The Cutprice Guignol

The Sixth Year: American Sigh Story

Category: ocdiaries

OCDiaries: Sick in the Head

I’m sick in the head.

And I don’t mean that in the “ooh, I’m mentally ill, I have an anxiety disorder” way. I mean it quite literally: in my own head, I am often sick. Because one of the ways my stupid anxiety likes to manifest itself is via outrageous concern about my health.

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OCD, Or How I Never Learned to Stop Worrying

I’m seven years old, and I’m standing in front of an unopened packet of new toothbrushes: four, one for each member of my family. And I know I have a big choice in front of me, because the colour of the one I choose will dictate the safety of all of them. Red? No, too close to blood, which is murder, which is death. Green? A shorthand for sickness, which is death. Blue? Water, which could be drowning, which is death. I settle for yellow, even though it could represent the sun swelling to destroy the whole planet, but that seems like the least likely potential death scenario so, reluctantly, I brush my teeth with that one. I know, somewhere inside me, that this is a lot of worry to be applying to a toothbrush, but I’m not risking disaster for some foolish green-toothbrushed hubris.

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