I have a lot of issues with the way Hollywood portrays Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It doesn’t look the same for everyone. It’s not always about obsessive cleaning and organizing. It’s so much more complicated than a ton of stupid rituals or constant checking on things you know you’re supposed to do like lock the door or turn off the oven.

For me, it’s about intrusive thoughts. Often things like blurting out a trusted secret or fearing that I will hit someone walking on the sidewalk on purpose. I don’t want to hit anyone on the sidewalk, although in all fairness, there are a few I might pick off if given the chance. But in general, I know that I won’t do any of the things I fear I might do.

It’s also about things like hating cooking because I must clean as I go, I can’t leave a drop of batter in the bowl but also can’t get it all out. I have to rinse each and every dish compulsively until it’s spotless, which sometimes leads to confusion about whether or not the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty. It’s about intrusive thoughts like that I will forget an ingredient (because I actually have more than once) or I will much too much or too little of something into a dish.

Add in ADHD and my attention span makes almost every intrusive thought become a reality at some point. Then there’s the kids coming in and out of the kitchen and I can barely concentrate enough to read recipes. But then I lose my place every time I step away. Sometimes I carry around the last ingredient I put in until I can figure out what comes next. If there’s too many people in the kitchen, I will melt down. It’s guaranteed.

And so I don’t cook. That seems to be the place where OCD really gets bad for me. I am sure there are other times, but cooking is definitely way too hard for me. I don’t know how other people can make a huge kitchen mess and let it go. i don’t know how people put bowls with what seems like excessive batter in the sink. And I don’t know many people that melt down as frequently as I do in the kitchen.

Normally I can overcome this and cook some things. But lately it seems to be way more prevalent. I can’t seem to get myself out of compulsive activities until they are complete. I used to be able to override this pretty much daily. But it feels really sudden that I can’t do it anymore. I don’t know how to fix this or make it stop. I don’t like how it feels when I have a cake to put in a preheated oven but I can’t until the mixer bowl is completely rinsed of all batter. I don’t want to wait to put the cake in the oven but I can’t stop rinsing. I just can’t. This was after a 5 minute attempt to get all the batter out of the bowl and off the beaters.

Why is it so bad? Am I going crazy? Am I under too much stress? Is there something I need to figure out to make it stop again? All I have are questions, with few answers.

I have currently lost my relaxing routine during the week. I have had to give up that alone time that I know I need during the day to relax. I think my priority is to figure out a way to make that time for myself again. I need to learn how to put myself first so that I can continue healing and not losing the progress I’ve worked so hard to gain.

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