Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Long Time, No Post

I've got a couple of posts in mind, but for some reason I've been slow about actually writing them up. So here's a cut and paste from a yahoo forum post:
Life is carrying on. I've continued to make some progress, mostly with little stuff. Letting my clean clothes touch the (fairly dirty) floor and putting them away anyway. Mingling my clean and already worn clothes in the closet, which I haven't done for literally years.

I shopped at a thrift store this week, and attended my mom's big rummage sale, although I didn't summon the courage to help with cleanup like I usually do.Ordered a few things online, even though it scared me.

So, all good. I didn't ride the bus to work, but I did hop on a bus for a brief trip down the street when it rained on me this week [and I'm planning to ride to work tomorrow].

I'm working a bit on cognitive restructuring stuff. Despite my successes, I still wander through life with an undercurrent of dread, almost always related to changes in my routine. So I'm trying to retrain my brain that changes in routine can be exciting! fun! opportunities for awesomeness to come into my life! We'll see how that goes!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Running is Amazing

With the longer days and warmer weather, I've been running quite a bit. Some days it goes just okay, and some days are great! Today was a "great." My work day was pretty blah: I was feeling stressed about a few things and washed my hands after working with someone who was sick.

But it seems that when the run goes well, maybe I get some extra endorphins, because I was in such a great mood. I thought back on all the exposures I've succeeded at lately, I thought about some fun "scary social events" I could do, heck, even heading back into dating sounded fun.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Taking the Bus and Feeling Dread

My schedule changed a bit, so I took the bus to and from work yesterday. Wooo! I wasn't great- avoided touching stuff or people- but considering how long it's been, I still felt pretty good about it. I'm considering taking the bus home from the game tomorrow, too. We'll see.

But I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread that I haven't had in a while. Usually I can trace it to something specific I'm worried about, but I can't figure it out today. I guess it's always good to sit with it and just let it pass. Yuck.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taking the Bus

All week I've planned to (finally!) take the bus to work on Friday. It's been literally months since I rode the bus to work, something I used to do every day. I wasn't completely sure I would, though. Until...

I was driving home today and the check engine light came on. Luckily I work a short day on Wednesday, and I drove it straight to the shop. They diagnosed the trouble- it won't be cheap- but they can fix it on... wait for it... Friday! So, if I want to get to work that day, I'll be on the bus. With a bonus exposure of having someone's potentially germy self in my car, too.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hooray for Pasta Salad

At my workplace, we love potlucks. My entire department of 50 has them about three times a year, and my workplace knitting group has a monthly birthday potluck. I too love potlucks, but for about 5 years now, I've never brought a non-dessert item to a potluck. Baking kills all the germs, of course.

It hasn't always been this way, even with OCD. Back when I lived in Seattle, I'd host huge potlucks probably 3 times a year, inviting everyone I knew. I'd usually make a main dish and a huge fruit salad. But recently, I've become convinced I'd spread death and destruction through food poisoning.

When I was seeing my therapist, she encouraged me to bring cut up carrots to my book club, but the closest I got was bringing whole apples a couple of times. About a month ago, I thought about bringing pasta salad to the knitting potluck. I even bought all of the ingredients, but then I just skipped the potluck altogether. Bad.

Yesterday we had a potluck to celebrate the end of my boss's cancer treatment. I still had most of those pasta salad ingredients, and I went for it. There were a few unnecessary hand washes during the prep, but I definitely consider it a success. It tasted great, too.

I don't know quite where all this impetus for action is coming from, but it really builds on itself. I encourage you to try it if you haven't already! It feels (scary) and great!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hardest Exposure Ever-Or Hardest Response Prevention Anyway

Today I went to my knitting group. I didn't really want to, but I decided it was important, and I also decided before I went that I wouldn't shower right after, no matter what I encountered there.

So, of course, I sit next to "loud, large, sick" lady. Everything she did was big, and seemed to include touching me with something. She had a cold and coughed about 50 times (not an exaggeration) and covered her mouth during about 5 of those coughs, most directed right at me. She sneezed without covering her mouth either. She spit when she talked and spit when she coughed, and I saw it land on my leg.

And I know I have OCD and all, but who does that?!

So, yeah, it was super fun. I stayed for an hour and a half, though, and only inched away from her, umm, a couple of times. Which of course brought me too close the person on the other side of me, who probably thinks I'm weird now, but oh, well.

Now it's an hour later, and I haven't showered. I don't feel great about it, but my anxiety is going down, so that's good.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Last year, it seemed everywhere I went, I encountered vomit on the sidewalk. Lately, not so much. Until today, of course. I was on my run, and my first thought involved showers. But luckily, running always makes me more prone to actually follow through with ERP, so about five minutes later, I'd changed my mind and decided I didn't need a shower after all (I didn't step in it, just near it). This despite the fact that we're having a big party for my boss on Friday, and I sure don't want to get anyone sick.

I felt so energized by that decision, that I made it 50% further (farther?) than I'd intended on my run. So I guess it was a disgusting but good evening.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Learning Some Patience

As I've noted recently, the hardest thing for me to do is to not jump in and over manage my life when things make me nervous. Something I do A LOT is move visits to my family forward. For instance, I'll be scheduled to see them on the weekend, but I'll get this nervous OCD feeling that someone will be sick by the weekend, so I'll call on a Wednesday or Thursday and ask to come over and say hi that afternoon or evening.

This week I got that feeling on a Thursday, and for the first time I can remember, I chose to just sit with the anxiety, and schedule the meetings around my sister's schedule. So, we got together on Saturday, as originally planned. By Friday, the anxiety was pretty much gone, too. I also, for the first time in several months, didn't take a shower just prior to visiting family.

Both are big steps, both I hope I can maintain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Did!

I made it to the knitting night. Knitters are very nice people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Will I or Won't I?

For a while now I've been meaning to attend the open knitting night at the store near me. I haven't yet, for some good reasons, and some not so good reasons. Tomorrow's the night! Maybe. :) I'll report back tomorrow.