Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Night At The Game

Well, my night out with sister went pretty well. I did far far far more ruminating than is healthy, but I also did a ton of exposures.

They included
-not driving home from work to check that I'd turned off the bathroom fan. And for about 3 hours, boy did I want to!
-going straight from work to her house.
-using the restroom at her house.
-stopping at an event at her kids' elementary school before the game, where I interacted with about 25 kids. Ooh, germy kids! I didn't wash my hands after.
-using the same parking pass that I'd purchased earlier in the day. I wasn't convinced it was still good, but I took the risk. It was good.
-after first referring to the area under our seats as "grimy," so she wouldn't store her coat there, I later encouraged her to store her purse under the seat (although I have to confess that I probably wouldn't have if it had truly been grimy.)

So, all in all, a successful day, except that our team lost.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

OCD Lies

I think that if it weren't for OCD, I'd be a pretty honest person. I tell a decent amount of lies to get out of scary situations, like "I can't come over this weekend, I have a migraine."

Last night, my lies almost made me laugh, but they make me frustrated, too: As I noted, I'm going out with my sister tomorrow. I've spent HOURS planning the details to make myself comfortable. Where should we park, when should we meet, and more that I'm too embarrassed to mention.

Anyway, last night she calls to confirm the details and I say, well, I've been thinking we could park at my work, it's close to the train, in case it rains. But you know, let's just wait and see, we can wing, it. Hahaha. But then there was more. I say outloud, "hmm, do I need to bring anything? Just the tickets I guess. That's easy." Umm, Ann, what about the list of ten items you made three days ago, including earplugs in case she doesn't have any, extra bus ticket in case the train is too full, extra money for parking in case "winging" it doesn't work out, umbrella in case she wants it.

I'm such a liar. Stupid OCD.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time For Another Post

I've got nothing. I'm fighting against the usual "if I just avoid getting sick until "x" date, then I go full on with exposures. That's been going on for oh, two years now, so I don't think there's some magical date out there that's going to make that work. So I'm trying to charge on through.

In the meantime, I'm engaging in rumination about a night out with my sister on Thursday. It's a tight schedule, and outside my normal routine. Both of these are not easy for me. At least it's an event I'm looking forward to, that helps.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Well, I Got Out of Bed

This morning, I was lying in bed, remembering that I have two meetings today with a guy who has a really bad cold. Oh, I thought, maybe I'm sick and need to stay home. But I wasn't. And avoidance is bad, yadda yadda. So I got up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rummaging in the Laundry

Speaking of unplanned exposures. Today I was 5 minutes from leaving for a viewing party for the playoffs. I had to wear my lucky shirt! It was in the dirty clothes pile. Ack!!! I pulled it out, and put it on. I felt pretty gross for about 30 minutes, then mostly forgot about it. I cannot remember the last time (years and years and years) that I did that. Even came home and sat on the couch in the grubby shirt.

Turns out it's maybe not so lucky after all, though. Or maybe it has to be clean to be lucky. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Planning Exposures

Sometimes I plan exposures ahead of time. Other times I just wait for them to come along. Often I do a little of both. But I've spending more time mapping them out at the beginning of the week lately and I really think it works better. Mostly because when I haven't planned ahead, I tend to be surprised and decide, well, I'll just save that for later. When I've planned it ahead, I've had a chance to work all the anticipatory anxiety out of my system and by the time I actually do the exposure, it's often no big deal.

However, when I DO make myself do the "spontaneous" exposures, there is one huge advantage- that of experiencing the anxiety spike and then drop. Last weekend I walked down an alley in my neighborhood. It was muddy, and FULL of junk. Just walking through it made my heart start beating faster. But within 15 minutes, I felt fine.

Huh, so I came to write that planned exposures are better, but apparently I just noted that both have great advantages. Guess I'll keep on with both.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mixed Messages in the Media

Recently I was reading a six month-oldish issue of Health magazine. Early on, there was an article by a columnist in which she notes that she used to be a germaphobe but had recently realized it was all a little pointless, and she'd mellowed out about it all. Well, that's cool, we could all use some mellowing about germs. But wait! At the bottom of the page is a caveat from the editors. It says, "What really does need disinfecting?" and directs us to page 183. And yes, there on page 183 is a standard "Germs Are Everywhere and They Are Out to Get You!" article, including the latest from good old Clorox-funded (or is is Lysol? maybe both) Charles Gerba.

So yeah, among other things we learn we should disinfect the remote control AT LEAST every couple of DAYS! Okay, in my germaphobiest days, I have never actually disinfected my remotes. I think I did clean a couple of them once, ever. Oh and did you know you should change your toothbrush once a month? Really, is Oral B funding this research now?

Now, I know that I'm a little sensitive to this stuff. But sheesh.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Mail

I've been doing pretty well on mail, taking it in every day and reading it without delay and without washing my hands. Until today. For some reason today I was resisting reading the mail right away. But then I looked down and saw what was on the top. Why, it was the flyer about the International OCD Foundation's annual conference. Hahaha, I picked it up and read it.

In other news, this week my favorite animal sanctuary is having a work party, the first of the year. The weather forecast even calls for sun. I will have to contemplate. I should go, but I'm not quite sure I'm there yet. There will be lots and lots of manure. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Retraining the Brain

Recently while browsing in my local library's mental health section, I picked up a book on long term recovery from eating disorders. Cognitive therapy is an important piece for many people. I found a quote that's very relevant to OCD: "My disorder was a path I'd created early on and worn through use into a superhighway.... Recovery was all about clearing new paths to healthier destinations, using them and reusing them until these new roads were as wide open as the old disordered one. If I stayed off that old highway long enough, it would get so overgrown it wasn't accessible anymore. That's why recovery was so hard at first, but also why it got easier and easier as I kept at it." Seems just right. (Excerpt from Gaining, by Aimee Liu)