Just a day in the life...

To check or not to check, that is the question…

For most people, getting ready in the morning, driving to work, getting coffee, lunch or any other every-day activity is pretty mundane and forgettable- correct? Well, not for someone who suffers from the “compulsive checking” form of OCD, which unlucky for me (and anyone waiting for me to meet them somewhere), I do.

Take a minute and think about how long it took you to leave the house this morning. After everything else has been done, your coat is on, keys in hand- how long? A minute? two minutes? I’d say that is the average. The average time it takes me to leave the house is 15-20 minutes. Why you ask? What could I possibly be doing for that amount of time? I’ll tell you.

1. First, I have to check every outlet in the house to make sure I haven’t left a hair dryer, straightener, or iron plugged in. Most of these items have an automatic power-off anyways, but that doesn’t matter to me. I still have to check and not just once- sometimes five times.

2. After our carbon monoxide detector went off  last year- I immediately went to Home Depot and bought two plug-in CO detectors, mind you these are in addition to the three, hard-wired detectors we already have. I now have to check all five before leaving the house (and going to bed) to make sure they are working properly. When I check these things, I have to count to six, three times, while tapping my leg. Why? I don’t know. Does it help? Probably not. Does it minimize my anxiety? YES! Crazy right?

3. How many times do you check to make sure the door is closed and locked? Once? Twice? Yea… I average about 10 times and like the carbon monoxide detectors, i need to count to six, three times, while tapping my leg, each time. Exhausting right? You might be thinking- what is the worst that can happen? I’ll tell you- Lexy and Isis (our adorable pups) could escape into Burlington and be hit by oncoming traffic- it could happen. And if it did, I’d never forgive myself.

Usually, by the time I leave, I am so relieved to be out of the house that I avoid going home unless it is absolutely necessary. Why? Because I know if I do, I will be late. It’s just easier to avoid it, sad right? But even then, I’m not off the hook. After I leave the house, most of the time I have to get in the car- which can be even more of a struggle. But that issue can probably wait for another post, an interesting one at that, one that will make you scratch your head and say this chick is crazy.

Pat, if you’re reading this, now might be a good time to remind yourself about the animal-hoarders… you know the ones with 36 cats, 13 dead, that are buried under so much garbage and poo that you can’t find most of them… right. You love me, even when I let my crazy show.

Haven’t we always been taught that it is good to be different? Well I’m really different, borderline weird really…but I can guarantee you, I’m never boring.

So, the question today and probably every day going forward is “to check or not to check?” I’m hoping and working toward one day only having to check once and be on my merry little way… but really that seems way too easy.

xo

PS. If you like my blog, click the follow me button on the right! I look like a loser with three followers (one of which is me, even more lame…).

3 thoughts on “To check or not to check, that is the question…

  1. I love your blog!! I read it on my kindle fire and the follow me button doesn’t show up 🙁 so keep posting on fb so I can keep reading it 🙂

  2. Hey Jenna,
    I really like your blog, I think its fabulous of you for having the courage to put your differences out there. I can relate, because I have OCD tendancies, not full-blown OCD, because it doesn’t impact my life in a negative way (yet) but definitely little “quirks” that some people pick up on, and I try to hide from others. Hillary could tell you about all the times she made me cry growing up because she’d borrow a shirt, and not put it in the EXACT location in my closet, completely throwing off the short to long-sleeve order or color arrangement.
    And when it comes to checking if the door is locked, sometimes in my head I’ll tell myself, if the door is not locked, tonight will be the night someone breaks in and kills us all. Or, if I don’t turn around and double check the TV is off then tomorrow I get that promotion later this week. I’m not sure how one thing even relates to the other, but somehow I rationalize it if I don’t count to a certain number or eat something in a certain way. Yes, eating is probably when my OCD stands out the most. For instance, with Kit-kats I NEED to eat the chocolate around the perimeter first, then each wafer one at a time. With M&Ms I pour the bag out, get the same number of each color, and eat the outliers first. With anything that differs in size, it goes from smallest to largest, and with toast/cookies/anything flat, I have to bite it into a shape, usually a square. I HAVE TO, or something bad might happen.
    Like I said, most people don’t know or notice, obviously my husband, Hillary, and closest friends know, and some attribute my organization skills as me being OCD, but see it as a good thing.
    I can’t even compare to what you go through each day, but its really good for you to embrace your differences (even if it is challenging). I applaud you for doing this blog, keep it up!

    Emily

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