The OCD obstacle course

Life must be testing me. There can’t be any other reason. I am not surprised, it’s a complicated time, forms keep cropping up for me to fill and submit, I must run to get IDs scanned and make sure everything is in place for me to return to my studies. It’s not enjoyable.

I am trying to be upbeat about it, but like everybody has a pet peeve mine is a form. I have OCD and one form is enough to trigger a horrible panic attack. Even the task of writing my full name anywhere is tough. I have a long name with a complicated spelling and it’s tiring. I stress about my handwriting, about typos, everything. For a person with an inconsistent handwriting, signatures are always a setback.

Every time I sign, I feel like I am fighting a war, ugh. I don’t like forms, I don’t like procedures because I need everything to go well. Even a slight delay here or there throws me off. I am positively terrified of mistakes or changes. So my life right now feels like a minefield.

I don’t think I can come out of this unscathed. My parents veteran form-fillers are more chill than icebergs and are reassuring me at every step, in fact, my Mum even volunteers to fill the forms for me. I don’t let her because that would be more stressful to wonder if she would make a mistake. I’d rather make the errors myself, thank you very much.

Korean dramas my usual painkillers at a time like this have lost effect. So now I’m just staring at my excel sheet bothered by the red highlighted tasks, that are still pending. There is literally no way to get out of this without going through it. Luckily music distracts me and my poor parents work hard to keep me going and prevent me from slipping down the wormhole.

I had to go to a hospital today and get an X-ray. I don’t enjoy hospitals every time I go I feel like even if I am not sick, I might walk out of there with a sickness. Right now my life is an OCD patient’s nightmare. I don’t know how many of you can empathise with me.

Hospital chairs stress me out, the clothes stress me out, the people stress me out. Everything, in short, stresses me out. I usually just keep staring at my phone so I don’t look for a coughing person, people exchanging objects after coughing, door handles held by people before me, the faint smell of disinfectant, money changing hands, the scrubs, the list is long. I just want to focus on the memes.

I came home and changed right out of my clothes, picked them up with tweezers and threw them in the laundry bin. That’s when I breathed my first full breath of air. Now my parents are going with me to an arcade to make up for the day’s stress which I can’t wait for. I need something, anything to get rid of the stress.

Maybe if my mother hadn’t instilled in me a deep fear of dirt since I was a kid maybe I wouldn’t be so on edge now. My Dad is much more chilled out. He never looks at the surroundings, always does his thing and carries on. It’s nice to see them balance each other out. When I see him I feel the right amount of calm and in my mother the right amount of care.

As I face all of this, I realise one day I’ll have to be chilled out without their help. Every time I feel unsettled I can’t reach for my mother’s hand or, hear for my father’s whistle. Parents give you a sense of permanence, don’t they? Like they’ll be around no matter what. Having stayed away from them for so long I know without them I’ll live. But it’s so much easier when they’re there.

I know it doesn’t get easier from here, and I am yet to fill out rest of the forms. My files and pen drives will stay out, and tabs will stay open on the laptop until all the tasks turn from red to green on my excel sheet. Slowly the green is spreading, and it’s only a matter of time until I’m done with the excel sheet. What keeps me sane though is that excel sheet, that keeps my OCD under control, I move from task to task and not worry to worry.

This OCD obstacle course is the training for the rest of my life. If I can overcome this, it means I’m ready for the next step. Maybe I’m going a bit slowly, but I’ll get there in my own time.


4 thoughts on “The OCD obstacle course

  1. Poonacha PG says:

    We are on the sidelines to cheer you to win this race well.Your courage to write so clearly and beautifully about it will help you to convert and control OCD to your advantage soon. Keep writing. “I’d rather make the errors myself” is a clear indication of your resolve to get over it soon.


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