Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Got a Cold

Last weekend I got a terrible cold. I ended up taking three (!) days off from work this week. That set off a round of worry. So much work to be done! I missed a training that I was told I HAD to attend.

I missed a deadline (which I just don't do). I worried that they'd think I faked the cold.

In the end, no one much cared that I missed the training, missing the deadline (by a day) didn't cause the world to end or my boss to fire me. I still sounded so terrible when I finally returned that it was clear I was sick. And in fact multiple people thanked me for staying home and not infecting them, as so many of my coworkers seem to do.

So once again, all that worry for nothing. And I did not infect any of my family, including those I saw the night before I fell ill.

Every time I get sick, I become convinced I've entered a cycle of illness, that I'll take days and days off and get in trouble. Has this ever happened? Well, no.

So on Thursday, my first day back, I made myself run a bunch of germy errands after work: I used a pen at the bank (the pen that's attached to the counter with a chain!), then I used the ATM, I touched the self check out screens at the grocery store. Then I stopped briefly at the library.

That bank pen in particular caused some stress, but I really really want to push myself to do this type of exposure more often. And what I also need to be sure to do is not come home and "disinfect" myself after I do.


  1. I'm sorry about your cold, and I hope you're feeling better.

    I worry when I miss work for illness, too. I'm afraid that others will think I'm faking it, that it will be the "last straw" and I'll be fired, etc. The worry ends up coming to nothing.

    Good for you for doing the exposures! You are so dedicated and persevering in your fight against OCD--you're a real inspiration to me!

  2. Ann, your determination is inspiring as always! Here's hoping that was the last illness you'll have this season. Feeling ill is the worst- until you couple it with OCD - then it's worse than worse! :) Thanks for setting a good example for me. I think I'll try to push myself harder this week, too. xo

  3. I hope you continue to feel better, Ann. Good for you for going on an "exposure spree." So impressive!

  4. Oh I hope you feel better soon. I recently had a bad cold and it was miserable!

    Wow, you totally rock. I cant believe how proactive you are about facing your fears. You are such an inspiration.

  5. YES! I worry about missing work, too. I sit at home imagining all my coworkers and boss having a gabfest about what a lazy slacker I am. Doesn't matter that this scenario has never, ever happened... it still feels real. I thought I was the only person who worried about this. Decades with OCD, and I still get excited when I find other "awesome" people like me. ;) Love your blog!

  6. OCD can be downright miserable, can it not? I have been suffering since the age of ten, and sometimes I am so overwhelmed with anxiety that I can't find a single shred of peace in my life. I, too, write a blog about my sufferings and struggles, and I try to incorporate as much humor as possible into what can sometimes be a dire situation. I figure if we can find laughter in our obsessions and compulsions, then we might just be okay :)

  7. Oh God yes...that incessant worrying of missing a deadline, gets me every time! By the way,I just found your blog and other OCD related ones a few days ago and started my own one just today! Would mean a lot if you or your followers would check it out:
    Also about OCD, but from an 18 year-old's perspective. :)