Wednesday, September 25, 2013

hi-ho, hi-ho it's out in LIFE I go... Sorry for the lack of posts :(

I've spent the last 7 months living life based on what I want / need to do.  Ocd isn't at the top of my list anymore.  It's still there, in the back of my mind and sometimes it comes forward, rears it's accusatory head and waits for my response.  Often I just tell it to shut up, sometimes it's quicker to just wash and go and other times I really have to think about things.

For example.  I joined a running group.  As we were waiting for people to show up, someone commented on how she didn't want to touch a donut given to her by an employee who had also collected money and didn't put on gloves first.  She thought that was dirty.  I just wondered what the problem was, glad that ocd didn't have a problem with that anymore.  I can use money now without thinking about all the places it might have been.   Fast forward to our walk.  This same person saw some buckets in someone's trash, ran over and emptied out the laundry detergent bottle from the bucket and took the buckets.  Now THAT made me sick.  OCD just did not appreciate that move.  I spent the rest of the walk making sure she didn't touch me.  The last 10 min. or so she walked beside me and we talked, but by that time the dread had simmered down.  I still didn't want her to touch me.  Now I am a bit afraid to go back to the building because I don't know if she touched a door there.  I just thot it rather ironic that she has a concern about money being dirty and it just spends most of it's time in wallets or pockets or tills, but has no problem grabbing something from someone's garbage.  Go figure.

Yesterday I was walking the dogs and on our way home I saw a dead mouse at the side of the road.  Naturally the dog had to put its nose down to smell it and I yanked her away from it.  I didn't know if she actually touched the mouse, but washed her snout off with Kleenex covered in vinegar.  That was ok, I was pretty calm.  Then ocd hit as I was wiping off the door handle and garage door opener that i'd touched with the opposite hand.  Which garbage container was ok to put that Kleenex??  Yep, mice still give me the willies.  Ocd or not, mice bother me.  I'm just gonna have to live with that, I think!

Now for the good stuff!   I joined Toastmasters in January and participated in their speak-off-the-cuff section.  Actually that's why I decided to join- to learn to speak to people naturally, without having to have it written down, so then I might be able to introduce myself and start a chit-chat conversation with a stranger and not have it be such a traumatic thing.  I've also done small roles like: word -of- the -day and joke master.  I am also club secretary and transform the minutes into a club newsletter. 

Tom has gone back to university so my live-in babysitter is not here anymore.  Colm Wilkinson, the famous Phantom in Phantom of the OPera and who played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables is coming to Toronto in Dec. and I AM GOING TO SEE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do I sound excited or what!! I love looking forward to real life fun instead of my next OCD attack. 

  My husband and son spent the summer putting new stairs on the front of the house as well as digging for the septic tank ( which was conviently located under the deck and stairs!) and before winter hits we have to get it stained.  Painting is something I haven't done since before Katrina was born- baby + OCD = no way am I getting near paint!   Now I can do it and I had fun!

I bought my daughter used tap dance shoes last week and OCD really wanted me to spend the extra $70 to get new ones but I resisted.  Then it told me to wash them because who knows where they've been- besides on some other little 7 yr old's feet.  I kept saying 'no' and today is dance class and I'm ok with not washing the outside of the shoes but I wanted to wash the inside with vinegar- to kill any wart spores or whatever they're called.  I don't want to do the work of getting warts off her feet later.  So I talked to my husband and he suggested just washing the inside would be ok, but I was concerned that i'd have to do the outside because I was there anyway- and then if something went wrong at the sink I could be hand washing for awhile and I didn't want to risk that. 

Solution:  pour some vinegar in each shoe and with a rag lift shoe up to spread vinegar.  Throw out vinegar container and rag.  Wash hands.  Done.

 So, now was that OCD being sneaky, getting thru the back door and AT LEAST washing the inside of the shoes, or was that a legitimate worry? 

I got to paint most of the lattice work while Bruce did the deck and stairs and fence.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just 1 Step Away From Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

That 's what my husband seems to think.  Or maybe he's like me... just waiting for something to go 'dread'-fully wrong.  I wonder if I'll wake up one day and realize that I've been letting OCD creep back into my life one little decision at a time.

Friday I was cold and so was wearing this fluffy robe over my clothes.  I was picking up some paper garbage to put in the garbage can and just laid them on the kitchen table instead.  Later, I added a banana peel and something else to this little pile.  I forgot about it until Bruce came home and he put it in the garbage for me.  I apologized for leaving it there and he made some comment about how I have a problem using a garbage can!

