Sunday, August 29, 2010

When to Disclose

So, I've been dating L for a month. My OCD has not caused many problems, although it generally doesn't at this point. I do think it's at least in part due to my work over the last year, however. I've done well with restaurants, bathrooms, grocery stores, cooking together. So that's great. But it must be mentioned at some point. Usually it comes up for the first time when I'm freaking out about something, and that's never ideal. I guess time will tell.

I spent time at his house yesterday, and even took my shoes off, so that was a good step, although I was hyper aware of my feet the whole day. That's not really ideal, either.

The really bad thing that I've done in the last few days, though, is to go to a "if I weren't dating him, I wouldn't have to worry about any of this" place. That's a place I DO NOT want to go. I've been there for the last 4 years, and it's not very fun.

Friday, August 27, 2010


When I get caught up in OCD, I must get my answer NOW. Every time I remind myself that I should wait, sit with the anxiety. And then I decide, I'll do that NEXT time. This time I'm just too stressed to be patient!!

So today, I'm trying to convince myself to let today be the day I try patience. I need to get some bloodwork done, and I'm freaking out about going into the lab. Maybe there will be a blood emergency while I'm there! Plus, potentially sick people, of course.

But what this means is that I just want it over with. I must go in today. I cannot wait! I cannot concentrate. So, will today be the day I decide to wait until next week, and sit with that anxiety? We'll see.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big Day

Tomorrow the boyfriend is coming over to my house for dessert. This leaves me with a choice- we take our shoes off, like I generally do in my home, increasing my chances of giving him a foot fungus. Or we wear shoes, and I deal with shoe germs all over my home. It's a win-win really- I get a big exposure either way, but I'm not thrilled. I've been wanting to move the date offsite, but I know that's REALLY giving in to the OCD. Fun times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Importance of Repetition

I've been reminded in the last few weeks how important repetition is in exposure and response prevention. I've been out to restaurants a ton in the last few weeks. The first few times, eating food with my hands made me really uncomfortable. While I still don't love it, it's getting easier, and I certainly no longer think about it before I go out, as I have in the past.

Similarly, for years I've been avoiding public restrooms, but also wondering why when I did use them, it didn't seem to get any easier. Once every six months just wasn't cutting it. Now I'm up to a once a week schedule. And while I'm not exactly comfortable with them yet, it is already getting easier.

I still think it sucks that people with OCD have to do things that terrify us over and over again in order to get better, but mostly, I think it beats the alternative.

Yesterday Was a Good Day

Over the years, I've gotten really good at timing my liquid intake to balance avoiding dehydration with avoiding public bathrooms. It doesn't always work, though. Yesterday I was out at a restaurant, and there was no avoiding it: I had to pee. So for the first time in a really long time, I used a restaurant bathroom. I survived! And boy, the rest of the evening was SO much more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Canning Peaches

I do not recommend home canning with my mom. Her approach to food safety is, let's just say, casual. But I LOVE canned peaches. So we canned. I made her do everything on the up and up, but then at the end, she added a few extra jars. I'll just say I hope everyone survives.

Speaking of hoping I survive, today I agreed that the new boyfriend (from here on out to be referred to as "L"), can pick me up at my house. Needless to say, I am anxious, but I have to let him in my home eventually. It's been a good incentive for some serious cleaning, too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More on the BBQ

Part of my worry about the BBQ was that I would bring food that would make others sick. After arriving, it was clear to me how laughable that was. There was raw meat, food sitting out for hours (which was then sent home with people as leftovers), the hamburgers were not only red inside, someone said their burger was actually cold in the middle. If anyone was getting sick, it wasn't going to be from anything I did, that was clear. I often forget that people just aren't that careful, and that most of the time, it all ends well.

Having said that, someone who attended just posted on our forum that the cook last night gave her salmonella. I have no idea if she's really sick, or just making a joke. But I'm feeling pretty okay no matter what the real situation is.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not What I Expected

Today I went to a BBQ. I was quite worried about it until about yesterday. Raw meat, potluck food, some other OCD-related issues. In the end, I wasn't stressed much at all, but it was so BORING. I did not see that coming. It was a group of people who originally met online, and I'd met about half of them before. Those people I really like. But the other people were kind of awful. And loud. And boring. Worst part, the guy I've just started dating and I haven't told this group (who know us both) that we're dating. So we barely talked.

Well, it's a step in the right direction OCD-wise anyway. And a reminder that not everything works out as planned, and that's okay.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces for Saturday

For years I've been trying to turn over a new leaf, neatness wise. I'm a combination of naturally cluttered, a little lazy, and a little OCD-scared of touching dirty things. My sister recently moved, and she got rid of a TON of stuff. I'm trying to do the same. I have something like 36 drinking glasses and mugs, and I live by myself. I also have about 25 books on gardening, but I've been gardening long enough that I rarely consult them anymore. And when I do need information, I head to the internet instead.

