Maria's story

I'm nervous about this but the best time to go ahead with things I'm nervous about is often when I'm too tired to obsess over it.

I have OCD. Not an easy thing to make public and I can hopefully explain why. Once you've told someone that you have obsessive compulsive disorder you worry about carrying out your compulsions in front of that person, that they will pay special attention to what you are doing and that they might tell you what you already know, that it's unnecessary. You also don't want them to know because if you feel you are being watched, you can't concentrate on the compulsion and you may have to repeat it until you feel satisfied with it. You also worry that people will over analyse what you do. If I wash my hands in front of someone who knows, I will usually feel on edge, even if it is a logical time to do so, for example before eating dinner. This is frustrating because OCD is not about being fussy about hygiene, or cleanliness, or even tidiness. If you stepped into my chaotic world for, not even a day, this would be so clear. My handbag is not organised, you will find endless, meaningless receipts and letters, because I cannot throw things away without inspecting them. If I do throw them away, it's likely I might then undo the bin bag before passing it on to the binmen, just to put my mind at ease that it is definitely a bag of rubbish (which I already KNEW but had to 'CHECK' ).

There is always a mess in my life, not the picture you had in mind for someone with OCD, is it? I constantly have a backlog of washing, I have piles that go over and beyond the size of my laundry basket. That's not because I'm obsessing over about how clean I am necessarily, the bigger issue is that the routine I have to sort my washing is time consuming, I check pockets so carefully, I ensure every item is inside out, unless it's socks, which have to be the right way, and perfectly so.

I'm writing this on a whim and I'm exhausted so this is just a tiny insight into life with OCD, but it feels good to get just the tiniest amount of it off of my chest. (P.s yes I did read this over a few times and you're correct, I've maintained my sense of humour).