Saturday, January 24, 2015

Odds and Ends for January

I'm charging right along. I got the job I interviewed for, and even started last week. It's only one or two days a week, but it's a guarantee that I'll get out of the house. OCD creeps in: I find myself wanting to stay in the house so I don't get sick and have to call in so early in the job. Then I remind myself that I'm not allowed to do things like that anymore, and I head out to the store or to a restaurant to bask in some germs. The job itself makes my OCD twitch- am I doing it right, do they think I'm stupid, etc. etc- but there's nothing to do but let those thoughts hang out there and continue right along with life. I succeed at that to varying degrees.

The other day I was at my sister's house, and my brother-in-law, who works in an emergency room, came home from work. "You would not believe how much flu is out there right now!" he exclaimed. Thanks for the info! One sign of improvement, is that I'm moving from such a statement making me angry/irritable- I don't want to know this- to almost immediately being able to view it as just another exposure.

And finally, today my water heater started leaking. My landlords came over to fix it, and I was bothered less than usual about people clomping through the house. Well, I think I was anyway. I'm choosing to focus on the positive this weekend, so there you have it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moving in the Right Direction

As I noted in my New Year's post, I have decided to work toward a bunch of goals this year. Last week I took some action on several of them, with mixed results. I don't mind the negatives as much as I expected though, because it still indicates that I'm moving!

One the positive side, I have a job interview tomorrow. Woo! On the not so positive side, I reached out to someone I was interested in from my old job, and it appears my interest wasn't reciprocated. A disappointment, but not a crushing one.

I spent more time out of my house this week than I have in ages, and I have 5, count 'em 5! activities scheduled for the coming week. I've been surprised how happy being around other people has made me lately.

So, all in all, I'm feeling pretty good. Not working combined with a warm winter has allowed me to do a ton of exercising this winter. I can feel it helping with my mood, so that stays on the agenda for sure.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Having Visitors

Today both of my parents stopped by my house. I can't remember the last time they were both here. Actually, they've never both been here at the new place, now that I think about it, and it's been 6 months since my dad was here at all. They didn't need to visit, and I asked them to stop by purely for exposure's sake. I see them quite often, but it's almost always somewhere else.

It was inadvertently more of an exposure than I expected. My parents' washer line was leaking and the day before the visit, they'd had to call a plumber. It made me nervous not knowing what the plumber may have tracked into their house. Although I must say that by the time my parents actually arrived at my home, I'd forgotten about the plumber altogether.

But I was also anxious because while the forecast called for sun, it rained yesterday. By my reckoning, wet shoes track it more than dry shoes. Which is probably true, now that I think about it. Anyway, wet shoes, ugh. It would be my preference that shoes come off at the door, especially now that I have wall to wall carpeting, but in the name of doing a tough exposure, I didn't request that they take them off. Didn't even make any snarky comments when they didn't wipe their feet on the doormat.

I always hope they won't need to use my bathroom, but of course they did, and hands may or may not have been washed afterwards. So all in all, a decent bunch of exposures for me.

I was reminded of something that I don't have to deal with when I'm not around many people: when I get stressed, I'm not a good conversationalist. I end up being slightly dismissive of things people say, because my brain can't provide the concentration needed for a full conversation. Then of course I ruminate about the fact that I was rude. It's always something!

The other thing that happens at the end of a good exposure? First I get excited, then I immediately remember that to really succeed, I have to do this again and again! So, first exposure down, xx many more to go!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Here's to a New Year!

Happy New Year. After noting that I hoped to blog more regularly, it's probably not shocking that I didn't. But here we are, New Year's Day, and while I haven't been posting a lot, I have been thinking about my OCD quite a lot.

To me, I think the clearest guide to how to react to my anxiety is to move toward what I want. While my life is really all about me pretty much all the time, I still make decisions that take me away from what I want almost every single day.

What I want: to work (very) part time, to volunteer each week, to pursue a relationship, to organize events for a groups of friends here in town, to not avoid people for fear of getting sick. Which of these have I done since leaving my job three months ago? Not one (although I have applied for two part time jobs).

I also think in another year-ish, I'd like to try a different apartment, and I can already work up anxiety over that.

If you were to ask me if OCD is currently limiting my life, my first reaction would be "no." But that's only because I spend most of my time reading and walking and watching movies. By myself. I enjoy these things, but they're not goals, they're not things that motivate me to get out of the bed in the morning.

So that's my goal for the new year: to get better and better at making the choice that moves me toward what I want. It's not new or innovative, but having a lot of free time has made me realize that 40 years of retirement will be a slog at my current pace, rather than a joy.