Hello old friend

So, here’s a compulsive behavior that I thought had gone away but came back today…

Picking up trash.

I walked to the gym today. On the walk home I noticed an empty water bottle in the grass between the sidewalk and the curb. My immediate impulse was to pick it up and dispose of it properly in a recycle or trash bin. I caught myself, though, and recognized the impulse as OCD. In the moment I resisted.

However, during the rest of the walk home, the nagging voice that said “go back and pick up the bottle” just kept getting louder and louder. I pictured myself back in my apartment later in the evening being bothered by the image of the bottle back in the grass. Still, I resisted.

After a quick stop at my apartment, I hopped in my car to run an errand. On the drive home, I again pictured myself sitting at home being bothered by the water bottle. “You know what?” my OCD said to me. “You can guarantee the water bottle won’t bother you, and you know how!” So, I drove three blocks past my apartment to where I had seen the water bottle, pulled over, jumped out of the car, and picked it up. After the water bottle I also collected a piece of styrofoam, a blue ribbon, a scrap piece of paper, a napkin, and a cigarette butt, all in the five yards between the water bottle and my car. Then on the brief drive back to my apartment, I stopped the car once to pick up another napkin that caught my eye and a plastic gift card. Hmmm… quite the little collection.

What did I do with all of them? I threw them in my own trash when I got back inside my apartment.

… but hey, I’m not gonna be bothered by the water bottle now. Certainty! Yay! :/