Yes, I DID, once, long long ago, over a year ago, have this problem. Three or 4 years ago I refused to put anything in a garbage can, just leaving it in piles on the table for Bruce to do it.  I believed that dropping something into a garbage can would send contaminated air back up to hit me.  I could use open ones where I would stand back and just toss something in it.  After awhile I could put stuff in the garbage can but then have to wash my hands right afterwards.  Then, I worked on that problem.  It is not a problem anyore.  see:

Back to Friday.  I was just being lazy and didn't want to have my robe touch the garbage can.  It was clean garbage I left on the table.  So the first thing that jumps into his head is how things were 4 years ago.  Thanks!

Will I always be just one step from full-blown OCD?  I hope i can be lazy once in a while and not have this mean I am going backwards, or am i kidding myself?  Vigilence 24/7  for the rest of my life sounds like a prison sentence. 

I   read a quote today on Lolly's blog: Lolly's hope.  It says: 

Stop being afraid of what could go wrong,
and focus on what could go right! 


I needed that today!  Thanks Lolly! 

Last week was a busy week.  I am finished with my anxiety group (this could be where some of my concern is coming from as now I have no 'professional' help if I need it. ) and am in a healthy living program.  I found out that this is a 3 days a week commitment for 4 months to go 2ce a week to the exercise class at the local pool and once a week to a fitness class.  They are monitoring all sorts of stuff from  my weight to how many push-ups i can do in a row (easy- 0 ).  From a once a week meeting to 3 exercise classes a week that tire me out is a very big change in routine. I keep telling myself that last week was the first week and I will get used to it one day at a time.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

OCD Goal For the Day

I went to my first official Toastmaster's meeting Wed. night.  I was a LOT more nervous and anxious than I thot I'd be.  After all, I'd been there as a guest 3 or 4 times.  I'd even participated at those times and found it not too bad.

But this was 'official'.  Now I was one of the group.  I don't know why or how I manage to make these things so stressful to me!!!  We had to give a one minute speech about 'new' and besides not remembering a word the 3 people ahead of me said (which was awkward as we then had to rate the best topic speakers), I only managed 20 seconds - yes they time it too! 

The sane part of me says that now I have a base point from which I can measure my improvements and that as humans the learning curve is not all fun and games.  The irrational side is just wondering why I want to do such a thing in the first place! That since I'm only a few years from 50 and am NOT planning to lead any companies or churches, the probablity that someone will come to my house and ask me to give a speech is rather remote!  But Karin just can't let it be.  She's a twit that for some reason  decides to do awful things  -and even PAYS people for the privilage of doing these things instead of just enjoying life within the pages of her books.

 (See what I have to deal with??!)

They- the writer of the agenda for next meeting wanted me to give my first speech at the next meeting.  I managed to volunteer to give the 'word of the day' instead, where rather than making up a speech about my life, I only have to find a really cool word and give the definitions. Something I can handle... except the perfectionist part of me which is already wondering which word would be 'perfect' for the evening.  Which word is going to 'wow' them all.

I think this club will be good for me for more than I origionally thot it would!

Now for the topic of the day:  ERP

Thot Record that will hopefully calm me down.

Note;  Bruce phoned my dad to see when their last mouse episode was and according to Bruce it was a while ago.  I felt better for a few minutes. Then the 'reassurance' thing hit.  Maybe I should call my dad and hear it again?  I didn't want to call myself in case he tells me all sorts of info that will just rev up my already freaked out mind.  I figured Bruce could give me the watered- down version- just the facts.  I am NOT going to call my dad myself, or Bruce for that matter for reassurance... BUT I REALLY REALLY WANT TO!

Situation:   My dad sent me some dvds he made so I can watch them.  I think he also wants feedback,
                  so I can't just throw them away.  Also sent me a card which is now on the table under
                  some pokemon cards and headphones.  So I can't touch that stuff either.  The disks fell off the couch onto the floor where they have now contaminated a book from a Goodreads giveaway that I am supposed to read and review.  At first when I got the package I was OK with it.  OCD hit in about 5 min. later, after the stuff was already on the couch and table.

