I have OCD
Thanks to our crappy health insurance and astronomical co-pays I usually only visit a doctor if I feel like death is knocking on my door. Instead, I prefer to take the cheaper route of self-diagnosing using Google. For example, I had a horrible stomach ache a while ago (what else is new, right?) and I couldn’t think of anything I’d eaten that was unusual, except for some tofu. So I Googled, “Does tofu cause stomach aches?” And naturally I found about a million people who confirmed that they too get sick from tofu! A few days later I tested myself by eating another piece of tofu, and guess what? I had another horrible stomach ache. So I stopped eating soy altogether. That was about 2 years ago and I haven’t touched it (knowingly) since. I saved a bunch of money in co-pays, blood tests, and other non-covered insurance charges and was a happy camper. Me and Google are BFFs.
In addition to medical advice I defer to Google for reassurance on just about everything else. A few weeks ago I Googled “Do other people check the stove 100 times to make sure it is off?” Yes, I really did. And my BFF did not fail me. According to this article on ScienceDirect.com other people feel the compulsion to check the stove, locks, the oven, etc. numerous times because they can’t remember if they turned it off. The article confirmed that I not only have OCD but ERS too:
“Excessive reassurance-seeking (ERS) is a common problem among both obsessive-compulsive and depressed populations.”
Wonderful. I figured okay, I’ll just add ERS to the lengthy list of things that are wrong with me and one of these days my long list will justify the cost of therapy. (Please make me feel better and tell me you double/triple check things before you leave the house?)
So this past Saturday my ERS, OCD, and I were walking through the kitchen, doing my usual run-through before I left for lunch in Pasadena. Mentally I was checking things off: Oven? Off. Toaster? Off. Dishwasher? Off. Sliding door? Locked. Stove? I mentally counted off the five burners: off, off, off, off, on???
And I realized that Ali had left the stove on! I nearly had a heart attack imaging what could have happened had I not checked. I tried to stay calm. I told him that he’d left the stove on for an indeterminate amount of time. I said, thank God I have ERS otherwise who knows if you would have burned our house down! I asked him, what were you thinking??
Ali’s response? “Oh. Guess I forgot to turn it off.”
I’m not sure what I was expecting him to say but that definitely wasn’t it. And now I’m not sure what worries me more – the fact that Ali left the stove on in the first place? Or his indifference at leaving the stove on.
All I know is that my ERS is going to be working overtime from now on!