Sunday, September 25, 2011

...Come Such a Long Long Way, Still Got A Long Way To Go....

Two days ago i was rather depressed at the fact that i have ocd in my life.  Then yesterday we went on a day-long round trip visiting the dentist, my father-in-law,the ice-cream place, my brother and then back home.  I noticed that for the most part i was ocd-free.  I still thot about it- asking dh if he washed his hands after hitching and unhitching the utility trailer we returned to my brother, making sure noone bumped into the garbage can on the walkway to a sub shop, how to get around a person who looked like he came into the eatery right after he finished fixing the engine on his truck without touching him or the place he touched the door handle and of course without looking like i'm avoiding him like the plague :). 

But all those things were small items.  A pain in the butt, but not enuf to stop going outside my house ( once upon a time, 4 years ago i was ALMOST at the point of staying put inside because EVERYTHING was dirty, potentially making me and my house and clothes dirty, or worse yet I would contaminate everyone/ everything else because i was so contaminated just by living.) 

So it's not everywhere that i have a problem.  It's mostly inside.  The shower, the taps,  the laundry, taking too long to shower or wash my hands.  Then add the possible mice and mold and garbage.  Those 3 are the trouble -makers.  If only i could eliminate them from the world.

I have gotten better; not as good as i'd like.  But i can still live live and enjoy it at least half the time.  Just have to work on the other half... and i have both the time and a counselor who will kick my butt in the right direction.  So as they say in Lewis' The Last Battle:  Onward and Upward!  And that means work, painful work on my part. 

It might not be perfect, but it's MY life.  And it's ok.

NB.  The title came from a line in a song: One More Mountain To Climb by Neil Sedaka

Thursday, September 08, 2011

My Pet Peeve

My husband hangs his bath towel on the back of the bathroom door.  A few days ago while I was doing some cleaning in the bathroom I (might have) accidently touched my husband’ s bath towel with my cleaning paper towel. If I didn’t actually touch it I came close enuf that it felt dirty to me anyways.  Now normally what is touched by a cleaning towel gets cleaner, right?  Well that’s not what happens if I didn’t MEAN to touch it.  Then for some reason it gets dirtier.  So the bath towel now has 'dirt' on it. From where?  The back of the door might have been touched by the dirty mildewy shower curtain that I finally got rid of (that’s a whole other event) and so if the cleaning  paper towel touched the bath towel, mildewy dirt got transferred TO the towel.  And/ or MAYBE the back of the cleaning towel where I touched it with my hand happened to get on the bath towel.  It’s hard to know for sure, because it’s all Invisible dirt. 

 I meant to tell my husband to put that towel in the dirty laundry before he took his next shower.  He broke routine and had one that evening when I was NOT thinking about the mess I created that morning.  So after his shower he (naturally) dried himself off using that towel, because he can’t read my mind.  I ask him if the above scenario makes him feel dirty after drying off with that towel and he says no.  So we discuss it a bit.  Then I decide he is right and he is not contaminated  so it’s ok to touch him.  Then I touch the night light to go to sleep.  The next day I am re-concerned about the whole thing, so don’t want to touch the light.  I had changed the sheets but didn't clean the light off.  I could clean the light but that would be giving in to the ocd.

  I decided not to clean the light but for the next few days wouldn’t touch it.  So no reading in bed at night L.  Finally, last night I decided to go for it.  I touched it, and nothing happened- except the light turned on.  No bad feelings or emotions ( I guess I already flooded my mind with that over the past few days thinking about touching it , so they were all gone) but – and here’s the  pet peeve- NO GREAT FEELING OF EUPHORIA EITHER.  After all that mental thought and finally action, I expected some internal choir or clapping or SOMETHING that said whoohoo!!!!!!! Fantastic job!!!!!!  Nope, nothing.  I touched my book and pencil.  Nothing.  Well, a bit of insecurity about dirtying up my Harry Potter book, but that went away quickly.  All I got was the chance to read my book.  Where’s the thrill of doing something hard??  I wasn’t expecting to actually HEAR cheers, although that would have been great too.  But no flood of endorphins or feel-great hormones.  That’s not fair.  There was no guarantee I’d be ok with touching the light.  So it was a risk.  As risky as jumping off a bridge with a bungee cord. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I took a mental holiday.

