Content contained within the following text may have triggers for people living with neurological and mental health conditions and contain references to self-harm.

Obsessive compulsions are something I live with daily, many times over the years I have been unable to resist them, and this has led to me carrying out harmful and offensive actions.

The following story is one example of the times i have been unable to resist.

I am sat watching the television when my mind begins to wander, the screen becomes a blur and so does the sound.

My eyes are drawn to the ceiling light, more specifically the bulb within it.

The thoughts begin with harmless questions.

‘I wonder how strong the electric is in the bulb?’

‘How hot is it?’

My thoughts become obsessive and compulsive I know there is no turning back now.

‘Touch the bulb touch the bulb feel its heat’ repeats in my head.

I can feel a strange itch in my hands that can only be satisfied by giving into my thoughts.

I know it will be hot, but I must do it, or I will never settle, and I will do it eventually so why fight it.

I jump from my chair and touch the bulb with my index finger, the bulb is hot, and I pull away.

‘Now grab it in your hand!’

I wrap my hand around the bulb and grip it tightly, it burns my hand, I let go and sit back down feeling somewhat satisfied.

Before I can process my achievement, another thought comes into my head which brings anxiety and excitement with it.

‘Take out the bulb, put your fingers in the socket’

This is not about risking death but testing survival.

I don’t even attempt argue with myself I’ve already gone this far.

I get back to my feet and approach the light fitting, I grab the hot bulb, push and twist to release it, I don’t feel the heat this time, maybe it’s the adrenalin or maybe I’m too focused on the next move.

Holding the bulb in my left hand I reach up with the right and poke two of my fingers into the socket. As I make contact with two brass prongs my arm is thrown down with such force that I fall to the floor.

Bulb in hand I jump back up and replace the bulb like a naughty child covering up his mischief before his parents catch him.

Sat back in front of the TV I have a profound sense of achievement, satisfaction and relief.