Saturday, January 07, 2012

AAAARG!!!!! Here I Am Waiting For Dread To Leave

I just finished the laundry, well 15 min. ago and have been 'entertaining' DREAD since then.  So while I wait for him to get tired and go away, I'll post my thot sheet and action plan and results.
   I post my thot records because they are actual REAL thot records, not from an example in a workbook which always seemed to me to be so uncomplicated and simple.  And the results were so perfect.  So here i post my real battles.

First of all Bruce dumped a pile of laundry from Tom’s room onto the floor, so now the floor is dirty to begin with.  Does taking off my socks when done still meet the idea?  I know it meets the letter of the law, as it would NOT be a shower, but do I want to start changing clothes as a habit? 

Action Plan

  1. take laundry off KD’s floor downstairs and sort into basket (lites) or washer. 
  2. I already put a bathroom cleaning rag and some towels and stuff from the bathroom into the machine.
  3. put detergent, vinegar and baking soda into machine.
  4. take stuff from basket and put into machine.  Do not touch basket ??
  5. clean off machines with vinegar and rag.
  6. wipe floor clean.
  7. take off sox??
  8. wash hands
  9. put on clean sox.
  10. sit and feel the dread while typing success story.
  11. finish reading my book when dread stops bugging me.

thought record  

 situation:  do laundry and only wash hands (up to elbows if needed)-and only for 1 min. or less, (not for an entire shower time frame J ) and change sox.

Mood:  80% thinking I can do the laundry ok. 
           : 120% thinking I can touch computer, library book afterwards with only washing hands for 1 min. or less. 

 Hot thought:

1.     the laundry in the basket is dirty.

2.     The basket itself is dirtier because it’s had ocd clothes in it before and I haven’t cleaned the baskets in a while- since the summer when sand was in the bottom of the baskets after camping.  

3.     Only a very long time under water and soap will get my hands ‘clean’

Anti- hot thots:

  1. Soap cleans doctor’s hands from bad germs so will also clean my hands even if I’m not washing them for 10 min or more.
  2. I didn’t work at an atomic bomb factory or anywhere else toxic dirt hides, so it’s only going to be ‘normal’ dirt on my clothes.
  3. my house is NOT a hiding place for toxic dirt; not even mold is toxic, it’s just bad for respiration and will not remain after a handwash.
  4. other people do laundry and leave the laundry room/ Laundromat without taking a shower first.  If they haven’t died and have touched stuff afterwards so can i.
  5. I USED to put laundry soap, clothes in a washer, turn it on, wash my hands and leave the laundry room.  I’ve probably even carried dirty laundry from `1 place to another without thinking about it (gasp).
Now it’s time to get Bruce to watch me while I do this before I lose my nerves again.

(That way i have 'witness' in case i'm drawing a blank on whether i did something wrong or not. Ie: if i thot a piece of clothing touched me he could say 'no it didn't.  Laundry touched the wall and stair rail on the way downstairs and he told me it was alright.  I was able to listen to him and keep going.  I only need to have him watch me for the first time or 2 until i feel comfortable and my inner OCD isn't screaming 'what if' lies at me. )

Well, I’m back, a bit shaky and very stressed.  It’s pouring off me like heat.  That was the longest load of laundry in a long while.  I didn’t touch the basket.  I got the clothes in with no problem.  The problem started when I was taking off my sox.  I put my foot  back in the ‘unclean’ area instead of taking a step forward.  So I wiped my foot off with the same paper towel I did the floor with.  Then I thought that was stupid.  Bruce turned on the water for me and I washed my hands, arms to elbow and the soap handle.  I think it was over a min. cause I forgot I was timing it until I was already started.   Then I had to put sox back on.  But first I had to wash my foot.  I guess Bruce was feeling sorry for me by this time because he got the Kleenex and did it for me.  I got the ‘easy’ sock on but couldn’t get the other one on without touching my foot. By now foot AND pantleg have ocd, no matter what I did.  I rewashed my hands, got a towel to dry them with and took the towel right to the basement and threw it on a clothes pile.  Now I think the whole area around the towel is also dirty because air would have been blown around by the towel falling and got dirt from the clothes to fly all over the place.  And I have to walk past that to get to my clean laundry in a while.

So now here I am exuding heat and dread and feeling dumb that I can’t get this ‘right’.  Soon I will have to start touching other items with my clean hands and dirty brain. I already touched the tv remote for KD but that’s mine, not the library’s.  don’t want to get my library books contaminated.  Now I’m feeling that all my clothes are also contaminated too.  Never mind that NOTHING touched them.  They were around the air of the dirty laundry.  That’s enuf.  So much for feeling wonderful that things were going so well today.  I could put the Christmas decorations away, toys away and noticed (again) how simple and non-energy consuming that task really was.  I can do so  much more in the same amount of time cause I don’t have to fight myself all the time and then take a break because I’m tired of fighting. 

I’m still saying no to reading my library book.  But I WANT  to read it.  soon. i. hope. Don't want to contaminate it, tho.   Lets play on the internet for awhile till DREAD leaves my brain and I can go back to being me.  I hope that’s what happens. :/  6:30.  it’s been 15 min. already.

6:45 and i've finished transfering my ERP from my journal to here.  Now it's dinner.  OCD DREAD is a lot lower but still not ready to read library books yet.  I can eat dinner tho. (because i don't care if i poison myself.  And i'm pretty sure it's all ok, says rational brain, when it gets a word in edgewise.


  1. Karin,
    You are a fighter. You keep on even when it's so hard. You are going to make it to the other side of these obsessions and compulsions.

    I can see myself in so much of what you write. My heart hurts for all the anxiety you are going through--I have been there and will be there again, and I know how difficult it is.

    But you are taking steps to overcome this, and you are an inspiration!

  2. Great work!!!! Keep it up! I hate that feeling of dread. I hate all the feelings that come with ERP. I have to do my ERP homework today and I just dread thinking about it!!!! (Probably not the best attitude hehe.)

  3. Thanks, Tina & Pure O. The only thing that keeps me going (besides support from my family, counsellor and all my blogger friends) is knowing (or believing because i don't know for sure) that a few days of dread means a lifetime of freedom from that particular ocd problem. Having conquered my fear of door handles, light switches, railings, shower curtains, gives me the hope that somewhere behind the dread is freedom. It may take a few weeks or months before it doesn't concern me to do laundry, but if i don't at least try to rid myself of this, i have a lifetime of being afraid of the laundry and that scares me too!

  4. Thanks for sharing your journey.