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!


  1. Now THAT is success! Congrats!!! I had that same success with the first two exposures that I did. It feels SO GOOD!!!!! YAY for you!!!

  2. Awesome! I've been afraid to use those things as well for many of the same reasons. But isn't it great to be able to give OCD a punch in the face? :) Congrats!

  3. Karin says:

    That's Great! A win and it's consistant: Woohoo!

  4. I love hearing about this progress! So awesome. I am recently trying to learn more about OCD and ways to defeat it. Any thoughts??

  5. Kelsey,
    There are some great books about OCD and its treatment out there. One oldie but goodie is Stop Obsessing, by Edna Foa and Reid Wilson. Likely to be available at the library (the others probably are, too). It was the first book I ever read about OCD and I still reread it about once a year.

    Other good ones include Freedom From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, by Jonathan Grayson

    The OCD Workbook, by Bruce Hyman and Cherry Pedrick

    and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders by Fred Penzel.