Thread: OCD and driving
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
tenbenny tenbenny is offline
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OCD and driving

So, I've been dealing with this form of OCD since September or October. There was a homeless man sleeping in my alley a little too close to the road one night, and when I came home to park in my driveway, I had somehow gotten in my head that I'd grazed the man. Of course, I heard no sound and felt no bump, but I walked down and when I was sufficiently convinced he was just sleeping and all was normal, I was home home. An hour later, he and his sleeping bag and gear were gone, so I had to realize somehow that a man that was flat as a pancake wouldn't have been able to take off like that.

That seems to have opened a door. It's led to months and months of me doubling back around in my car after passing people or streets or cars, sometimes returning to neighborhoods or walking around the sidewalk or street to check for any signs of something I've bumped into or hit. On Sunday, I was going to see a friend in the hills of Los Angeles' valley era, and I passed by a kid on a scooter. He wasn't in the road, but just off to the side, but I was surprised as there were cars going up and down this back road and it could be dangerous. Not a minute or two later, I was convinced I needed to just check up and make sure he was safe and that I hadn't somehow grazed him. I did go back, and saw him upright and scootering, swaying from side to side, and upright. I drove on towards my destination for a bit and then felt the need to go back yet again. Once again, I saw the kid upright and on the sidewalk, just hanging out. By then, I'd felt alright that all was fine. I went back one more time but he'd left the street by then and disappeared. It was only later that the panic and anxiety set in again. What if I did something? There's no way to know. There's no one to ask without seeming like a lunatic. I always try to remember what I've seen, to trust my eyes, to remember that when cars keep going by without stopping, that's also a signal. I write down details for myself to remember in a little journal. I'm sure the young man and all the others I've checked on and seen are all okay. I hope, because my mind will tell me differently. People have said to me to remember that if you ever clip something, you'll know. Really know. It's jarring, it's loud and you really feel and hear it.

This aspect of OCD is the worst I've ever dealt with, because it makes me feel like I'm amassing some kind of body count, harming people or damaging cars and not knowing it, being wanted by the law. I care about people and don't want that stuff to happen. I think causing harm and leaving a scene are not the things for anyone to do.

It hasn't stopped me from driving, but I don't think I can beat this on my own. The anxiety is just too powerful. Anyone else deal with this variety of OCD before?