This is ALL based on ME and MY OCD experiences while Driving:
To do list to successfully make it from Point A to Point B in a moving vehicle under your control:
(1) Determine you need to go somewhere.
(2) Think about all the reasons you need to go somewhere and if you really could get out of not going.
(3) Convince someone to drive you… FAIL.
(4) Layout the whole driving path in your mind. Think about why car crashes happen. Its because people are not focused enough on what they are doing. Focus in your mind on the task at hand.
(5) Grab the keys and start to freak out. “Omg… I am about to get into a car… do you know people DIE IN CARS. People get HIT BY cars who are in cars AND who are just WALKING.”
(6) Get into the car. turn on.
(7) Find the most perfect comfortable way to sit. This includes putting a pillow, sweater, teddy bear on your lap… anything to hold on to for support and comfort… holding the car underneath your hands just isn’t stable enough. The pillow, sweater, teddy bear is the opposite of a death contraption and will give you feelings of protection! And something to squeeze when you get scared.
(8) Back out of the drive way. Truly start freaking out here “I am driving a KILLING MACHINE! What if I don’t see someone and accidentally hit them??? What if someone wants to commit suicide and just jumps out in front of my car and I get in trouble? What if I commit suicide by running into or off something?? Do I want to commit suicide? Omg by getting into this car am I resigning myself to suicide??? AM I SUICIDAL??!! I don’t want to commit suicide! What if I accidentally committ suicide!!!!”
(9) Before fully out of the drive way look both ways HUNDREDS OF TIMES to make sure no one is there in terms of car or pedestrian.
(10) Leave the drive way. Start Driving. Think… “must focus… must focus…as long as I am focused on the task at hand.. I will not accidentally kill anyone and I will not commit suicide!!!”
(11) Get out of neighborhood. “Omg there are children everywhere!!! Please PLEASE don’t let me see any of them even in there yards b/c then I’m going to freak out that they are going to run into the middle of the road and I am going to accidentally hit them.” *see child in neighbor’s yard* Drive 5mph till out of view of child to make sure child doesn’t come running anywhere near the car.
(12) Finally on the main road!!! “Omg what I was thinking driving somewhere!!! I’m going to end up killing myself! I don’t want to… but I mean if I just accidentally tilt the wheel in that direction I am going to straight off the bridge and die!! I don’t want to die!! But what if I do it on accident??? I don’t want too!!!”
(13) Continue driving on main road…hit pot whole…. “OMG WHAT DID I JUST HIT??? DID A PERSON RUN OUT INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD??? DID I NOT SEE THEM?? WHAT THE CRAP HAPPENED?????” Look in all mirrors and on car for signs of hitting a person… releaved too not see any signs of hitting someone… then check and look at other cars to make sure no one else stopped b/c they saw you hit someone. Finally look at the cars behind you and the road to realize “oh… that was just a pot whole.”
(14) Continue driving…. “OMG I AM DRIVING A KILLING MACHINE. MUST FOCUS MUST FOCUS. I MUST BREATHE AND FOCUS ON DRIVING. OH GOSH I NEED TO FOCUS ON BREATHING!! AM I BREATHING??? AM I GOING TO DIE??? OH NO I CAN’T TELL IF I AM BREATHING!!!” *Due compulsions that make you realize that yes you are breathing (touch nose feeling breath on hand)* *Due compulsions to make sure that in fact you are alive and just not breathing while brain dead (do weird throat thing I can’t really describe)* “OMG IF I AM SO FOCUSED ON BREATHING I CAN’T SWALLOW MY SPIT! WHAT IF I DROWN ON MY OWN SPIT! I DON’T WANT TO SWALLOW IT!!!!” *(Grab onto pillow, teddy bear, sweater to give you the support you need to swallow your spit)*
(15) Continue driving… start full on panic attack… “OMG I CAN’T BREATHE. WHY CAN’T I BREATHE. OH NO MY HANDS AND FEET ARE STARTING TO GO NUMB. OMG IT HURTS TO BREATHE. MY VISION IS STARTING TO BECOME BLACK AT THE EDGES!!! AM I HAVING A HEARTATTACK?? AM I GOING TO DIE??? IN THE PROCESS OF ME DIEING IS SOMEONE ELSE GOING TO DIE TO B/C I’LL END UP RUNNING INTO TRAFFIC INSTEAD OF OFF THE ROAD. OMG I DON’T WANT TO DIE NOR DO I WANT ANYONE ELSE TO DIE.”
(16) Grab cell phone. Dial first number appears. “Hi mom! I need you to talk to me! I NEED YOU TO KEEP MY MIND OFF OF DRIVING!!!! Yes I know normal people need to focus to drive.. but believe me mom I don’t want to focus while driving… I FOCUS TO MUCH! Please just talk to me so that I can focus on something else besides my impending doom.”
(17) Talk to individual until feeling in hands returns. Realize that you can actually swallow and breathe without actually thinking about it.
(18) Talk to individual until at destination and car is turned off.
(19) Talk to individual until heart rate has gone down and you can finally unclinch your hands from the steering wheel.
(20) Get off the phone. Thanking individual for talking to you.
(21) Open car door. Put feet on the ground and your head between your legs, so that you don’t want to pass out/throw up anymore.
(22) Run to the nearest bathroom to puke.
(23) Enjoy your Destination… lasts about 10 minutes
(24) Start freaking out about return trip
So yes… if you have ever wondered why someone may not like driving or may appear to be a bad driver (although everyone in my family says I am the BEST driver… b/c I am so focused on not dying or killing anyone), it may be because they have OCD. And have the complete and utter OCD break down described above EVERY TIME they get behind the wheel.
Is it laughable? Of course!! Is it during the situation? Nope.
But yes this is why I don’t drive. This is a for realz experience lol.