Last week, my therapist pointed out that when I'm talking about an OCD fear, I often misrepresent the facts. The other day she asked me why I felt the shoes I was wearing were contaminated, and I said, "well, there was the whole walking in the vomit incident." She had to point out that I hadn't actually walked in vomit, but rather next to vomit, before I even noticed that I'd misspoken. It's not a case of lying, and I know objectively that I didn't step in vomit (sorry for repeating that vile phrase so many times!), but my brain still completes that connection as though I did.
I did a similar thing today. I was thinking that my headline today would be "Swine Flu in my Workplace" until I remembered that it isn't. I unfortunately sit next to the three health and safety staffers at work. People are always coming by with some horrible hazard or speculative scenario to share, as though I need to be provided with any more. Today it was to report that the wife of one of my coworkers is a doctor who recently treated a known swine flu patient. She has now developed symptoms herself and they were trying to decide if our coworker should stay home preemptively (which even paranoid me thought was a little much).
Chances are pretty good that swine flu will hit my office in the next several months. Maybe it already has. In my head, though, Joel was already sick and ready to sneeze on me at any moment. I'm happy to report that while I did a fair amount of freaking out today over this concept, I did not resort to a flurry of handwashing. So at least there's that.
OCD and Transitions
2 days ago