Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and a Little Bit of Ugly

This entry is mostly reposted from another forum where I participate; apologies if anyone has to read it twice:

Today's huge exposure was to clean up the crafts area at the rummage sale that my mom is in charge of. I've avoided cleaning up there for several years now, and not only was I cleaning up, I was putting a bunch of boxes in my car and taking them to a donation center. I did it! I also stayed another hour cleaning up in the crafts/linens room before donating. I was really happy with this accomplishment.

It was not without some pretty terrible side effects. Unfortunately, my mom is an extremely impatient person, and she was also somewhat sleep deprived, having devoted her entire life to this sale for about the last two weeks. So she was"helping" me clean up and her style is "go go go." When I told her she needed to let me slow down and micromanage a bit, she either didn't hear me, or she simply ignored me. When I had a mild panic attack as a result, she didn't notice until about two steps too late.

She left to get her car to put the overflow from my car, leaving the nice 75 year old men who were helping (it was a benefit for the local senior center) literally following me around the parking lot with grocery carts full of boxes, asking where I wanted them to go. At which point, I burst into tears. I would say it was the most embarrassed I've ever been in public in 17 years of having OCD.

Then of course after I got myself back together, the 75 year old men apologized for "making" me cry, at which point I cried again.

All my mom's nice friends were extra nice to me. And to be honest the 40-year old "kids" of the senior center volunteers who chip in to help are often a little bit "special needs" so I guess I fit the bill just fine.

ANYWAY, despite the horror, I don't regret it. And it's good to see what I might do a little different in the future. [this might not have been the best context for exposure]

AND here are some other awesome things I did this week (I had two vacation days). These are all things that cause me contamination fears but that I otherwise want to do/really enjoy:
- got a massage
- took my bike into the shop
- stopped at the optometrist to check in on my glasses order
- volunteered with a group of strangers who all knew each other and I didn't die
- went to lunch by myself and didn't read a book
- went to my sister's to cat sit and used the phone at the "house o' lice" I will admit this one was an accident- when I remembered I freaked a bit, but didn't clean anything off.

It's been quite a week!


  1. Ann, I enjoy reading about your exposures and how you deal with them. You write with a lot of honesty and humor. Way to go on all the exposures this week! And you faced the exposures while doing good things like volunteering and helping others. I am inspired by your work!

  2. Wow - Ann you like superwoman this week!!!! Congrats on all the incredible work you did. So proud of you!!!

    (Sorry you felt so bad about crying - but hey, I think we've all had a cry in public at one time or another!)

  3. Wow, you accomplished so much this week! And I love how you've dealt with the "crying episode." We've all been embarrassed at times, and I'm glad you are focusing instead on all the positives.......

  4. the house o' lice!!!!!
    ok, now I have to clean up the coffee I just snorted everywhere :)

    controlling impatient mums? I can relate to that...go ahead and have a good public snotfest, you deserve it!!!