Without really adding up the time, I'd say I spend a minimum of 80% of my awake time each day taking part in some sort of compulsion. Of those compulsions, I would say a majority of them are what I would call anticipation compulsioins.
These compulsions are based on events that I anticipate are going to happen, or patterns that repeat in my surrounding environment. I feel compelled to have to do my compulsions before these things happen, like it is a race that my fate depends on. Its like my senses become enhanced and zone in on things in my surrounding and find a way to turn these things into a compulsion race. I usually have compulsion races against a pattern or random interval things like water dripping in a leaky faucent in the bathroom, which drips loud enough to make a splat at random intervals. The anxiety and knowing that the water is going to splat at any second ends up adding a huge rush of anxiety to the compulsions, especially when my brain somehow turns a irrelevant thing like a water drop into something that illogically somehow is tied to my fate.
Almost all of the compulsions are based on doing something or thinking of something 24 times or 4 groups of 6, with the 23rd time having to feel perfect. Racing against the tv screen changing before I can get in 24 mental compulsions, can turn into hours of watching tv but having no idea what is actually on the screen, but instead paying attention to when the screen changes.I will often pay attention to where someone is walking and start racing to do compulsions until they feel right, all before they cross a certain point in the area. When I listen to music, often times I will feel the urge to do compulsions before the words begin, or certain parts of the song change, or before the chorus starts or begins. On the highway, I will do certain compulsions before I reach landmarks on the highway, like street signs, poles and bridges.
It all becomes a race against the things I anticipate happening. Hearing a dog bark, I know its usually going to bark in more than one spurt, within an instant my mind will come up with a set of compulsions an rules to do some sort of compulsion, usually mental, in between the barks of the dog. Naturally, this gets frustrating enough to want to go kill the dog, but then that would be breaking the generalized rules set by OCD…and just wrong!. Do it right, the hard way. That is the only way. And even then, you have to add in doing it until it feels right.
Talking on the phone becomes hard to concentrate on due to doing compulsions in between topics or pauses when someone speaks. I often do compulsions during silent pauses…often followed by the person on the other line asking if I am there. When I hear someone one talking on the phone, I will end up trying to do compulsions before the person I am around responds to whoever is on the other line. Again, anticipating the event. Its not about if it happens, its when…and if I can do the compulsions before these anticipated events just to feel like I have some sort of hope in this life. Its ridiculous
I know the faucet will drip any second, my cell phone light will turn off after a few seconds of opening it, and my tv will display its resolution in the upper left corner for a few seconds. I know that when my front gate slams shut, and rattles for a few seconds. Any second someone will be at the door or coming in…hurry take those 23 steps before the get there!. Any second now, the noise of a loud car will fade into the distance. The hard drive on my computer will lightly click, shattering the silence like thunder in a library, as I try to do some random compulsion before it cllicks again. The light on my router will blink, echoing tones of blue against my wall as I think of multiple things at once before I see it again. The seatbelt warning will chime 6 times like a doomsday clock in my car before it stops…better get that string of compulsions in and seatbelt clicked before life slips away with that last chime. The patterns and anticipation of them is so hard to resist. Its like my mind reacts to them by default. OCD constantly changes and adds rules on the fly.
There are countless things around me that I focus and anticipate, which can lead to hours of compulsions. It''s difficult to resist the temptation of anticipation. The irrelevant relevance that makes me feel like the ground I stand on feel like a 10 mile high wire that I only have a few seconds to travel. Yet I endure. I know if I fall, there is a safety net and ladder below, that I will climb back up and attempt again and again until success at wasting time somehow feels worth it just to feel that "high" of doing it all just right and feeling that few seconds of comfort, calm and clearity. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…the release. OCD…my drug of choice.
I know though all of this that Im doing it all wrong and theres nothing good about this "drug". Im gravitating towards my doubts and fears by successfully doing compulsions to counter and answer them…while failing to live life. Its all smoke and mirrors. The correct answer and reaction to the OCD generated doubts, feelings,urges and fears is no answer and no reaction.OCD will always have a voice with us, but we must invest in learning how to not listen. This is actually a drug of choice worth choosing. Maybe then we can focus on actually living life and listening to our hearts and the rest of our brain instead of the part of our brain that makes the most noise, but has nothing positive to say. Hope everyone is doing well.