Traveling at the best of times can be difficult. But try traveling with OCD.

I am flying to Manchester. I booked my flight about a month ago. I am going to stay with relatives for a few days. A cousin Kevin was supposed to be traveling over with me but never bothered to book his flight. My brother who was living in London was supposed to join us in Manchester but went to Spain instead.
I was under pressure in work to book leave as I was moving to another section. My brother and Kevin where under no such pressure.So I booked my flight and they did not. This was disappointing as I would have liked the company.
The last 5 weeks in work have been extremely stressful. I became very anxious and depressed. Concentration was extremely difficult. And I am also worried about going to Manchester.
Visiting relatives is not the problem. I want to go. I am going to stay with a cousin who has cerebral palsy and is wheel chair bound. I try to make time to go and visit him. I always plan in my head to visit 3 or 4 times a year. But it’s been about 2 years now since I have been over. So I am over due a visit.
But getting there is a major problem for me. Traveling from Dublin to Manchester means flying. I have no fear of flying. But all that goes with it drives me crazy.
Here is my current experience.
I booked my flight about a month ago. You can sometimes get return flights for about 20 Euros. Mine cost 36 Euro’s. From what I could make out on the web site I could check in a bag and carry on hand luggage.
Packing the bag took many hours over several nights. I never know what to pack and stress over whether or not I have too much or too little.  People say you can always buy new clothes if needed but shopping does not relax me during bad spells of OCD. I buy new clothes and go home and wash them.
So I packed my bag. But what footware do I bring. Boots runners shoes and slippers. I packed them all.
Day of the flight.
Sleepless night but that is normal these days. Decided I would take the shoes but that meant finding a carrier bag. Did I have enough time.
Breakfast porridge steaping overnight. Heated up.
Got shoes. Found carrier bag in shed. Put in all footware put on shoes.
Had to run to the toilet. IBS.
Said goodbye to my mam drove to airport parking.
Found new airport parking site. During the drive my hand luggage fell onto the floor handle first.
When I parked the car I had to clean the bag with wipes then my hands. Took bag out of car noticed bus arriving. Grabbed car keys closed car door pressed lock button. Checked door once. Grabbed bags ran for bus. When going to the bus I kept thinking about the car. Is it really locked. Did I check it right.
Had the bag not fallen onto the floor I would not have been stressed about cleaning it and my hands. I would have got myself ready. Closed locked doors took note of where I was parked and waited for the bus.
Anyway off to the airport all the while wondering if I should get off and go back and check the car. But the further we go means there is no going back. I must go on.
At the airport I make my way toward the check in area.
I already have my boarding card but something doesn’t feel right. I see the metal box that lets you know if your bag can be carried onto the plane. Mine fits and when I weighed it Thursday night it was only 10 kg. So I am carrying it with me.
I go to check in. The girl asks me to place the bag on the scales. I do so. 11 kg. She tells me that I Must pay extra to bring my suit case.  I also have a light bag with my foot ware which I later discover weighs 4 kg. I can carry that but the suit case must go in the hold. I refuse to pay and ask for the manager.
I explained to the manager that I queried all this online Thursday night with their call centre. I was told that I can carry on 15kg. The girl in the call centre had bad English and told me what ever I wanted to hear. So she gave me false information.
The manager didn’t want to know and just wanted money. So I asked her to write down her name. After doing so she decided maybe she should help. So we struck a deal. I had to pay extra and they would book my suit case in online for the return journey which would not cost me as much and meant I had my return boarding card sorted. So now to change money.
Because of the anxiety and stress I brought Euros with me. I had no need to as I could get English money from the bank machine. So what do I do now. I decided to change some of the money I had with me instead of taking out money and carrying euro’s also. So off to the currency exchange. In the middle of changing money the information changes. The girl says that I will get less for my money. What’s next I am thinking.
We exchange money but as I don’t have the exact amount she gives me a few pence extra. Is my luck changing? Right now to get though the x-ray machine. This part is the most frustrating bit for me.
It would not be so bad if you didn’t have to take off your shoes. Luckily this time I didn’t. But every thing else has to go into the big plastic tray. I got angry when asked to put my tracksuit top in. I mentioned that I would kill someone by the end of the day. The guy was taken aback but I said I was having a really bad day and this was making it worse.
So I walked through the machine fine no problem great or so I thought. The took my stuff for extra checking. Inside I was going bananas. Why is this happening?
I had a small bag with lots of coins in it. They spent 5 minutes taking out handling and looking at the fucking coins.
When they said that I could take my stuff I was drained. I put my top and coat back on and as the coins where in 2 plastic bags I left behind the one the man was playing with. I put the coins in my little pouch and strapped it around my waist. As soon as I did so thoughts entered into my mind. Is the pouch clean. So I had to take out the wipes and clean it and also my top.
After doing so I had to wait to see where to go to the plane. 15 minutes to wait before the area came up on the screen. I spent the time watching the people going through the machine. Putting their shoes boots jumpers coats back on. Reorganizing their bags. Not 1 of them concerned about gems or dirt. How I envied them. How stressed I am. How exhausting this is.
I arrived in Manchester. I go to get my suit case. The screen says 30 minutes so I sit and continue writing this blog. I see my bag. I put my phone away and go after it. I find it not on the conveyor belt but on the floor. This annoys Me. I already think that I am cursed so this doesn’t help at all. So much bad luck why?
So I have to wipe the bag put my relatives have to be called. What do I do?
I decide I will walk out to the entrance and call them and clean my case while waiting. Cleaning involves wiping it with a wet wipe. My relatives where waiting so much to my embarrassment they saw me wiping down the case. I carried the tissue as far as I could but not a bin in sight. I had to drop it but felt really guilty doing so.
So onto the cousins place.
My cousin lives in a care centre. I
Stay in a guest room which is fine.
The plan was to have clothes for indoors and clothes for going out in and clean clothes in the bag if needed.
This is where the real problems are. Trying to keep clean clothes away from what I am wearing and trying to keep separate the indoor and outdoor clothes. No problem at the care centre. However my plan is shattered.
It turns out my cousin goes home at the weekend. So today I had to repack all my stuff and go to his parents place. This evening I go back to my cousins place. My head is spinning. I have changed clothes 3 times today already
 If we go out I will change again and before going back to my cousins this evening I will change again. This is exhausting. I am thinking about why I need to do this. My thoughts force to do so. If I don’t they overwhelme me.
I have been informed that my cousin goes to bed early tonight 10.30 so I am thinking about going out to the pub I was brought to last night. My cousin his father and I went to a table quiz. In the pub tonight is karaoke. I would like to go but all morning I have been wondering what to wear remembering that I will be leaving most of my stuff here in the house. Last night I went out without a jacket. I will do so again I guess and hope that it doesn’t rain.

Well it is Friday evening we have had dinner and are heading back to the care centre. We are hoping to get there in time for the bingo. I have been informed that there is no Karaoke in the pub tonight. Is my mind playing tricks on me? I might go out tonight anyway. OCD brings with it loneliness and I need to socialize.
My cousin has a hard life. I have no doubt that he would take OCD over cerebral palsy anytime. We spend a lot of time traveling from one place to another by car so I get to keep writing. But I hate the fact that I am writing this blog. So I am signing off for now. Hopefully the next few days will be better and enjoyable.
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