Before Bed - OCPD Rituals

Most peoples bedtime rituals include brushing teeth, washing off the face, and crawling under the covers. PJ's optional.

For me, its slightly more complicated. My nightly tasks around the house can combine to form an exhausting litany of washing, cleaning and organizing for the coming day. The "bathroom" part, the final step toward dreamland, has been shortened and un-ritualized, but only through hard work. I used to lie in bed, eyes still open if I thought "Did I use enough night cream?" "Should I floss more?" "Should I pluck my eyebrows a bit more?"

It was ridiculous, but it happened. I had to consciously relax my mind. Some night I started to force myself to skip steps, just to prove a lack of eye cream wouldn't ruin me for the next day. Slowly, the obsessions waned. Sometimes now, I fall asleep, make-up still on, in my skivvies. And my dreams come all the same.


  1. I just found your blog and am very happy that I did. I'm trying to understand my recently diagnosed OCPD and how I can overcome it (without creating new rules to simply supplant the old). Bed time was a big first project.

    My routine was not as complicated as yours, but no matter what the evening, I had to brush my teeth, wash my face, and take out my contacts (in that order). Throughout college, my friends would simply pass out; no matter how drunk I was when I returned home, I had to complete my routine.

    Now it sometimes happens before I fall asleep. Other times I will fall asleep and wake up a few hours later, complete my routine, and go back to bed. I still have to complete the tasks, but I can fall asleep without finishing everything. Progress!

    I've been thinking about starting a blog about my own journey, but thought "could that possibly be interesting to anyone but me?" I'm starting to think there is something to be said for solidarity, and sharing the experiences so we all feel a little bit less alone.

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for reading! I started this a kinda a challenge to myself, to overcome my desire to have perfect writing and a perfect blog. I just pushed myself to get it out there, and to not overthink it! So I think starting a blog is a great way to push yourself to be expressive without so much self-critique. So go for it! When you get it up, let me know :)

    About bedtime... I was the same way in college! My boyfriend was driven crazy because I couldn't just go to bed, I had to take 20 min in the bathroom. But its the little challenges to the rituals that can lead to so much more peace of mind.