The following is an extract from The Joy Thief by Penny Moodie, a personal and practical guide to navigating the complex world of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
I've spent a lot of my life sitting on toilet seats. My earliest memory of spending an awkward amount of time shut in a cubicle was when I was six years old. My older brother, Nick, was knocking impatiently on the door, because he was busting for a wee. Sick of waiting for a response, he barged in.
"What are you doing? You're not even going to the toilet!" he exclaimed. I was sitting on the toilet lid with my eyes tightly shut.
"Sorry excuse me, sorry excuse me," I whispered in a barely audible voice.
Watch: Lily Bailey has suffered OCD since she was a child. She explains what it is not. Post continues after video.
"What? No, it's okay. I'm just busting, so can you get out?" "Sorry excuse me, sorry excuse me," I continued chanting. "Pen, what are you doing? Snap out of it!"
Barely hearing him, I finally opened my eyes - satisfied that I was done and could now move on with the rest of my day. "I did a burp, and I needed to say sorry," I said in a matter-of-fact tone to try to hide my embarrassment.
"Say sorry to who?" Nick asked.
"Just say sorry... you know... so the police won't come." "Wait... what?"
My much more mature and logical eight-year-old brother didn't even know where to begin with my outlandish declaration that I'd be arrested for burping, so he just shook his head and gently nudged me towards the door.