Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Going For It, But Not Thrilled :)

So, as I've mentioned before, I'm weirdly terrified of getting colds. In the past it was because I was afraid to get my aunt sick. She has since died, so now of course, I'm afraid for a changing group of reasons. This week, it's because I'm going on vacation soon.

The downward arrow looks something like this:
I'll get sick for vacation
I'll get the boyfriend sick for vacation.
He'll be mad because I got him sick.
We'll fight and break up.

Alternate scenario:
Blowing his nose on vacation somehow exposes him to some other dreadful disease, and he dies. Bummer.

Tomorrow I'm going to a social event where I know already that one attendee has a bad cold. I'm going anyway. And I haven't been washing my hands like a madwoman this week either.

This is really difficult!!!!! But I'm doing it. OCD currently consumes my every waking hour, and I want my life back. Even if it's without my dead boyfriend. :(

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doing It All Wrong

So, in my worry about bed bugs, I've been taking a proactive approach- decluttering, installing a passive monitor, vacuuming my bed so I can see what's going on there. Now, for many people, these would be positive things. For me, it's a compulsion, plain and simple. And I can tell that it is, based on the fact that my anxiety is just going up and up and up.

It needs to stop.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It was a pretty decent day.

It started when I went over to my sister's to cook. Within about 2 minutes I could hear that my brother-in-law had a cold. I swear, my brain went totally blank for a few minutes when I heard him talk. But I did okay. Later in the day, we all even played cards and I didn't wash my hands after. And when I came home, I didn't take a shower.

So that was all a really great thing. Today I went to the grocery store, and for the first time in a really long time, I came home and ate some of the food without doing any washing of it or me.

Feeling good about this. Still feeling anxiety way too often over the course of any given day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You May Not Want to Go to Thanksgiving With My Boyfriend

Hey, let's pet the dog before we cook. Oh, I suppose I could run a little water over my hands to clean them. Now let's prepare some finger foods for tomorrow.

Woo, he's a walking exposure exercise for me. I won't be there with his family tomorrow, but I made myself eat some of the food we prepared. Not dead yet!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kicking OCD When It's Down

Over on the OCD support board on yahoo, there are several people who consider their OCD "mostly" gone who still post regularly. Recently, there have been a couple of reminders from these types that at the first sign up OCD symptoms cropping up, you have push back immediately; you never want to let OCD have a chance to get the upper hand again. I'm a long way from there, but I like the idea of taking out OCD.

It's all too easy for me to pretend that I can get better by only confronting the easy fears, or only doing exposures half of the time. Clearly it doesn't work that way.

Today was a pretty good day. Still spending way too much time thinking and worrying about upcoming travel. But I did some (really cold) yardwork this afternoon in a part of my yard I consider "contaminated." When I came back in, I really wanted to jump in the shower. But instead I did some other chores around the house, pretty much coming into contact with every room in my house. By the end, I still felt vaguely contaminated, but not so bad. I did take a shower, because I was objectively in need of one, but I only stayed in their too long because it was nice and warm, not because I needed to get super clean.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Has it Been a Week Already?

Did two good OCD-related things today.
One, I went to the Harry Potter movie. Surrounded by sneezing, sniffling, and coughing people. Later in the day, I toilet-brushed the toilet at the boyfriend's house. After 4 months, it became pretty clear no one else was going to do it. I cannot actually remember the last time I cleaned a toilet without taking a shower after (I save up all the yucky cleaning). But since that wasn't really an option here, I didn't. Even stopped at the grocery store on the way home.

I'm still wearing the same clothes I wore all day today, and I'm not showering before bed. It's so interesting to me. When I know I'm going to take a shower, I have a particular contaminated feeling that doesn't dissipate until I'm done showering. When I know I"m going to push back and skip the shower, the contaminated feeling goes away fairly quickly. I'm feeling fine now.

I'm not feeling so great about the fact that for some reason my cat has been sleeping right smack in the middle of my pillow for the last two hours. But that's a whole other issue...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Lots of little (or maybe not so little) things this week.

I got a prescription for Prozac- I'm going to try it for a couple of months and see how it goes. Haven't actually received the pills yet but should this week.

I made the plane reservations. For about an hour I got really really excited about this trip, and it made me so happy. I feel very few moments of joy or excitement in my life, but experiencing them makes me want to work to be able to experience more of them.

I'm still feeling, overall, extremely anxious about this trip. But I'm also able to see that I'm willing to take risks because the life I'm living now is one of fear and sadness, and I don't really feel so excited about another 40 years of that.

I've made some decent progress at exposures on the cold and flu front- fall and winter months are certainly good for that.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Recently on an OCD forum, someone wrote about trying to face a fear while worrying that the outcome of doing an exposure could be "the one big regret of his life." It was interesting timing, because this week I found a journal I kept after I was first diagnosed with OCD. It was from 1998. In it, I express over and over again my fear that I will spread some kind of germs that will ruin my (then) boyfriend's life and he'll hate me forever. Flash forward to today, that boyfriend is happily married with two beautiful kids and a good job. Guess I didn't ruin him after all.

What's really frustrating is that right now, in the present, I'm still doing the exact same thing. I have fears that my actions in going ahead with exposures will result in harm to my nieces or my boyfriend's niece, that'll it'll be "the one big regret of my life" and that I'll be shunned and my own life ruined, too.

Trying to take the lesson from 1998, but it's difficult!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trying Again

I'm about to make a plane reservation. I'm using the voucher I got when I cancelled my trip to Atlanta last June. This time, I have a travel partner, so I don't have any way to cancel without humiliation. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I spend so much time mulling options. It drives me nuts and wastes so much time. I'm going to a basketball game with the boyfriend on Tuesday. He invited me to meet his sister and brother-in-law for dinner before the game. And now my brain is just chewing and chewing on it. If I go, I'll have to go straight from work. That's not my normal routine. And there will be lots of exposures. Nothing weird, just normal "going out to dinner" stuff. So now I've got myself all tied up in knots. Should I go? Should I not go? How much will I worry if I do?

I should probably go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Stinks

Whether it's the decreasing light, the increasing rain, or just something internal to me, I always have trouble with November. I get depressed, my anxiety goes through the roof, and my ability to see the irrationality of my fears goes way down.

I'm a mess, but I'm taking action. Yesterday I bought The OCD Workbook and Freedom From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I'm probably going back on medication.

So right now I'm an odd mix of motivated and excited, and down in the dumps. Interesting.

My parents are leaving on a trip on Tuesday. Not unexpectedly, I've been on a "can't get them sick for their trip" kick. One of my convoluted reasons for not wanting them to get sick was that I felt it increased their chances of staying in a hotel and getting bedbugs (as in, they'll be so sick and yucky that my aunt and uncle will kick them out and send them to a hotel) In yet another "hahaha, you can't control the world" moment, it turns out my mom made their plane reservation for the wrong city (oops!), and they'll be spending at least two nights in a hotel anyway.

This should make me aware of the futility of my efforts, but nope, I've been ruminating on staying healthy most of today.