After writing my About Me section last night, I got a glass of water and headed straight to bed. It was only until it had taken me around 15-20 minutes to actually lay my head down and go to sleep that I realised this morning what my next blog post was going to be about.
I wish I could go upstairs, get my pyjamas on get myself all tucked up in bed nice and warm and just fall asleep. That isn’t too much to ask is it? Unfortunately, the little people in my head that are very good at remembering to let me know I NEED to do things, because if I don’t I fear something bad will happen. So I spend my time turning the bathroom light on and off, and depending on how anxious i’m feeling at that moment in time will vary on how many times I stand just pulling the light down. Good days I will stand and turn it on and off 2-4 times, then once it is off I tap the light with both hands 4 times. I then feel I can leave that room, happy that I’ve put all bad thoughts out of mind…. for at least a few seconds anyway.
I then make my way into the bedroom, get my pyjamas on and the light goes out and I get into bed. Though it’s not as straight forward as just laying my head down and just dropping off. I lay down, set my phone alarm close all apps on my phone because none can be left open. After closing them down I re-open any four just so I can close them all down again. But the compulsive rituals still continue.. *sigh*.
I can’t put my phone down without the time displaying an even number. For example; if the time is 11:37pm I have to wait til it goes onto 11:38pm that way it is on an even number and I feel nothing bad will happen because I have waited for the even number. It’s then a race against the clock, still with the thoughts of “bad things will happen” I feel the need to print screen the time showing an even number, but I can print screen the same shot up to about 10 times. Whilst print-screening on my phone if i’m up to about shot number 8 and the phone time changes to 11:39pm everything is messed up. I then have to wait til 11:40pm and re-do the whole ritual again, until all screenshots have been taken and the phone still stands on an even number time.
If you have OCD and do the whole ‘even/odd’ number thing you will understand the whole messing up of a ritual cannot be left. Though actually this probably counts for any OCD ritual being messed up.
My phone can then be put down on the surface but it has to be put down 2-4 times. What often really frustrates me is when I finish all the phone rituals, put my phone down and a message or notification will come through and it flashes up on my screen and the time has gone to an odd number.
Everything has to be re-done. Purely because of the fear of something bad happening. It terrifies me to think that if I don’t do all this, or let one ritual slip that whatever bad thing will happen it will all be my fault. I will have caused the bad thing to happen. I caused it because I didn’t choose to go to sleep with my phone displaying an even number. If I even do so much as to try and sleep with an odd number on display I feel so anxious, I worry so much that I probably make myself so I can’t sleep because it’s like the little people telling me something bad will happen is also telling me I can’t go to sleep because I haven’t waited for the even number time.
The time it takes me to actually lay my head down knowing I can sleep all depends on how my rituals go, if they mess up and have to be re-done then it can take quite a while to actually settle down. Though once my phone is down and I hear it buzz (through notification or what not) I purposely do not look in fear of the time being odd.
After this I then lay my head down and glance at each four corners of the ceiling, all in the same order. I lay my head back down and do it all again. Corner after corner after corner after corner. Depending on how stressed/anxious I am also depends on how many times I do this, usually it can be more than twice although I sometimes lay shaking my head viciously to stop the thoughts entering my head, i’ll shake my head twice. Fast. Then I feel I have shaken the thoughts out of my head and hopefully they won’t return, but obviously they do. They always will when I have no control over them whatsoever.
I try my hardest to get to sleep really fast so that all is done and when I’m asleep I obviously have no idea what is going on in my head to even get bad thoughts.
But it is a hard task in getting to sleep, it’s not because I’m not tired enough to sleep either – sometimes I wish it was that because let’s face it that would be a lot easier! I just have to have my routines because anxiety will take over and I may as well do all this and go to sleep rather than lying awake not having done any ritual and can’t sleep because I haven’t.
Each night is the same, and it’s terrible when I have slept anywhere different from home and I’m with people who don’t know about my OCD. Imagine them being awake and just watching me shaking my head and turning my head to view the ceiling corners?! What’s weird is OCD people know that some of the things they do looks silly, and I know for a fact that all what I do before I sleep is ridiculous and I s’pose if it was the other way round I’d look at people and think “what are you doing?!?!!” but to us, you can’t help it. The fear of something bad happening takes over completely everything and I feel powerless that a stupid fear is controlling me because I’m terrified of the consequences if I don’t do my rituals.
Hopefully one day, I will be able to get into bed within 5 minutes of going upstairs and just fall asleep without worrying.