I've had OCD as long as I can remember. I'm what they call a 'checker', I check to make sure things are just so (the oven is off, the door is locked, there's nothing flamable near a socket, etc, etc, etc… and the list goes on). Most of the things I check have to do with safety, of myself and my family, but over the years I have noticed that the checking behaviour has grown to encompass anything I may deem important (i.e. my wallet, my phone, train pass, etc.) so that I am constantly checking to ensure these things are still in my possession. I am only 23 and this has consumed my life. My family just doesn't understand. Everytime they catch me checking something (and I say 'catch' because I try to hide it from them) they say something along the lines of 'didn't you just check that?' or 'I already did that' or simply a derisive'really?'. This reaction to my OCD has become socommonplace I'd like to say it doesn't bother me anymore, but that is a lie. Everytime I see the disappointment in their eyes when I give into another compulsion it still hurts, because even after all these years they still don't understand.
The worst part for me are what I call the two sides of myself; my OCD self and my 'sane' self. The 'sane' part of myself knows that the obsessions and compulsions are rediculous, that they have no bearing on the safety of my family. BUT the OCD part of myself just doesn't see it that way and is consumed with 'what ifs' that drive me insane; what if the stove was left on? so i check the stove. what if the stove was left on? at this point I begin arguing with myself that I just checked that, but to no avail…what if the stove is still on even though you checked it? what if you didn't see that it was turned off? what if you just thought you saw it set at off? then what? what if the element is still on? what if it catches fire? what if the fire spreads? what if the fire alarm doesn't work? WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF? until I just can't take it any more and my sane self gives in in order to keep a grasp onthelittlebit of sanity I have left. And of course this just doesn't happen once…oh no…it repeats, a vicious cycle from which I am free only when I completely surrender to the compulsion and focus only on relieving the obsession and the anxiety it causes.
I suppose what I trying to say is that I don't know how to keep on doing this. I don't know where to go from here. I have yet to find anything that works for me and I don't know what to do anymore. I can't go on like this or I WILL go insane, but what is the alternative? I've finally gotten my life together in almost every aspect except for this and I am afraid that it's progressing to the point where it might takeawayeverything I have worked so hard at achieving.
Can anybody help me? I don't normally ask for help, honestly I'm the one normally helping others, but I'm running out of options.