Do any Redditors have a ritual before going to bed or leaving the house?

I don't anymore, but when I was younger - from 12 until I was 16 - I had some intense rituals before bed and before school in the morning. I was bullied quite a lot and using my magnificent twelve year old logic, I devised a series of things I had to do to make sure the day ahead went okay.

The night before I would say goodnight to my mother, exactly the same way each night, and then it would begin. My system worked around how lucky I would be the next day. This started off with me wanting 100% luck for the next day but the next week I increased it, by 40%. And it went on this way. So, a few years in with all the 40% increments, I'd lie on my side and say aloud "Give me 3440% luck for tomorrow please", like a weird prayer to no-one, I'd count the seconds aloud on my clock until the next minute and then I'd shut my eyes.

If I opened my eyes again, I'd have to do it over again. I was very bad at sleeping, I realise now I was just suffering from a shit-tonne of anxiety but at the time I had no grasp of that so I just assumed I was mad as my mind filled with swirling panic. I remember I used to hate hearing "the birds" but I know now that was me hearing my super-fast pulse in my ear as I put my head on the pillow.

When I woke up I'd have a very set routine. I'd watch one episode of The Simpsons on VHS; I absolutely cannot stand the show now for this reason. Then at 7am I'd go get the pink tennis ball. This appeared in our garden one day and I claimed it. The ritual here was to kick it around in front of me everywhere I went and tap it against every radiator three times as I passed it.

I'd go into the bathroom and go to the loo, have a shower, brush my teeth. At 7:13am I would stand against the wall, hold my pink tennis ball and sing "I believe I can fly". I think it was an R Kelly song? I cannot even start to explain why I did this, I do not know, but through self-reinforcing logic, it worked. When the day was bad, I'd obviously done something wrong with the routine.

I got beaten up quite badly for a few Wednesdays in a row, so Wednesdays were unlucky so I'd lump on an extra 40% on those nights. I wrote a diary too but every single entry was in exactly the same format and finished with "I hope tomorrow goes great". I read through a few years worth of them a while ago, they read like a mad person's little project.

There were lots of other things too. It feels odd to look back on that as it completely ruled my life for those years. I was very unhappy at school, constantly terrified, and this was a way of getting some control. I remember getting thrown down the stairs one day (a Wednesday!), the night before I'd been out with my family and couldn't do any of the routine, so that was why it happened, not because I was a camp, ginger nerd who was universally hated.

I remember how fantastic it felt leaving that school, being able to stop the routines for good. I still have the pink ball but I'm super-careful about getting into other routines; I'll never wear the same bracelet, necklace or anything for too long else it starts to become something like that. I am definitely a bit of a hoarder though but quite a neat one.

/r/AskReddit Thread