Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Moving Van and Me

Well, that last post certainly screamed "I have OCD," didn't it!

Today, there's moving van parked across the street. Here's what this means to my brain: there are some stranded bed bugs in there, and they are now crawling out onto the street and making their way into the piles of leaves I need to rake up. I would therefore like to avoid raking those leaves.

But alas, I can't. Well, I suppose I should say, I WON'T. So off I go to rake up the leaves, and perhaps some bed bugs, and store them in my yard waste bin. Perhaps they'll find a home in my house.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spreading a Cold

This doesn't have much to do with anything, but it still fascinated me. My therapist was always of the opinion that one could never know where one's cold came from. I don't quite agree, but I can agree that the average person isn't mad when they get a cold.

BUT, this week, I saw the most 1-2-3 example of spreading a cold, and I continue to wonder why people aren't more careful. Colds don't totally suck, but they're no fun either.

My boss came back from vacation with a pretty bad one. On Monday, we gathered for our weekly staff meeting. She blew her nose. She fidgeted (for seriously, NO reason, except that she's a fidgeter) with the chair next to her. Coworker comes in to meeting and pulls out the chair, touching it exactly where our boss did. Within 30 seconds, she had rubbed her eyes with her hand.

48 hours later, coworker has developed a cold.

So, yeah, doesn't mean I should stop exposures, but how hard is it not to blow your nose and then immediately touch things that others will? Gross.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Small Success

One of things I've struggled with the most is what I think of as "impulse control."

When I get scared, I need to do something now. Like, NOW!! An example: the situation last Friday with my car donation.

Anyway, today I woke up, looked out the window and saw the neighbor's empty garbage can was at the curb in the rain, with the lid off. Getting filled up with icky water that they will probably dump into the gutter, where it will flow downhill and contaminate my driveway, and I'll get some dread garbage can disease (yes, I'm pretty sure I've posted about "dread garbage disease" before). Oh, how I wanted to go outside and put the lid on that can. I stared, I contemplated, I stewed. But I DID NOT go out and put the lid on that can. And it's been raining for hours now. I'm anxious, but also feeling good that I controlled that impulse. It's a small step, but a step for sure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Pledge for the Week

Here's a message I posted to an OCD forum this weekend:

This week I considered doing telephone therapy with Steve Phillipson's office. Then I realized that I don't want to spend $150 a week, and that if I'm motivated I can do this anyway, and if I'm not motivated, I'll be throwing money away.

As I've noted several times in the last few weeks, bedbugs are my latest "it" fear. And I'm planning a trip with hotel stay in December, which has ramped up my fear a ton. I recently found a website where people with bedbugs post, and have been driving myself insane(r) by reading it every day.

This week, I pledge to stay off that site altogether.

In other news, today I went to the grocery during peak hours (usually try to avoid the crowds), and I picked a checker that looked sick. On my walk home, I felt doomed, but as always, about an hour later, I felt just fine about it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today's the Day

Today the boyfriend gets his tattoo. And a steady rain is falling. Actually, my anxiety had come down far enough that I was interested in watching the process (although not quite ready for my own!), but he didn't seem to want that, so I'm not going to see it. I'm feeling pretty okay, although part of that is that my mind has already moved on to worry about the next thing.

I wish I could more easily remind my brain that by the time the scary thing rolls around, I'm hardly ever that anxious anymore, and just skip the worry altogether. If it were that easy, though...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well, That'll Teach Me, Part 20?

When my aunt died, I inherited her car. Which meant that for the last month, I've had two cars. Which was sort of silly. I decided that since my "old" car wasn't worth much, I didn't really want to deal with the hassle of selling it. So a friend suggested I donate it. Eureka! But still I delayed. What if something goes wrong, what if the new car breaks down, what if the people at the charity are sick? Etc., etc.

But today I woke up with that OCD-generated sense of NOW, it has to be donated TODAY. So, for good or bad, the place I was donating is super flexible, and it was totally fine to do it today.

So I get there, and of course, person number one who helps me has a cold. Person number two has a cold sore. So I was a little stressed. And reminding myself, this is the universe laughing at me for giving in to my OCD on this one. Oh, well, yet again, it's good for me. And it really was time to donate that car.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yahoo OCD Group

If you've never checked out this group, take a look. It's a yahoo group for folks with OCD. It's got thousands of members, although probably only 100 post with any regularity. While people do sometimes use it to seek reassurance, most people see through these attempts and encourage others to utilize ERP against their OCD.

Most useful, there are 3 or 4 therapists who regularly post. Recently a new therapist has joined and he posts really useful, supportive, informative posts. Anyway, I recommend the group. It's not going to solve your OCD, but it's another place to get support, encouragement and information. Some interesting OCD-related debates crop up, too.

You can change your account settings to get a daily digest, or just read messages on the website itself. That's what I do; otherwise you may get 25 individual emails a day, which can get overwhelming quite quickly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh, Dear

The boyfriend wants to go on a trip. That's great for our relationship. It may cause some trouble for my sanity.

Success Stories

I've become a little obsessed with finding OCD success stories. I continue to be amazed at how few of them are out there. Dr. Steven Phillipson's website has long listed some, but this year, he added a couple more.

One of them in particular really moved me, because the writer went into a lot of detail about both the types of exposures she did, and the anxiety they caused her. And of course, I was really happy because the exposures worked really really well.

The other thing that was striking about her story is that she notes that she had to do exposures every day, and she spent a lot of time. I think sometimes I have this idea that thinking about OCD equals working on beating it. That's clearly not true.

Friday, October 15, 2010


So, the boyfriend has two tattoos and has plans for another. You would be right in imagining that as someone with contamination OCD, tattoos freak me the heck out. Since his new tattoo will be a bird tracing he took off his dead mother's gravestone, I'm confident that I won't be talking him out of it.

It's a good time to remind myself that my fear of tattoos doesn't actually increase his chances of getting a deadly disease from getting one [deep breath].

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I got a cold. I've had this idea for quite a while that if I just got a cold and realized that nothing terrible resulted, that would be really good for my OCD progress. Well, it turns out that it wasn't true.

I had a cold. Nothing happened, no one got it from me (that I know of). So you know what happened? I'm even more afraid of the next cold, because it will surely be worse, and bad things will happen.

I can't even tell you how sad and frustrated this makes me. I'm trying TRYING to tell myself that I need to run toward anxiety producing events, or I'll never ever ever get better, and I want that so much. But it's incredibly hard. So instead I'm just on the verge of tears all the time. And still trying to plan my life so that I get it "right."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Boy, that's a big gap

I've been visiting my blog every day, thinking, hmm, what should I write about today. And then I close it back up. I'm doing fine and terrible, all at the same time.

The boyfriend is just not a handwasher, and everytime I'm around him, I get a huge amount of exposures. That's going well, I do totally fine with those.

But I'm still experiencing a huge amount of anticipatory anxiety about all kinds of stuff. This week it's still bedbugs, but I'm sure soon that'll pass and it will be something else entirely. That will seem REALLY important, and really real.

In slightly interesting news, I have a cold. A real, honest to goodness cold. The first since (can you believe I know this?) November 28, 2007. I may have gotten it from my dad, but it's funny. For all the effort I put into avoiding them, I actually have no real idea where it came from.

Anyway, it's a mild cold here in day 2, and it's a little anticlimactic, as I suppose these things must always be.

I'll try to post more, I just feel I'm in my usual holding pattern.