The phone rings briefly followed by my wife shouting with excitement “your taxi’s here Gordon”.
She is not coming with me she is just happy to get some respite from me and have a quiet day.
Although I have packed, unpacked and packed again multiple times, panic sets in, have I forgotten something? And now the arrival of my taxi means its now out of my hands and I must leave immediately.
I throw my bag on the back seat then get into the front, “f*ck off!” I tic.
The driver looks confused at what I have just shouted and as I sit down, I position my hands at my sides to keep them from touching things and I apologise as we set off.
I begin to explain that I have Tourette’s and the driver seems quite interested, this helps with my tics and they do not seem as bad when people understand and are not offended.
Arrival at the station brings more anxiety and new set of issues, tics are not my main concern here.
Headphones block the noise, polarised sunglasses deal with glare and hide my embarrassing eye tic’s but it is the platform where fear strikes my heart.
My obsessions focus on the tracks telling me I must jump onto them, repeatedly the voice inside me pushing me ever closer to doing it.
I find the furthest place from the tracks to stand, the inner voice is now telling me to run and jump onto the tracks. I know I cannot beat this I just have to ride it out.
A tanker train approaches and begins to slowly rumble past. The inner voice is pushing me to run and grab the side, my heart starts to pound.
I have that feeling I get when I am about to do something daring or, I know I am on a fine edge between control and giving into my obsessive-compulsive inner voice.
To explain the level of fear I have inside you have to understand that I have lost the fight many times leading to everything from electrocution, crashing into lampposts, putting my wallet into a post box, throwing my camera into a river or whatever bizarre or dangerous things my obsessions come up with at any given time.
I manage to survive all the passing trains over the next 30 minutes or so and finally board my train and take my obsessions with me to my seat.
From where I am sat a sign tells me ‘Emergency pull to stop train’, now I really need to pull this lever, underneath another warning ‘Misuse will result in a fine or imprisonment’ ok that doesn’t help my defiance disorder. I now need to pull this lever on two levels one defiance and another obsession, also being red does not help at all, don’t ask me why.
The only action I can take is to get up and move to the baggage area and sit on the floor, there is nothing to obsess on, nothing I can touch and no signs challenging me.
I can just sit here on the floor and ride out my journey.