The need to be clean.

I’ve always been a little bit funny about things being clean. When I was younger, we’d visit friends and I wouldn’t drink out of the glasses at their house. I’ve always obsessively checked cutlery both at home and when out to ensure that it’s clean. I’ve always enjoyed cleaning, I love the smell of bleach, and for years if I was at home I’d ask mum if I could put the toilet duck in the loo, because it made me feel good. I love that clean feeling when you first step out of the shower.

None of this was ever a problem until I started carrying hand gel around. I don’t know why I started carrying it around, I just did. I started using it more and more, my friends began to take the mic out of me. It still was never really that bad. And then my obsession with clean started to interfere with my daily life.

I press a button in a lift, I hand gel. I go to the toilet, I wash my hands, I hand gel. I’m stressed, I hand gel.

I was in the swimming pool a few days ago, something that I’ve done every week for about six months now. It wasn’t really until this week that I actually began to think about all the other people that had been in the water, and what was floating about in there. I didn’t enjoy my swim, I spent the whole half an hour fighting the urge to get out and run.

At the weekend, it was a friend’s birthday. That of course meant cake. Homemade cake. There’s something about butter iced cakes that makes me feel iffy. I managed to stomach the cake, but not without the feeling of sickness as I slowly pushed the pieces into my mouth and forced myself to swallow.

I still don’t think I’m OCD, really. I think it’s completely a stress coping mechanism, and it’s my way of keeping order when everything around me seems so crazy. It all spins and swirls, but there are just some things that I like to keep straight. I like it this way.

Living. Laughing. Loving.



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