Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update: Cleaning/ Showering ERPs

Fri. dec. 2.  I DID IT I DID IT I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did the laundry, had a shower and got dressed in less than an hour!!  And I didn’t have the ‘feel’ that I was missing something, or should shower longer!  AND I even put the 'garbage day pants' from Monday in the washer and put it on the setting I usually use.  No extra long washing cycle.  I washed my hands after I put them in the machine and yes, I did  feel a little dread and was more ‘aware’ of me washing my hands before I stepped into the shower but after that no problem.  Didn’t feel ‘extra’ dirty like I normally would because of 'garbage day' pants. 

 Actually I did it all by accident. I forgot I’d put those pants in the laundry bin instead of beside it, so I was a little taken aback when I realized what I had done.  But it was a great accidental erp.

  I did realize that maybe, just maybe if I become accustomed to doing this and not feeling totally dirty, I might be able to do the laundry and just wash my hands and feel I am clean- without showering afterwards.  Even 2 weeks ago I would have thought that an impossibility for me. Just thinking about it gave me the creeps.  Now, I can entertain the thought.  And that is the first step to actually doing it.

I went to aqua-fitness at the Y.  Afterwards I decided to take a quick shower.  Stupid me.  I HAD to notice there were black dots on the dark green shower curtain.  BAMM ocd hit so hard.  Mold, what else could it be???  I washed my hands and arms especially hard after I noticed that and got out .  the feelings didn’t go away.  My bathing suit, towel, bag were all covered in ocd mold- amazing how fast that stuff grows!  Washing my hands again (I think) before I leave but not before I pick up the bag which then negates said handwashing, I drive home.  Still freaking out in my mind.

  Did think tho about what Ann wrote to me on my blog- that she doesn’t worry about mildew, so I used that to calm me down a bit. That worked til i got home.

 Called Bruce for some reassurance- well mostly to make me feel better- and of course he didn’t. he  told me there wasn’t anything wrong and to just tell ocd to ‘show me the dirt’.  Well, how rude, to use my own stuff against me!!!!!!!!  so what did I do?  I hung up my suit and towel and WITHOUT washing my hands, I went upstairs and used HIS computer to find and print off my monthly bank statement.  I called him back after I was done and let him know his computer is now contaminated.  He congradulated me instead of showing any even teensy bit of concern about his computer.  HUMPH.

Why is it that ocd still surprises me with how LOUD and INTENSE it  can be? It feels like I have gone thru a battle.  By the time DREAD leaves, I am exhausted and just want to veg out on my computer. 

Sun. de.4  Cleaned the  2- piece bathroom and didn’t feel like I had toxic dirt on me!  I had a shower (17 min.)  a bit longer than normal.  Didn’t use up the whole bar of soap either! Didn’t wash my hands after getting out of the shower.  Still have a ‘problem’ with the tiled wall.  I refuse to NOT rewashanything that touches those tiles. 

My head doesn’t want me to go back to the Y locker room, unless I use another bathing suit and towel and a totally different locker area.  I’m not sure that’s necessary but not sure how to unlodge the thought.  I went swimming anyway but took another suit and towel because I didn’t want to deal with OCD. I also didn’t touch the shower curtains there, nor put the suit into the spinner because I’d used it on Fri. Sigh. Not to good on that exposure. Did have a good time swimming. :)

 Mon dec. 5  I’m sitting here after I just finished mopping the kitchen floor.  Waiting for dread to start?  So far so good.  I only (ONLY?!) washed my hands  4 times.  Once after sweeping, once after bringing the pail upstairs, once after I put everything downstairs and threw the water out, and the last time after I wiped up the water spills from throwing out the water.  I also banged my elbow and back on furniture and it didn’t feel like those things were now contaminated (because doing a dirty job means everything I touch accidently is also contaminated) so that was good. 

Question:  why is it that I can spot minute black specks on a dark green curtain while opening it and yet not remember what I did with my credit card after I used it last Tuesday?  You’d think that if I can do the former, my brain would automatically take a picture of me doing ???? with my card so I could find it now.  Then at least ocd's scrutinizing behaviors would be useful for something. 

Took out the garbage and had a shower.  21 min. so it was longer than ‘necessary’.  Came out with an elbow that touched the shower curtain and didn’t wash hands afterwards.  Was kind of scary going to tuck KD in cause DREAD was starting his rant again.  Got into her bed anyway, went over her French vocabulary sheet and read her a story.  Felt ok by that time.   

 Dec 7.  Showered after laundry: 15 min.  So far so good.  Suzanne wants me to write a thought sheet about cleaning the mildew from around the tub.  Cant I just take another pill and be comfortable with it?  Maybe 2 or 3…  long time ago in a past life I used to be able to clean tiles and it didn’t bother me.  even bleached them every so often. 

I looked at the tiles in the shower and there doesn’t seem to be that many tiles there.  Up til today I’d swear the tub surround was 20 feet long and 10 feet wide.  A 3 or more hour job.  Today it looked like a half hour or less.  How hard can it be?  And then I’d be free of 1 more contamination point in the house.  Cause afterwards I’d keep it up instead of being afraid of it like in the past 2 years. 

Here I go, back into the torture chamber.  My Christmas present to me.

Sat. morning I did my thought record and then went and de-mildewed the bathroom.   Glad it was finally over.  Not that that has changed my fear of the tiles.  It just makes it irrational now.

Thought Record:
Situation:             Clean mildew off shower walls.
Automatic Thots: It's gross. Afraid it won't stay cleaned and i'll have to do it AGAIN.  It seems like such a big job.  I'd rather sleep.

Evidence to support above thots:  Too many bad memories about getting mildew off the ceiling at
another house.  It kept coming back.  I Don't like the bleach fumes.

Evidence that does NOT support automatic thots: I did this at another one of our houses and it
worked just fine.  This has plenty of room between the  shower curtain and the ceiling for air to curculate around and dry the ceiling.  The other house had an ornamental valance covering up almost all the space from the ceiling to the shower curtain. 

Alternative thots:  Just put on some bouncy music.  From then on I can shower quickly without worrying about what i might touch.