Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Big Exposure

More than a year ago, I was on the bus, and the woman next to me vomited. An objectively gross experience, I think. But my OCD took it over the top. She didn't actually vomit on me, and I don't think I even got splashed, but in my head, everything was contaminated. I took a shower and washed all my clothes, but I wasn't sure what to do with my backpack and its contents. So for the last 18 months, it's lived in a corner of my bedroom, where I've been afraid to touch it. (Yes, that's logical, put the "horribly contaminated" object next to your bed!)

Last night I decided enough was enough. I pulled everything out of the backpack. There were some good things in there, including a check for $72- oops! And some not so good things, including something that used to be food and was now a brown liquid- ick. I vacuumed up 18 months worth of dust, threw the backpack in the wash (due to the drippy brown liquid) and reclaimed a corner of my room. It was pretty scary, and my anxiety jumped pretty high later in the evening, as I continued to wear the clothes I had on while I cleaned. But today it feels great!!!


  1. Ha! That so sounds like what I do! I can't tell you how many piles of things I have that have become "contaminated" but I can't throw away because dear old hubby will find them in the trash and question things. So they sit and collect dust and make a mess...Good for you for finally cleaning it up! And still wearing the clothes for the rest of the evening? Wow! I would have had to shower as well as stripping off the clothes. You are such an inspiration to me! Tell me, though, do you use meds, or is this all ERP and incredible determination?

  2. I'm not currently taking medication, although I have in the past. I'm torn right now, because a lot of the time this all just seems SO HARD, and I wonder if I'm being ridiculous to avoid medication. I don't like some of the side effects, though, so for now, as long as I'm still making progress forward, I'm planning to go without.