I cannot get up. I don’t want to get up. I am safe in bed. I’m not safe when I’m not in bed.
But I have to get up.
So I sit up gingerly, carefully, cautiously. I push my duvet back and slide to the edge of the bed. I look at my slippers on the floor. I must put them on carefully so my pyjamas don’t touch the floor — but my pyjama bottoms are too long.
Lily Bailey shares he experience of suffering from OCD. Post continues below.
I roll the hems up, then carefully step into my slippers. I hold my breath. I don’t know why; I just do it.
Getting changed is painstakingly slow as I must be careful of every movement. A lot of the air feels bad and my clothes must not touch the badness.
I do my best to be careful, but it takes me 20 minutes to get changed — and part of that is because I’m overthinking what to wear.
Which clothes will be safest?
None will be safest. I know that.
But I can change them every few hours.
It will be fine.
I am desperate for the bathroom now — I had to get changed first because I cannot leave my room in my pyjamas — but now I hop through the kitchen, careful not to brush against anything. There are so many dangers to avoid in the kitchen. Everything is bad. The chairs, the table, the dresser, the cupboards, even the doors.
I get to the bathroom, and it is a relief.
But it’s a scary place.
Again, I do everything gingerly, carefully, cautiously.
Then I’m standing in front of the sink. My reflection in the mirror looks gaunt as I wash my hands eight times. I shake them dry because I cannot use the towel. The towel is bad. I look at it, and it is alive with badness, the fibres of it moving, breathing, screaming.
I am lost inside myself, and I am screaming because I am so scared and feel so unsafe, but I can’t do anything and no one can hear me.
I open the bathroom door with my foot, and then I grab the paper towels. I use them as a barrier between the cupboard doors and my hands as I make my breakfast.