Rules of My Life

My entire life has been dictated by rules. My obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tells me that it is the only way to handle the uncertainties in life. As part of my treatment for OCD, I made a list of my obsessions and compulsions, so that I can work to overcome them. I want to share what I am going through to show that OCD isn't just being neat, obsessions and compulsions can be anything. This is my own personal experience, everyone with OCD has a different story. This list is everything I can think of that I am currently going through because of my OCD.

  • Obsessions

  • Triggers

  • Compulsions

  • I worry that I am going to fail school

  • Anything about school involving a grade

  • I over study, check and recheck my homework, spend way too long on school, reread chapters for class, rewrite notes, ask for reassurance that I understand something or did it right

  • I worry that I have contracted a mouth disease, specifically oral herpes

  • I come into contact with anyone’s spit (being a band kid, this is often). While I avoid this trigger, kissing someone would trigger it really bad

  • I avoid situations where I come in contact with other peoples’ mouth or spit, I over brush my teeth

  • I worry that my teeth are going to rot and fall out

  • Eating food

  • I over brush my teeth, have to have gum or a mint of brush my teeth after eating, I refuse to eat if I don’t have any of the previous options available

  • I worry that I am going to have to go to the bathroom at a very inconvenient time

  • Any time I leave the house

  • I go to the bathroom every time before leaving the house, I drink as little water as I can to have to go to the bathroom less often

  • I worry that I am an unredeemable sinner in God’s eyes

  • Any time I am at church or think about religion, especially if I ever question anything about God or religion

  • I refuse to say curse words, I avoid going to church, I avoid praying, I follow any of the rules of the religion to an extreme

  • I worry that I am a horrible person

  • Any time I do something wrong or aren’t perfect

  • I ask for reassurance that I’m not a bad person, follow a ridiculously strict set of moral rules (sort of overlaps with religion), I avoid being around people I consider to be “bad”

  • I worry that I am not going to wake up in time

  • Whenever I have to get up early, usually for school

  • I check that my alarms are on multiple times and I set a ridiculous number or alarms (for school around 20 alarms)

  • I worry that I am going to be late

  • Any time I am going somewhere

  • I make sure I am at least ten minutes early and the time early I am increases the farther away the place is, I leave myself extra time to get ready in the morning, I check to make sure that I actually know how to get somewhere

  • I worry that I am an unhealthy person

  • Whenever I eat food, weigh myself on the scale, or talk about health stuff in general

  • I don’t eat foods I consider “unhealthy”, I follow very strict food rules regarding portions and times for eating

  • I worry that I am not in control

  • Any time something is out of my control (which is most of the time)

  • I turn on all of the lights in the house, I have the temperature in the house set to 70 degrees (even though my family complains that they are freezing), I plan my day in 15 minute blocks(if I miss the time I have to wait to the next acceptable time to practice music), I don’t hug people (because I could be trapped), things in my room have certain spots that they have to by, I have a certain chairs/spots on couches that are my spot, I have very complex and long morning and nightly routines that I must follow, I always wash my clothes on Sunday and they have to be put away in a certain order, a certain spice container with a person on it must be faced away from me, I have to sit in the corner of a restaurant/public places and the end of an aisle of seats, I tap my fruit twice to prevent it from dripping

  • I worry that I will not be able to control my feelings

  • Any emotion provoking situation

  • I refuse to cry if at all possible, I won’t touch/hug people for affection/love (business/mandatory touching like shaking hands is okay), I suppress my feelings

  • I worry that my foods will contaminate the other foods

  • Whenever I eat multiple foods in a meal

  • My food can’t touch, I have to eat my food in a certain order

  • I worry about missing out on catastrophic life events in the lives of people I care about

  • Whenever I am away from my phone

  • I always respond right away when I see a text even when I am really busy

  • I worry about certain aspects of my body and blow the flaws out of proportion (my hair, some others that I am not currently comfortable telling others about)

  • Whenever I am around other people

  • I always try to hide these flaws (straightening hair, avoiding eye contact, wearing loose “safe” clothes, hiding my face, etc) and avoid situations where I cannot hide these flaws

  • I worry that bees are going to sting me and that I’m going to have a life threatening allergic reaction

  • Whenever I see a bee or when I’m outside in plausible bee weather

  • I avoid going outside whenever I can, if I see a bee I will not go outside the rest of the day unless I absolutely have to

  • I worry that foreign objects (like a needle) will enter my skin and somehow hurt me

  • Whenever I have to get a shot, or are in a situation where accidental injury of this nature is likely

  • I avoid sharp objects, I won’t put sharp objects like a knife close to myself, I keep my distance from any person with a sharp object

  • I worry that I am going to fail

  • Any time when failure is a possibility

  • I over practice my instruments and have a very rigid routine that must be done right, everything I do I have to do perfectly, I have a need for symmetry because I feel like it isn’t perfect if it isn’t symmetrical

  • I worry that I will do something wrong in the future or make an error

  • Any time I am doing something important or where my actions have a lot of impact

  • I will ruminate and play through all the scenarios I can possibly imagine, I reread and have someone edit any emails I send

  • I worry that I will be hurt (intentionally or unintentionally) by someone who I am close to and vulnerable with

  • Anytime where I am in a vulnerable position with people I am close to

  • I avoid having a boyfriend by pointing out all of a guys flaws to myself, I withhold my emotions so that they cannot be used against me