OCD and Counting

I have OCD as you all know.  Sometimes it seems to be a lot worst than other times.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Just bad, bad, bad.

When I do things it has to be in even numbers and I tend to do them in sixes most of the time.  Yesterday was way worst than normal.

I was running on little sleep, which is not altogether that strange for me.  But things have been a bit stressful and the combination of no sleep and other issues just seemed to combine and really cause some issues.

I counted while I brushed my teeth (I do this anyway) I counted using soap to wash my hands, I counted while rinsing my hands and I counted while drying them, had to do it a certain number of times and had to do it a certain way.

I cut food in sixes.

I took out a grey plate for my sons lunch, I had to put it back because I HAD TO HAVE the blue plate for him or something was going to happen.  Same thing happened for my plate, my fork, my glass, everything I did and touched had to be second guessed, and changed if my mind told me to.

I counted fingers, and letters, and words.

I went over lists and other lists over and over.

I could not make any decisions yesterday with out second guessing myself and having to do things another way.

Some of this I do anyway, yesterday was just brutal.

Today was much better.  Yes I am still doing a lot of those things, but it is not bothering me as much as yesterday.

Hoping tomorrow is a good day……

*counts to six*

My OCD is getting worst

So my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has gotten worst.  I know it has.  Within myself I can feel it.  The little things I do.  The little things I say.  I try to hide it, but sometimes, sometimes it surfaces at a rate that even I cannot control.

Like even numbers.  The night before yesterday, My husband put two ice cubes in my glass.  It was 2 but it wasn’t 2.  It was 1 whole one and 2 half pieces.  So the dilemma that played out inside my head was do I add one ice cube making it 4 pieces but 3 ice cubes, or do I keep the 2 ice cubes with 3 pieces.

Sounds so absolutely stupid as I sit here writing this.  But it bugged me so much I did not know weather to laugh, or cry, and was almost in a panic.  My kids and husband was getting a bit of a laugh out of the situation.

Finally my 13 year old daughter, grabs a spoon, fishes out the two half pieces, throws them in the sink, and adds 1 whole ice cube to my glass, making it 2 whole ice cubes.

Crisis averted.

Then there are the crows.  I cross them off.  I cannot stop myself.  I am driving, or walking or sitting or anything, if I see 1 crow I cross it off with my fingers, if I see 10 I have to cross all 10 off, one at a time.  If they are standing on the side of the road I almost panic because I am afraid they will go in front of my car and I will hit them.  I am not sure how I would handle that situation, I know what I feel like will happen, so I cross them off, in a panic.

I recently had to take someone to another community and was trying to cross them off without that person noticing, it was causing so much anxiety and discomfort.  I would go to cross them off like I normally would, sorta stop my arm movement half way there, try to discretely cross them off, then I would pull my hand back and touch the side of my face.  After about 4 – 6 times of doing this, I gave up and just crossed them off like I normally would.  The person never even asked why.  And I was thankful.

Then there are the car lights.  If a car is driving towards me and they have one light blown in their headlights I have to touch the roof of my car.  Have to.  Absolutely have to.  I know how dumb this sounds.  I cannot stop myself.

I have to do these things, I have to do what my mind tells me.  I have no choice in the matter.  If I do not do these things I know something will happen.  Something bad.  Something wrong.  Something terrible.  But I do not know exactly what.

I count when doing so many things.  6.  6 is my number.  I am washing my hands I make certain movements 6 times, I wipe them 6 times each hand.  I brush my teeth, 6 movements, then 6 movements, then move to the next spot, 6 movements, then 6 movements, etc etc etc.

Even numbers, but 6…..6 is my favorite.

1 is okay….but everything after 1 has to be even.

Then the counting letters of words on my fingers.  I start at my pinky on my left hand, if I am spelling the word tickle, I would start the with the letter T on my pinky then move each letter to each finger.  The last letter of tickle, being the E would stop on my thumb of my right hand.  Then I have to start the word again, the T starting on my pointer finger of my right hand.  I would finish that hand and go back to my left hand pinky for the L of the word.  Continuing over and over until the last letter of the word Tickle (or whatever word I am using at the time) ends on my pinky finger of my right hand.  Only then can I stop.

I try so very hard to hide a lot of these tendencies.  But lately I find myself partaking in them more and more.  Anxiety building up, knowing how odd these things are, trying not to let anyone notice.

I listen to my mind, whatever it tells me to do, I do it.  I have had too many situations where something bad happened when I did not.  So I listen because I have learned my lesson.

I listen and I listen well.

Quirks and OCD

Do you have any quirks? What is a quirk you ask?

A quirk is defined as:

noun: quirk; plural noun: quirks
1. a peculiar behavioral habit.

Now I know a lot of people associate quirks to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and yes I am sure that some of it can be linked to the disorder. But there is a difference in someones every day quirk and something that a person with OCD would do.

OCD is defined as:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

A lot of people do things a certain way, like maybe they want the toilet paper to come over the top of the roll instead of down the back. Or perhaps they organize things alphabetically. These are quirks if they do not interfere with their every day life.I have a diagnosis of OCD. I have both regular quirks and OCD ‘quirks’.

Some of my regular quirks are:

– toilet paper goes over
– tags cut off towels/face cloths/dish cloths etc
– sandwiches cut from top left corner to right bottom corner

But then there are things that I have to do because if I do not I feel anxious, shaky, it feels like my spine and limbs are tingly and I know something will go wrong if I don’t listen.

For example:

– I hate cupboard doors open, I feel sick (and I know how stupid that sounds) if I do not close them, and I only want one door opened at a time. If I am unloading the dishwasher one door at a time is open.

– Crows. I cross them out if I see them. If I see ten crows flying I will cross each one out. And if I ever ran over a crow I always feel like I would have to pull over my vehicle and stay there until the next day, so lets hope I never run one over.

– The premonitions are also a part of my OCD, though I had no idea until my doctor explained this for me. My premonitions are hard to explain. I have a hard time explaining them with words so I am not sure how I am going to explain them here. I will explain with examples. I have had them as long as I can remember, but when I was 13 that is the one I remember the most.

Here are some examples:

When I was 13 my father was in hospital dying. I had no idea at the time that he was going to die, no one prepared me in any way. They just talked as if he was going to come home and everything was going to be fine. The night before he died I came home from hospital with an aunt. I had a really big feeling that I had needed to go back, and I needed to do so now. I called my brother to get a ride back in with him…..they were already gone. My father died the next morning before I was able to see him again. If only I had listened to my premonition.

One day my husband and I were going to eat supper, my son was suppose to be home at 5 from playing with his friends. I had this feeling, the one I always get when this happens, I felt like I needed to go get him….. It was 5 and I said to my husband “I should go and pick him up” my husband said “No its okay let him play a little longer I am sure he will soon be home”. Inside me everything in my body was telling me to go get him. But instead I listened to my husband. We ate supper and just as I was clearing up we got a call that my son had broken his arm. If I had just listened to my premonition he would have been home and not broken his arm.

Then there are little times that happen. Stupid little things. Like I get a feeling I should go and move something – the feeling is so strong I cannot ignore it. If I do not move it (trust me I have tried, I have tried to ignore it) something terribly bad happens. Or that item ends up getting broken.
It always happens within hours of the premonition.

This is what OCD does to me.

Do you have quirks? What are some of your little quirks?

If you have a diagnosis of OCD what are some of the ways it affects you?