Last night I slept very badly.
These last few weeks my OCD has been so severe that I’ve been unable to sleep as I’ve been convinced that the cooker hobs had been left on. Even though I have an evening ritual that involves checking a number of things, including this. On this particular occasion, once everyone had gone to bed, I myself tried to go to sleep, but actually started becoming a little afraid as I knew the OCD was coming and sure enough about once every hour I felt the compulsion to go downstairs and check the hobs. The issue that I have is that as soon as I was in the kitchen and even so much as saw/walked past the kitchen taps….. BAM that would be it. I would then have to check that I hadn’t ‘accidentally’ turned the tap on by walking past it (what) so this continued until about 5am, and I was stood in the kitchen, half angry, half ashamed and embarrassed should my housemates come downstairs and find me staring at the hobs, doing this strange ritual thing with my head, completely and utterly exhausted for something to just switch in my brain, and the logical part to just say ‘What the f*ck are you doing’. Only then was I able to break the cycle, calm down and finally managed to sleep around 7am.
I have an evening ritual with my OCD that I have to complete that includes checking;
Fridge and Freezer doors (why)
And most recently I developed obsessions around me accidentally leaving the central heating on and my housemates waking up really hot and being mad at me. Oh thank you GAD.
Let me tell you, this OCD checking is a quite difficult feat when you live with two housemates that could possibly be coming and going at different hours. They have no idea I suffer with OCD, but I’m sure they both think I’m quite an odd character. At times when the OCD has been severe, I’ve sat quietly in my room, not making a sound, waiting for my housemate to finish in the kitchen and go upstairs so I could very slowly and quietly tiptoe downstairs to check I wasn’t going to die in my sleep.
It’s so hard but I, mostly, am able to see the light side of it, especially when I look back. Perhaps not at the time though. I’ve come to accept the fact that I have OCD, and have recognised that more often than not, episodes of severe OCD are interlinked with my CFS. For example, if I’ve overdone things physically and am due some payback, the adrenalin will start coursing and my OCD will become more severe. I know now that the OCD is my attempt to self soothe and rid myself of the adrenalin.
The difficult part is balancing the OCD with the CFS and getting enough sleep for the CFS to improve. I’m still working on that. Although the period of severe OCD has, I’m glad to say, passed.