Dealing with compulsions and rituals - my story

I have spent years struggling with irrational compulsions and rituals. I’ve been to therapists, done readings, and tried various coping strategies—all in an effort to understand why I feel compelled to do these things.

At first, I thought it was just stress that was leading me to this place of obsessiveness and ritualism. But as time passed, I realized that it was something more powerful than just regular worries driving me there. It became apparent that my thoughts were full of a desire for control: a need to make sure everything followed the patterns and norms that I had established as the “correct” way of doing things.

As I began to confront this issue head on, it also became clear that when something did not work out how “it should”—the result being anxiety and panic in many situations—certain compulsions started to arise. This could include anything from counting down the steps in a particular sequence before entering a building or washing my hands multiple times after touching objects around me. Soon these compulsive activities became part of my life even when it wasn’t appropriate for me to do so given my environment or situation; which sometimes caused others around me confusion or concern as they didn’t understand what was going on.

It has taken countless hours (and some patience) but slowly but surely I am beginning to recognize each time when these feelings surface inside of me—even if it is at times too late. Although I won’t lie and say that it doesn’t still feel uncomfortable at times—in fact very often—I know now that learning ways to cope with them and finding better answers is the only way forward in breaking through this cycle of obsession and ritualism.