This is something that I don’t really talk about very often but it actually is a big part of the way I am in everyday life. I actually think a part of me is ashamed of being this way. It’s something I definitely struggle with controlling. And that is my compulsive checking.
I check my phone all day long, just refreshing it over and over again. I do this same thing when it comes to checking my email, Facebook notifications, and YouTube channel. I feel a lot of anxiety if I don’t do this, and feel that I won’t get any relief until I do so. But then it causes me even more anxiety just in a different way when I can’t stop checking.
This is part of why it can be really upsetting for me if someone doesn’t tell me the exact time they are coming over or are going to be contacting me because then it ends up making me check these things even more to make sure I’m not missing their text. My phone doesn’t go off when I get texts or calls so that makes it that much more anxiety provoking. This is also why I have to deactivate my Facebook all the time. I can’t just log out and be able to leave Facebook alone. I also have to check if I logged out because I’ll forget that I just did. For some reason when I have Facebook activated, if I don’t log out every time I leave to do something else, it causes me a massive amount of anxiety.
Facebook is actually probably the worst out of everything when it comes to the effect it has on me if I don’t check it. I’ll make jokes sometimes about me always deactivating my Facebook because “Ha Ha This site is extremely addictive, and it’s the only way I can stay off of here”…but the problem is actually much deeper than that. What makes it even worse is that people will think I’ve blocked them because I’ve deactivated it, and will even remove me from the support groups I’m apart of. It hurts like hell to know you’re not welcome in a support group because you’re trying to gain control of a very serious issue that debilitates you in your day to day life. And of course it also triggers up those feelings of rejection, but that’s a whole other blog post.
I know that many people probably don’t understand why I have to deactivate it, especially as frequently as I have to do it. I noticed recently when I deactivate it, it allows people to still be able to message me even though I’m gone. This ends up adding to my anxiety that all these people are messaging me and pushes that urge even harder to reactivate it and check what people are saying to me. Some people might think this is funny, but it’s really not. It’s fucking horrible, and quite embarrassing. This is an extremely debilitating thing to have to go through. I spend a huge chunk of my day either checking or thinking about checking until I finally do it with so many different things in my life.
I also have to check my keys in my wallet every time I leave to go anywhere from wherever I am multiple times. I have to check that everything is in my bag over and over again. This might stem from being afraid that I’ll lose the keys, forget my keys, or forget something else that I might need. I bring things that I think I could possibly need if certain things happen that are really scary like if it starts raining, because rain causes me extreme pain sensory wise. Sometimes I’ll even bring an extra pair of shoes just in case my shoes break because of the fear of being barefoot outside.
This can lead into a lot of other fears like if I’m barefoot and it’s hot out then I won’t be able to make it home. What if I step on something sharp and end up being taken advantage of because I can’t run away if someone attacks me? What if I need to go inside somewhere and they won’t let me in because I have no shoes on. I need to be prepared for any kind of weather or situation that could arise.
I also end up shutting and locking the door repeatedly until I finally feel relieved enough to leave the apartment. This I think is because of my fear of not locking and shutting the door all the way because someone might break in. I also fear that I need to check the door is not broken so I know I’ll be able to get back inside if I unlock it when I come back home.
And not as often but I do this as well is that I need to check to make sure the stove and oven aren’t on before I leave. I also do this quite a few times. I’ve even left the building, walked a few blocks, and had to turn all the way back around just to go check the stove and oven again even though I just checked it. Sometimes I’m not sure how much of this is amnesia and just not remembering, and how much is my compulsive checking. But either way, it fucking sucks.
I actually just went to do laundry, and I put some of my clothes in the dryer including my special purple blanket. When I went to get the rest of the stuff out of the washer, I saw that my purple blanket was not there and panicked thinking someone had stole it. But it turned out that I just dissociated and forgot that I had just put the purple blanket in the dryer only seconds before. Maybe I switched… who knows? All I know is that fear of forgetting things because I actually do all the time I think causes me to compulsively check a lot as well.
I feel like I’m living in my own personal hell. But no one really knows this part of it. Well now you do. Hopefully this may help others feel less alone that can relate, or just bring about some understanding of something that people like me go through. As always I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me, and to hearing me out. It really makes a huge difference to have a voice, especially when I’m always trying to isolate myself. I have no one I feel comfortable opening up to and can trust, so going public about these things is the only way I don’t allow it to bottle up and destroy me.
Written by : Violet