Woohoo!!!! Counselling is almost done. 3 sessions and I am cured! Wouldn’t that be nice, if a magic no. of sessions automatically cured me. My counsellor is retiring in Jan. and I wansn’t looking forward to another counsellor, so I busted my butt the past 4 mths so I could leave in Jan. too. And I did it!!!! yeah!!!!! Do I sound happy enuf?
I actually feel fairly normal again. Not constantly full of ‘free-floating’ anxiety worrying what ocd would hit and when and where. I can go out, touch most things, drive, do chores, clean routinely, not fanatically, can handle being ‘touched’ in public accidently by people, stuff, a car- everything except an actual garbage can/ bag. I can live with that. I can go shopping at used clothing stores- for clothes &for toys too J. I’m not afraid to get up in the morning anymore.
I don’t have to do anything til jan. except continue with the stuff already ERP’d. but I want to play at doing the laundry without showering. Kind of attack it from the side. I’m going to see how i feel at the end. I will be taking a shower but I will know how much work there would be to accomplish this task. My goal is to be able to shower in the morning or evening and do laundry as just part of the day, not plan laundry for when I want to shower. If I ‘stumble out of bed’, right into the shower, maybe I’ll be able to get up earlier and feel awake.
Situation: do laundry in clothes and only wash hands/ arms to elbows (for now)
Rate mood: na because I know it’s not real
Hot thought: laundry is too dirty- including detergent bottles.
Supporting evidence: it’s been sitting around with other dirty clothes all week.
Anti-evidence: the worst thing I do is put the garbage out and that’s not toxic so how dirty can it be? If I’m cleaning I probably have more cleaner on my clothes than dirt. Clothes molecules don’t travel from one item to the next, so clothes don’t get dirtier the longer they are sitting in the bin…-right??
New thought/ balanced thots: hand washing is as effective as a shower since it’s only my hands getting dirty…
Now I’m more nervous than I was at the beginning J.
Results: sticking whole arm down into laundry basket and touching the basket with my arm = not clean- cant’ just wash hands. Carrying armloads of clothes downstairs= not clean. Cleaning drain holes in washer= not clean but not frequent job either.
Need to work on above thots to banish problem.
Dec. 23. Another ERP day but I put it off til late afternoon. I washed the kitchen floor again.When I was done I picked the soggy popcorn off the floor that I missed with the broom and washed my hands REALLY WELL. I had touched my pants with the bucket. It didn’t feel dirty; just contaminated. So asked Bruce who said I could change my pants if I wanted to but didn’t have too. So diplomatic that guy is. That’s 1 for changing (me) and 1 for not changing. So Tom (our 21 yr old son home for Christmas holidays ) was going to be my tie-breaker. He asked what would be on the side of the bucket…and I said... cooties. It was the only thing I could think of.:)
I didn't change my pants but I took off my wet socks instead. Now my pantleg is against the couch and I am not upset.
Tom went back to
on Monday. It was a very calm, pleasant Christmas season… most of the time. Tom being home wasn’t an ocd problem for me at all, and he seemed comfortable not anxious about me too. I told him the ocd rules for the house- to spray the shower with cleaner after he uses it. That was it. Compared to my old rules, things must be rather normal around here for him now. university
One night as I was lying in bed not falling asleep, I had a memory come back from years ago- my teens, something I hadn’t thought about for a long enuf time that it startled me. I was concerned that now that the door to my past had been reopened by answering those questions from the self-esteem book a few weeks ago, that I was now going to have to deal with all of that again- not just with the residual anger I still have, but with the whole mess of feelings I thought I was finished with. It wasn’t even ‘my worst memory’ or anything like that. I got out of bed and took another melatonin pill * as the first obviously wasn’t working. The next day or so afterwards I turned that memory and my fears over in my mind until I realized that i had a choice now in whether I spent my life just focused on the past. I didn’t have to. I had already done the therapy needed to work thru all my beliefs and feelings about my childhood/ teens etc. None of that was in my life NOW unless I wanted it to be. I had already sorted thru it all so didn’t need to ruminate on it. I could, tho, IF I WANTED. Just like I could focus on ocd for the rest of my life, IF I WANTED to. I don’t HAVE TO. So, I made a choice not to feel the frustration within that memory. If / when stuff comes back, I can just look at the memory itself and then dismiss it unless there is a pertinent reason for it showing up. That automatically took all the anxiety away, as I realized that I don’t need to be at the mercy of my old memories. And neither did I have to be always afraid that ocd will come back like it was 4 yrs ago. I worked HARD to decrease the anxiety around ocd situations.
