Everyone has their quirks in life, whether it is wearing lucky socks at a sports game or not opening an umbrella inside. My quirks tend to be a bit different. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely open about my mental illnesses, but only my super-close friends know my weird quirks, until now. One that affects me the most is severe and generalized anxiety.
With my anxiety I have quirks that tend to annoy some of my close friends that I just cannot help. I never realized how annoying they could be for someone until freshman year of college. I lived in Andrews Hall with my now best friend, Sarah. I had my alarm clock on the other side of the room opposite the bunk beds so I could physically get up to turn my alarm off and start the day without hopping back into bed. Unfortunately, it went nothing like that at all. I would set my alarm for the next morning and then check once or twice to make sure it was on and then hop into bed. After I got all cozy, I would have to get back up to check it again, and this time I had to count out loud to 10 every time I checked. I was so paranoid that I would be late for class that I spent about 10 minutes every night repeating those steps multiple times. Sarah would usually laugh, and she never complained, but I could tell that sometimes it was annoying her. I tried to stop, but my mind would not calm down until I did it about five times.
This semester I have a car on campus, which is exciting; however, I have now developed another quirk.
When I get to my room, I look in my purse to make sure my keys are there and I count to 10 out loud three times in a row. I check my purse about six times a day. When I leave my residence hall I have to look for my car in the parking lot and count to 10 again.
To many people this may seem time-consuming, which it is, but it is a necessity to help my brain stop from constantly worrying.
I know some people who have quirks similar to mine, and that helps me feel more sane. I rarely talk about these quirks to anyone, besides my therapist, because I am embarrassed and worry about people calling me a freak.
One day I hope to overcome these quirks, but for now I am content with them.
Kate Rehwinkel is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]