Note- This is a short piece about OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) and how it feels. I have OCD to an extent although luckily it hasn't taken over my life. However with some people it can completely destroy any chance of living normally.

Little rituals formed in your mind
That you have to do, or something will happen
You just can't stop

You know that the room's empty, you've checked it several times but you have to check again just in case there's something there which could hurt you or mess up your life.
And again you have to check (just in case)
And just one more time (to be sure)
And this is the last time (you promise)
But it isn't.

Little things. The alarm clock. Setting it and checking it, sometimes 30 or 40 times in a row. Then you look and realise half an hour has passed and you still can't be sure that you really set it. Waking up in the middle of the night terrified that you forgot, checking it. Repeating the whole ritual all over again. Because you don't want to mess up. Better safe than sorry.

The mind games. Endlessly counting or adding up or dividing. Every time you see a blue car. Or a man with a dog. On and on, until your head hurts and you can't think straight.

Not standing on cracks in the pavement. Or deliberately standing exactly half way across each paving stone so each step is measured and even like you want your life to be.

Locking an empty room door every night. There's no-one and nothing there. Maybe it's the demons inside you that you're trying to lock away.