As Katrina was going outside to play in the snow, she wiped her mitts on the stair rails. At one time that would have been a big OCD trigger but now I just noticed it and let it go.
While at my brother's house one evening, I realized that Yvonne was collecting recycle and garbage for Pete to put out and might not have washed her hands before I gave her a hug goodbye. And I didn't wipe down my coat or my car seat. It creeped me out a bit, but not so much as it would have a couple years ago. When I tried to flood my mind with the thot & dread to see what would happen inside my head, all I got was a little ‘ew’. Well, except for the thought that maybe Suzanne (counsellor) puts HER garbage out and just gets into her car and drives to work and maybe I saw her on those days and she never told me so I couldn’t protect myself so now I have another ocd thought I cant do anything about except let it go. And I don’t want a confirmation/ denial of this as I want to just let the whole thought go. Not that it goes away completely. KD is at the neighbor’s house and since yesterday was garbage day, is she playing near empty garbage cans over there? Was their door handle ‘dirty’? blah, blah. Blah. Lets think of something else instead J.
Ate too much cake, chocolate and candy the past couple of weeks. (well, you can NEVER have too much black forest cake or chocolate but that’s beside the point). Am now back on my healthy food eating again. Can’t go to the pool yet because KD is still home on vacation. And every time the driveway is shovelled, it dumps snow again, so my car needs to be plowed out and I don’t want to do it. I guess winter has finally arrived. I wasn’t missing it!
While Bruce was outside shovelling I decided to tidy up the living room so I could vacuum it. I went around putting garbage in a bag (not a black garbage bag, tho J ). While doing this, KD came along and wanted the cardboard ‘castle’ back so she picked thru that garbage and I let her. Once upon a time that would have been a no-no. Once in the garbage and too bad. I also noticed that I wasn’t worried about how ‘dirty’ the vacuum cord was / or was getting while dragging on the floor. My old ocd worries are not bothering me. In fact, I now know that they WERE ocd worries, not normal ones.
Jan.5 Laundry day. I decided to do 1 more step to make laundry seem like a clean activity. I washed the laundry sorting bags and wiped of the rack they hang on. I hadn’t been doing that, so to me the laundry area was ‘dirty’ because sometimes I’d drop an ocd-towel or pants or whatever into it. if I think it’s a clean area, will I be ok with pulling laundry out of it? Or do I just put a regular low laundry basket in the corner instead? Wish I just had a laundry chute again.
Jan. 7 2012. Today.
Touching the shower curtain while i was getting out of the shower made me pause, tell ocd it's ok, keep going and dry myself off. I didn't yell at myself or call myself names for not getting out of the shower 'right', which is an improvment in itself. But OCD is a sneaky little guy. So it came at me from the side: "sure, you did that, but you certainly don't want to TOUCH those parts of your body while dressing without washing your hands, right?" Obedient me makes sure that my hairbrush, deoderant and sox get done first but i refused to wash my hands til i was completely dressed. Big win for me, little win for OCD.
Now for the real ERP of the day. To do the laundry without showering afterwards. To make the matter worse, Bruce already threw a pile of laundry on the floor, so now it is 'dirty' before i even start. The plan WAS to pull laundry out of the basket, leaving the floor clean this time around to just get used to touching the clothes and putting detergent in the machine, wiping down the machines and washing my hands. It will now be a little tougher. I don't like showering enough to do it again today, so we'll see what happens!