So we'll see how that goes. I think if I can get myself on a regular cleaning schedule, things won't get so grungy, and they won't be so scary, and it will be easier to stay on that cleaning cycle.

In more directly OCD news, I finally broke down and ordered a refill of my migraine medication for mail delivery. Of course, then I forgot about it, didn't check mail for a couple of days, and it was in the mailbox that reached 110 degrees yesterday. Which was the main reason I didn't want to do mail order. So I guess this is situation where something I feared DID happen, but the consequences seem mild. Worst thing that happens is that the meds don't work, I throw them out and I get more. I called the pharmacy and they said it should be fine. I freaked a bit yesterday, but today it all seems fine.

My general worry about this weekend and next week's social stuff has mellowed a bit as time has passed, so that's good. I'm sure it will pop back up a few times, but these are things I'm actually really looking forward to, so I won't be canceling.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lots and lots of rumination in my brain this week. Most of it revolving around the uptick in social activity in my life. It increases the idea in my head that things will go wrong or that I will get sick, to bad consequences. The vast majority of the worries are around really mundane things, like watching a video, or going to a barbecue. I am reminding myself that this provides lots and lots of chances to just sit with my anxiety. That fact that it so easily moves from one event to the next, helps me to realize that there's not real danger, it's just my OCD working its moves. Whew, easier to type that than to do it

Saturday, August 7, 2010


It's been a craptastic 24 hours. Since I was about 10, I've had athlete's foot on and off. I didn't realize what it was (it rarely itched) until I was 25 and it spread to my toenails. As far as I know, I've never given it to anyone close to me. And yet I worry, oh how I worry. To the point that two promising relationships bit the dust over the last 5 years because I spent so much time angsting about my damn toenail (only one remains infected).

In a flash of (OCD inspired) brilliance, I decided on Friday that I MUST bite the bullet and take the oral medication that mostly gets rid of toenail fungus. Like, right that instant. Like, I couldn't wait to work within my medical system, I must visit urgent care. Where I encountered numerous people with coughs and fevers, and my very very favorite, the teenager whose mom walked behind her with a large kitchen pot, should she need to vomit.

The first urgent care facility (where I paid cash) gave me a prescription, but I got home and realized it wasn't the most recommended treatment. So I went to another (at least covered by my insurance). No dice, they directed me back to my primary care provider. So at this point, I've spent $200 and 6 hours and have accomplished only a light coating of germs.

Cut to today, where call the first provider back and insist that they change the prescription. At first they refuse, but I whine so profusely, they give in. The prescription is a generic and costs only $6! I skipped the whole part where I dragged my poor dad (a retired physician with my health plan) into the mix. Oh, and my run in with online medical consults. At one point, my dad said, "can you stop and consider for a moment that this isn't an emergency, and that you really can wait until Monday?" I said, "NO!" I feel rotten just thinking about that. I knew it wasn't true, but it felt SO IMPORTANT at that moment to get it resolved.

So, yeah, maybe not as far along as I sometimes feel.

On the plus side, as I always do, when I get disgusted at myself for doing these things, I up the exposure ante. In the last 24 hours, I used the restroom at a medical facility, as well as a grocery store frequented by homeless people. In neither case did I use a paper towel to open the door. At the store, I proceeded to buy groceries, and ate some snacks while sitting in the car. I really really want to beat the fear of the public restroom, since it's so limiting to social activities.

So there you have it. After a mere $260 and 10 hours, I have 45 pills that just may destroy my liver. Perfect.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Treading Water

I've made good progress over the last six months. I feel like a probably need to step it up a notch to take it to the next level. I still shy away from public restrooms, although I can certainly use them if I have to. And I still let myself imagine the worst and try to wiggle my way out of scary situations more often than I should. So there are some goals for August.

Today I ended up in line next to a woman at the store who was hacking, and all she was buying was Zinc lozenges. I freaked a bit, but I went on with my errands, and I'm feeling good. I ruminated about the negative consequences of getting a cold for a few minutes, but it's passed. I also took my car into the shop (3rd time in a month). I HATE doing that, so there's another good exposure. Discovered that the oil change, the only thing I thought Jiffy Lube did right, wasn't done right. I don't think I'll be stopping in there again.

I'm way behind in watching Obsessed, by two or three episodes. I hope to catch up soon and I'll post about those. The ones I've seen this season have been good.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dating with OCD Part 2

Okay, I've been on one date, and I'm already going to that OCD place. It's very difficult for me to have someone in my space. And there's cooking and eating, and kissing (well, that's not really a problem). But don't even get me started on sex (which is not happening any time soon, but still). My goal is very very much to do all of this in a reasonably "normal" fashion. Time will tell. There's also the "when to disclose" issue. I always find myself hoping to wait until a guy is madly in love with me first. So far that hasn't happened. :)