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Hi everybody.

Hope you are all okay.

I am still thinking my usual thoughts about cheating etc (as many of you probably know about by now) and struggle with this daily but nowhere near as badly as I was this time last year. Instead I'm here looking for some help with my checking which I struggle with alongside it.

I started my new job a few weeks ago and it has forced me to do a lot of things I was scared of. It has forced me to have to drive (and on my own) which is a very big deal as I had a lot of anxiety about that. But I'm getting used to it.

It has also meant that I have to leave the house and lock up on my own and this is causing me some distress and can see the checks getting longer and longer by the day.

I'm currently taking 15 to 20 minutes to leave the house as I have to: check the bathroom taps, shower, window, then check the bathroom door is closed x5, check my bedroom windows, make sure any deodorant cans etc are standing straight and not in light, no mirrors left where they can reflect light, wall sockets are switched off, windows are shut, locks on windows are shut, then check door is closed x5. Then I check the bathroom and bedroom doors again x5. Then I go downstairs and have to check the kitchen, taps off, oven is off, each individual gas knob is straight and off, stare at and touch the front door several times to ensure it is really closed and check the lock is obvious to my eyes that it is locked, check fridge door is shut, check dog is there, check where the cat is, close the door and check x5, then I walk away and go back to the kitchen and check the door and lock and then check the other door x5 numerous times. All of these checks will be done a number of times before I can leave the house and then I have to check the door x5 when I actually do leave.

I have also started checking my car when I leave it, have to press the lock button and see the lights flash until it feels like I know it is locked which can sometimes take up to 6 locks, handbrake, dash cam put away, etc. I leave the car and go back to check through the windows which leaves people looking at me as though I'm stealing someone else's car. Will only park in certain places in case someone crashes into my car etc. I don't know where to start. Do I just stop doing all of these things all in one go? I don't think I will be able to? I've done the checking for as long as I can remember but have avoided it as my partner has been helping until now.

Thanks everyone.

Edited by Headwreck

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HI Headwreck,

I also have checking compulsions. I find the best way to tackle all my compulsions when there is a whole routine like that is to write it all out and then start cutting them out one at a time, from easiest to hardest. Its really just a normal exposure hierarchy procedure I guess but instead of a list of triggers, it's a list of compulsions...I'll be interested to hear how others tackle it. I really can't imagine cutting out all compulsions at once! But definitely start cutting them out in a gradual way otherwise, yes, you'll find it takes you forever and you won't ever feel right about it! I used to take about an hour leaving my very small place. now takes me about 5-10 minutes depending on stress levels.

That is really great that you are facing so many new challenges and finding yourself adjusting to them!

 

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Doing them all at once will be traumatic. You seem to do your checks x5, so starting tomorrow do them x4. Do that until it becomes routine. Say a week or so. Then x3. Then x2. Until you aren't doing them at all.

You have to push yourself. It's easy to get to x2 and say, well that's good enough. But x3 will then creep back in and very quickly you're back to x5, or worse.

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