Saturday, June 25, 2011

The House Is Still Standing

My sister returned home today, and all was well. I ended up going over there twice. The first time I was so proud of myself. When I went to leave, I locked the door, checked it once, walked away. Felt good about it. But that wouldn't do, would it? So you know what I grew worried about within about a block of my drive home?! That the refrigerator had stayed open a crack and the cat would climb in and suffocate. How many cats do you know that have died that way? Yeah, same here.

On the plus side, I recognized how counterproductive it would be to return and check, so I continued home. If the cat died, I would feel bad, and I would deal with it when it happened. Of course the cat was fine. The second night I was a little stressed when I left, but it was much better. Overall, I was really glad to have done it, as housesitting is something that's caused me problems for a while.

In the meantime, I found some home canned goods at my mom's house from, I kid you not, 1994. Botulism fears, here I go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Chance For A Bunch of Exposures

This week I'm stopping at my sister's to feed the cat while they're out of town. Some serious challenges there. I haven't actually done it yet, and I worked myself up into a pretty decent OCD lather earlier in the week. It's one thing to leave my own doors open and ruin the world, but someone else's house? Yikes! But I know I can do it. Besides, she usually has some good snacks in the cupboards. :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Next Step

Okay, here's what I'm working on now. Just going to social events because they sound fun (or in the case of some, because I should or need to) without doing a massive analysis: what will the weather be like, who else will be there, will they be sick, is someone close to me doing something important soon such that I want to avoid being sick, etc., etc...

I'm shy enough that I know some events (such as dates) will simply always make me nervous. But I REALLY want to skip the OCD piece of the social anxiety puzzle.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Change in Perspective

About a year ago, well, maybe a bit more, my workplace installed newfangled hand dryers in the bathroom. It turns out the modern version actually gets your hands dry, unlike the dryers I grew up with. But nobody much uses them. Some people think they use too much energy, but I suspect that most people, even those without OCD, have the idea that you're just covering your hands in "germy bathroom air" by using them.

I mentioned them to my therapist (which is why it must have been more than a year ago) and she of course told me I should use the hand dryer. My pre-OCD, super environmentalist self would surely have done it. Energy or not, I suspect it's better than the two paper towels you have to use because one doesn't quite do it. But I resisted, it was scary.

When I did use the dryer, it all seemed so germy. The air blew in my face, water would sometimes splash up in my face because the air movement was so strong, and it blows straight up. And oh my gosh, did my hand just touch the edge of that thing???!!!

For whatever reason, about 2 weeks ago, I decided I would use the hand dryer once each day. And lo and behold, it's different now. The air in my face doesn't bother me. Mostly my perception is that it feels so good to have my hands warmed by the nice air. Dare I say I LOOK FORWARD to using the darned thing? Unbelievable! Take that, OCD!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Humming Along, Mostly

I'm having a lot of OCD issues around cats lately, mine, my neighbors' and my sister's.

But except for the cats, things are going well. My mood remains in summer mode. Did two good things over the weekend. The first: I made cupcakes for my sister's family, then they sat in a warm car for a few hours. Despite my fear that the frosting might food poison them, I served them the cupcakes.

The other: my mom purchased a new recliner at a garage sale. Of course my mind went straight to bedbugs. And of course she asked me to help her move the chair when I was over visiting. I did give the chair a cursory bug inspection, but only after I'd helped her lug the chair around. Then went home and didn't take a shower.

Oh, and another big picture sign of busting through OCD: I pick up worms again. I hate seeing worms crawling on the sidewalk after a rain, because I know they're likely to dry up and die. In the "olden days," I would pick them up and move them back to the grass or garden, but in recent years I didn't want to touch them. Not the worm so much as the "sidewalk germs." Three times in the last two weeks I've "rescued" a worm. It felt good.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Good and Bad

The other day I woke up worried about something. I SO wanted to call my sister. It was 7:15. I knew she'd be up, but it was just too weird to call that early. Okay, I could handle waiting until later in the morning. Oh, but calling from work, that's OCD for sure. Okay, I'll wait until after work, that's normal, we talk all the time. By the time I got home from work, my worry was gone. Yay!

BUT, at the same time, I found myself making decisions this week based on a fear of having a cold this weekend, since I was getting together with the whole family. Not good.

BUT on the more positive side, despite that, I've basically been able to touch everything at work that I ever need or want to, without washing afterward. It's so nice to not wonder if the accountants are noticing me washing my hands over and over again on their end of the floor.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Difference in Light, Difference in Mood

I have lived in the NW for all but 6 years of my life. The winters here are gray and rainy, and it gets dark quite early. I've never felt that it affected me that much. Until I realized that the three occasions that I've made the decision to temporarily take medication have all been in November or December, usually as a result in a jump in my feelings of depression.

Twice in the last week I've gotten out of bed about an hour before my alarm went off. Not because I was too anxious to sleep, as sometimes happens, but because I was awake and ready to get up. Last winter I felt like I needed 9-10 hours of sleep each night. Now 8 is working well.

Last December, when the boyfriend and I went to Phoenix, I was amazed at how happy I was while there, even as my relationship was falling apart. I may need to become a snowbird for real.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Was That Really Me?

Yesterday I went to the year end "carnival" with my sister and nieces at their school. For whatever reason, I decided to pretty much go for it. I sat in the "mini dunk tank" where I got splashed with a water balloon. I did the sack race. I touched a zillion things that had been touched by a zillion elementary school kids. I hula-hooped with a communal hula-hoop for goodness sake. They had a cotton candy machine, and as a result little wisps of cotton candy were floating through the air all night. The part where I thought, was that really me? was when a piece of cotton candy floated through the air and landed on my leg. I reached down and I ate it. It was delicious.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Magical Thinking

One issue I'm trying to overcome is some magical thinking (in a nutshell, magical thinking is the idea that just because you think about something, it will happen) : two of my cats have died in recent years after going to the vet. And while yes, both needed to go to the vet, in both cases I think actions by the vet precipitated problems that might not have occurred if I'd stayed home. In one case this is probably OCD thinking, the other isn't, the cat really was overtreated.

ANYWAY, my remaining cat hasn't been to the vet in 5 years. He's super healthy (I think), but he should probably go.

Compounding this, is knowing two single women who were both diagnosed with cancer within a couple of months of having their last cat die. So I'm like, No, Max, you cannot die!!!! Making taking him to the vet seem even scarier.

Yes, magical thinking, all. But it's very strong. I don't have too many issues that are purely magical thinking. My germ fears are at least based in some sense of reality. But I find the "magical" types of fears much harder to deal with.