I’m standing in the kitchen finishing making dinner when Blake comes back in after feeding the dogs. He washes his hands then carefully grabs each foot, one at a time, and twists it up to take a close look at the bottom of his socks. First one, then the other. It’s an interesting looking sort of dance.
I wonder to myself, “Do I dare ask?” I can’t resist. I do.
“Would you be willing to tell me what the sock thing is about?” I ask him.
Just as I am asking, he is removing the socks from his feet. He carefully places one to his nose, sniffs, then does the same with the other. They seem to check out okay.
“Sure,” he says, as he puts them back on his feet. “I’m checking to make sure there’s no dog pee on them.”
“Oh, did it feel like they were wet or something?”
“No, I just wanted to be sure.”
I wonder to myself whether I should ask him what he will do if he decides that there is pee on them. I think better of it and just thank him for explaining. I know that if he decides there is pee on them that he will change them and put on a new pair.
OCD is interesting in this way. Most of us would know if we stepped in something and it got our socks dirty or wet. OCD takes Blake’s mind and whispers to him that he might have stepped in some pee and he should check just to be certain. And since he cannot trust his eyes, he must go even further and take the socks off and place them to his nose. I guess that sometimes this must be a frustrating way to live, but for now it just seems part of his day – a minor nuisance. Perhaps some day all these little things he does in service of his OCD will add up to, in his estimation, too much. That may be the day he readies himself for change.