How I Went to the Beach in Spite of My OCD

The car camping excursion that wasn't and how I did all the things my OCD told me I couldn't possibly do.

How I Went to the Beach in Spite of My OCD
Photo by Ethan Robertson / Unsplash

Jeff and I took a super quick trip to the beach this weekend. It took a lot of convincing and compromise for me to feel comfortable with it. Jeff is about to get really busy with the election coming up in November and won’t be able to take any time off. He wanted to go last weekend but I felt uneasy so we drove an hour to the lake instead, hiked with no one around, and I used a public restroom for the first time since March 2020.


The Ocean And Me

Something you need to know about me is that the ocean is one of my favorite places in the world. I grew up going on beach vacations every summer and it was one of my father’s very favorite places as well. So not only do I connect childhood memories to the beach but I feel my father when I’m near the ocean.

The last time my father saw the ocean was nine years ago this week, so for me to say I don’t want to go to the ocean is a HUGE deal. But I have OCD and I know many people are having similar fears around Covid but the thing about OCD is that there is no logic around what my brain is ok with and what it’s not and that’s my life all the time.

Finally, I felt brave. I told Jeff we could go to the beach as long as we car-camped and stayed far away from everyone. I would only go to bathrooms along our drive that I felt were safe (in this case - we stopped once at Starbucks and I washed my hands three times. Another thing you should know about me is that I usually can’t go more than an hour without peeing but my anxiety helped me out this time around).

As long as we only got takeout and didn’t go to any stores, I felt as comfortable as someone with OCD possibly could feel about our plan. But things don’t always go as planned, do they? That’s life, I guess.