It’s OCD. Every decision is an attempt at optimization, perfection, economy.
Don’t crack the egg for the pancake batter until the pan for the fried eggs is heated or you’ll have to wash hands twice and crack eggs twice.
Who cares? They’re fucking eggs!
You can’t use another knife to make this meal. You already used a knife and you put it in the dirty sink. You should have saved it to use again. Inefficient, bad for the environment. Stupid you! You get no more knives.
Don’t use too much soap. Only wash the dirty parts of your fingers or you’re doing it wrong. Don’t waste the water. Hurry up! The sausages will get burnt if you don’t turn them. The water is getting low; refill it.
This is all in the span of two minutes or less. All internal dialogue, though sometimes we talk back out loud or whimper. We are so tense that our muscles ache.
We need to fucking breathe.
Our method is to force air out on the end of the exhale by sucking in our abdomen. That frees us up for a deep in-breath. Then we exhale through pursed lips as if we’re blowing through a straw so that the exhale is longer in duration than the inhale. This starts to get our breath back.
This does nothing to quell the cause of our stress. We went to an OCD specialist a few years ago. He helped us be less afraid of germs. We can use door handles now, touch things.
Maybe we can get help again. It is exhausting to have these thoughts continually. It’s a kind of prison. We don’t make it to 2 pm without exhaustion and a frazzled mind. Scared. Cowed. Defeated. And then there is dinner to cook…
Thank you, OCD, for trying to keep us safe from alternately demanding and neglectful caregivers. You like control. It feels safe to you. We have more resources now that the body is grown up. Our current family doesn’t do those judgey things. They know already how imperfect we are. They accept us.