I avoided all things ocd as much as i could- except taking my daily meds.  I didn't feel like blogging, or writing much in my journal.  I just wanted a vacation from ocd.  Not that ocd took a vacation from me.  I didn't want to THINK about it, try to figure it out or wonder why it wasn't working.  So i avoided this blog and everyone else's.  Sorry!

School has started and dd is back to her routine... except of course going to bed.  Still fights that one all the way   until she is finally in bed and we start reading.  Then she's happy again. 

Back to ocd.  I was doing ok in July; maybe because i spent a lot of it swimming at the beach (no ocd about that at all) with dd as she had swim lessons.

 And i went kayaking which was ok until one night when all the kayaks outside the boathouse were already taken and i was left with a dusty one on the floor right beside a garbage bag. So automatically we have a problem.  I don't like touching garbage bags because they have, you know, GARBAGE in them.  No, i didn't run away, but mentally tried to figure out what to do.  Also then as the canoe was dirty Mice was the next logical thot (for me).  Even tho the coach said, NO MICE in the boathouse,.So  every time i went after that day i still had to get thots of garbage and mice out of my mind.  So now a fun exercise  sport became an exercise in fighting ocd thots.. Naturally my desire to go decreased. And as it was often cloudy or actually rainy, i didnt go as much as i did in july.  Also we went camping for a week but that was cold and rainy too. 

 Our shower curtain was dirty and gungy so i finally decided to get rid of it.  Sounds easy?  ha!  not with ocd.  I wore 2 bags on my hands to pull the curtain down, then used one bag of those grocery bags to put it in.  i took it outside to the garbage bag. Try getting a bag into a garbage bag using only 1 hand. Then i had to put the garbage bag into the garbage can without getting the can contaminated by shower mold.   only that didn't work out so well.  i guess i didn't think it thru enuf or stuff just happened.  Fortunately it rained that night so in my mind all the moldy contamination on the outside of the garbage can got washed clean.  Of course that didn't make the garbage can clean enuf to touch without washing hands.  Just not extra dirty.  Because the garbage man touches it with his gloves, after touching other garbage.  So far he hasn't dumped the whole can in the truck ( i don't think) but i have to assume that one day he will.

I never had this problem with shower curtains/ bathroom mildew before this   ocd hit around the time of dd 's birth.  Once upon a time i could  put it in the washing machine.   Now that  seems way to gross to consider doing. 

Knowing i didn't used to be this paranoid gives me hope that one day i can go back to that state of mind.  It is just such a fight.  Continually. Even when i do the thing i still have a constant feeling of dread, that stays for a long time, til i forget why it was there in the first place.  Sometimes i get a feeling of relief and the dread goes away but often it just builds up in the back of my body and i just live with it there.  Draining my energy.

Maybe that is why i sleep for as long as i can in the morning.

 Do any of you have a hard time getting up, even if you haven't had a hard time falling asleep ( not due to insomnia, )?  I can sleep fo r10 hours and still get up tired and groggy.  I'm trying to work on getting up and staying up in the morning.  Or is that a whole different problem? 

Now i will go back to reading and responding to all your blogs. 
I hope you all had a great summer.  DD and i found some funny books to read together ( the Junie B. Jones series). She is five and i love reading to her.  And we had fun playing together in the water. Our 21 yr old came home from university for a few weeks.  Usually that would also be a time of stress for me as i'd have to make sure he washed his hands when he was 'supposed' to.  This year i have learned to NOT have to wash hands just because i came in the door from shopping etc.  So it's been more like the family's all together again, not 'here's another person to moniter'.  So that was good.