Friday, October 24, 2014

I Had Never Heard of OCD

Walking half a mile to the bus stop, Perhaps I was in junior high school. I had a quarter in my pocket. Or did I? I put my hand in. Yup, still there. But what if there was a hole in my pocket? I reached in again. No hole; good. But what if somehow I had missed a hole? I ran my thumb over my jeans outside my pocket. It seems like the quarter was still in there, but what if, somehow, it wasn't? I put my hand in again. Yes, the quarter was there. And there was still no hole in the pocket.*relief* But what if, somehow, now it wasn't there? Repeat 10 or 15 times. Each time, thinking that there was really no need to check, because it was impossible that the quarter was gone, but I checked anyway, just so I would feel better about the possibility. Only, I didn't feel better for more than two or three seconds.

I wrestled with this for years until I had more substantive things to worry about. Also, I got used to having the feeling that I needed to check something when I really didn't need to, and schooled myself into not checking. At least not more than a few times. Gradually, the feeling went away, and when, years later, I first heard the term OCD, I did not immediately remember those old feelings.

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