I do this and that in the house. Then I hear the water running upstairs, you are having a shower. It is 11:30. How will it go today? Can we manage to fine tune everything so that for you and your compulsion it’s doable, but doesn’t give me too much stress?
You stay in bed as long as possible because every minute you’re awake, means a minute longer of compulsions, but even in bed you are not free of them. Sometimes you lie awake for hours because a mosquito keeps you awake, but to deal with it yourself or if necessary call us to find the culprit is, because of the compulsion, impossible. The light can’t even be turned on at night.
It’s time to get dressed. Often that goes well, because you just wear the same as the day before, that is until the day comes when you really need to change clothes. But you can’t take any clothing out of the closet, that’s not in the routine, and so you call for me to help.
I get the clothes you want to wear and you get dressed with difficulty and doubts: will I or won’t I…
Then you come downstairs for breakfast. Dogs in the room? Check! Mother in one place during the the next four stair steps? Check! Everything must remain the same when you come down and go back up again after breakfast. In the meantime, you have to walk up and down the stairs four times. In between, you eat your four slices of bread. Fortunately, that went well! Everything down stairs is still where it belongs so you can return “safely” to your base in the bedroom.
The next ritual begins. First to the toilet, then brushing your teeth and then you may come back downstairs, two stairs down to the kitchen. But the dogs should be in the kitchen this time. Check! Oh no! They are still in the living room so that will be waiting on the stairs until the dogs are brought down to go out. After the stairs ritual you remain sitting in the kitchen till after the evening meal. Then you go upstairs again and the ritual of the afternoon is completed. At least, the dogs, obviously can’t be upstairs before you!
Back to the bathroom and then to the living room to watch TV all evening. I turn on the TV, because that does not fit within your compulsion.
The two glasses of water are ready on the table for the end of the evening, when you come to say goodnight before going to sleep. That is, if I also go upstairs, otherwise you have to wait.
Tomorrow is another day! But one with hope and trust in some change after finally getting the right help and attention!