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Thread: Did I lock the door? Did I turn off the stove?

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Did I lock the door? Did I turn off the stove?

    I frequently have these little moments of doubt where I have to stop and question whether I did something. It's like I have minor lapses in my memory that happen when I do certain things and they stress me out.

    Do you do this too? Have you always been that way or was there a point in time when it started for you? Do you have strategies to mitigate it?

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    To spit out the obvious, there's a little OCD in that. It's a trigger or spike of anxiety revolving around some sort of doubt. The full on OCD thing to do would be to actually go check the stove or locks or whatever.

    The strategy to mitigate it ISN'T to do something differently, like taking a picture of the stove being off or the door being locked. Because this isn't really about your memory. The strategy IS to accept uncertainty about the stove and the lock - accept that you think you did it, but aren't sure, but that even if you didn't, everything will probably be fine.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    I look down every time I'm running late to the subway station. It's to make sure I have pants on.
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    Whenever I leave the bathroom, I check my fly, even if I remember zipping up The door locking one is something that has happened to me as well. And even though there have been several instances where I actually DID leave the stove on, for some reason I never worry about that.

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    I've left the door unlocked before, more times than I care to admit. Also left the stove on once. Nothing bad happened, so I'm over those particular paranoias.

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    sane in insane places kali's Avatar
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    I sometimes experience moments, say when I'm quietly riding a train,

    "what if I'm actually screaming or undressing or beating up some dude in this carriage, but I'm in a trance where I'm only hallucinating that I'm sitting quietly on a train?" And then I get super embarrassed. This thought happens too often.

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    Pretty regularly.

    How often do you go grocery shopping only to realize you left your wallet in the truck or your office or who the hell knows where when you get to checkout?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    I sometimes experience moments, say when I'm quietly riding a train,

    "what if I'm actually screaming or undressing or beating up some dude in this carriage, but I'm in a trance where I'm only hallucinating that I'm sitting quietly on a train?" And then I get super embarrassed. This thought happens too often.
    don't ride the train on mushrooms.

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giegs View Post
    Pretty regularly.

    How often do you go grocery shopping only to realize you left your wallet in the truck or your office or who the hell knows where when you get to checkout?
    I've done this before. Either that or forgotten my work keys when leaving for work. But I've gotten pretty obsessive about making sure that I have those things in advance.

  10. #10
    igKnight Hephaestus's Avatar
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    I have some patterns I use. But there are certain uncertainties I'm unwilling to accept. For example, if I'm about to leave the house, and suddenly wonder if I left the stove on, I check. Why? Because I've come home to find smoke billowing out the window. It's a reasonable question, and I can readily address it with little inconvenience. Then, having addressed it, I don't have any anxiety about it later. But if I decide to leave it unchecked, I run the risk of anxiety--which is to say, I have to deliberately choose to accept that I think I turned the oven off and that that will be enough.

    Likewise, if I have any uncertainty at all about a door being locked, I check it. My locking habits are so ingrained though, that I have a companion habit of checking my pockets to make sure I have the key for the door I'm about to close before I close it. Again, it's not unreasonable. I've locked myself out before. It's a nuisance. I've also locked myself out of my car in various inconvenient manners. So it's worth checking--not because the world will collapse if I fail, but because it's easier to prevent the error than correct it later.

    The place where these thoughts are useless is when they happen when I'm 10 minutes away from home. At that point, I just dismiss them because the likely answer is, everything is fine, but if I spend all day worrying about it, I'll just ruin my day for no good purpose.
    --Mention of these things is so taboo, they aren't even allowed a name for the prohibition. It is just not done.

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