Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When the Universe Says Yes Yes Yes and OCD Says No No No

As I sort of mentioned in the last post, I backed out of a basketball game on Sunday. The reason I said yes in the first place, is that the universe seemed to be telling me to go.

It was a game my dad and I had considered attending months ago, the night was a fundraiser for a non-profit that my mom's on the board of, it was a Sunday game so it would end early and I wouldn't lose sleep on a "school" night, it was a game that our not-very-good team had a chance of winning. So I had considered buying a ticket anyway. But chose not to spend the money. But then, on Sunday morning I was offered a free ticket (approx $50 value). I normally wouldn't even have checked that email. It was a really really good ticket with a great view. My potential seat mate was someone I knew well enough that it wouldn't be awkward (always a consideration). Could there have been any greater sign I was supposed to go? Not so much. Add to it, it would be a fabulous OCD exposure!

So I told my friend I'd love to go. Then I went to mow the lawn. And my brain started humming. I thought to myself, well, for a free ticket, normal etiquette says you buy the ticket provider a beer. And oh my gosh, what if he was drunk on the beer I bought him and got in an accident on the way home and died. Or even worse, killed someone else. Let's not take into account the fact that this guy's had season tickets for at least 4 years- I could see him in his seat from mine. That means he's managed to get home without killing anyone, oh, about 160 times so far. Didn't matter, OCD said, there's always a first time. Plus my buying the beer would change up the timing.

Sigh. Really? I bought that? I backed out of the game? Yep, I did. My team won in a squeaker, by the way. Everyone lived.


  1. I hate trying to make decisions when OCD is getting in on the conversation. Sometimes it makes it difficult for me to decipher what I really want to do.

    At least you recognized that OCD was making you not go. You'll get other chances for exposures. You're doing great!

  2. Oh I can sooooo relate!!! The other night I went to a Madmen season premiere night at a friends. I was in charge of dessert. I took a Jello mold (a la 1960's). I used half regular Jello and half sugar-free Jello - not thinking that we would be serving some to her three year old daughter. Well - my OCD got on top of that. "Should 3 year olds have aspartame? Is it poisonous for them? What if she has an allergic reaction to the aspartame and dies?" Did I Google aspartame for kids? Yep. Did I sleep that entire night? Nope. Did I try and try and try to reassure myself and figure out if the whole thing was safe? ALL NIGHT. I couldn't WAIT to talk to my friend the next morning to make sure her daughter was still alive. Ugh. My friend's daughter is fine.....but believe me OCD has said to me that I might have somehow poisoned her body so that someday years from now she gets cancer or something horrible.

  3. dear pure O - this is the part of CBT that fails for me - the part about waiting with the anxiety to see that nothing happens and the anxiety fades - but my OCD is like you describe - what if something happens some day years from now. bloody hell, I can't wait that long! take care - btw jello and aspartame one time never has and never will hurt anyone

  4. POC, that sounds SO much like the kind of fears I get. On the one hand I'm getting better at dealing with them, because I'm too embarrassed to ever call someone and ask if I've harmed them. So I have no choice but to wait, and the anxiety does go down. But I just hate the waiting! I THINK I'm getting better at reminding myself that it will feel better soon, but I still don't like it.