals...Great read. Thank you ` Jeanie