Mood:  96%  anxiety and fear

Automatic thots:  MICE  (what else!)  Dad had mentioned they'd had mice in our last phone
                   conversation, but didn't mention exactly WHEN, so was it a week ago??  What if he
                   cleaned up the mouse stuff and didn't SHOWER after wards, but ONLY washed his
                   hands??  Am I contamination my house/ stuff?

Rational thots:  I guess washing hands after cleaning up mouse stuff is probably sufficient.  (notice
                   how little i agree with that statement :).  Bruce said it happened a while ago and anyway
                   none of it happened near the dvd recorder.  Dad also opened a new cylinder of disks to do
                   this with too.  I bet Fantine (of Les Mis) never worried about mice- she had bigger
                   worries than that!

Mood now:  anxiety  86%  but i will do it anyway.

Please, someone, save me from this illness!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Noticing the Little Things- Cause They're the Nice Things

Lots has happened since before Christmas even.  Most are little things I've noticed about myself.  Like I used to be afraid to touch the basement door to the garage in case of contamination or radiation burns or something :P but I did let everyone else touch the door without washing.  In fact, I'd wipe  the handle down on a weekly basis while doing the garbage and wiping off the garbage can.  But one day, not too long ago, as we were going to the garage to get into the van, I just opened the door myself!  No big deal- nothing happened.  Yeah!!!  Have done it again too!   It was one of my- sneak-into-it exposures.  I knew it wasn't dirty, but still wouldn't touch it.  Watching others, tho, helped my mind to acclimatize to it without ME having to do anything. 

And then there was the 'big one', that happened last weekend while I was at my brother's house.  Brother had gone out and while he was gone someone had vomited on the floor, so Other Brother and I went looking for paper towels to clean up the mess.  I found some under the bathroom sink on top of a bunch of cleaners.  (YUK, already contaminated by the cleaners- because cleaners have poisonous chemicals in them). Other Brother used them anyway but instead of putting them back into the cupboard, stuck them on an empy paper towel holder on the kitchen counter.  I told him about my thots on that but he didn't agree with me (nicely) and left them there. When Brother came home, i told him about it too (you know, IN CASE he thot it was gros too, but he didn't either) and also left them there.  I decided since it was his house, not to get upset, but to just tell my daughter NOT to touch them.  Unfortunately I didn't get around to telling her fast enuf (because how often do kids really play with paper towels anyway?)  Well that morning there was a spill and cousin gave Katrina one of THOSE paper towels to wipe it up with.  Figures.  So i told Katrina to wash her hands but before we got to the bathroom I changed my mind and told her not to bother.  Why?  Because if I made her wash her hands, I'd also have to go after cousin who also touched the paper towels and I couldn't do that because cousin's dad was Brother who said the paper towels were fine.  So,  in that case, I'd have to think the whole house was getting contaminated with cousin running around touching all sorts of stuff- toys, furniture Katrina etc.  That would not be the best use of my brain.  So Normal Brain told OCD Brain to knock it off.  Normal Brain also figured out that by the time the vomit was cleaned up off the floor, all the paper towels left on the roll would be clean anyway, having not touched the cleaners.   OCD Brain left, without a fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I got to enjoy the rest of my visit, rather than clocking all the things that everyone contaminated.

But in case you think my life is OCD free, my dad sent me some dvds that I haven't touched because he mentioned that sometime last year they had had mice. Or maybe I misunderstood and it was just 'in the past'  they had had mice.  Either way, their whole house is now contaminated and I don't want to touch anything until I find out when and where the mice were and how far that was from the dvd's he sent me.  Problem is that I'm afraid to call him and ask, in case I learn more than I wanted to know because for some reason people LIKE to talk about their mouse problems to me.  I just don't like to hear it.  So Bruce is supposed to call and ask my dad all the questions and only tell me the relative parts of the conversation in case what he says gives me more Yuk's.  Hasn't happened yet, so still haven't watched the dvd's.  There are also pokemon cards and head phones that are sitting on top of a note he sent with the dvd's.  They haven't been moved either.

Oh, and one of Katrina's library books had a piece bitten out of it.  Naturally 'Mice' was my first thot, even tho some of the teeth marks looked like  dog or little person.  Put it and the books it might have touched in a seperate bag and had Bruce drop it off at the library.  Kept 1 book because we hadn't read it yet, but it's still sitting on the shelf waiting for either a wipe, or an exposure.  Right now I'm just ignoring it.

I've joined toastmasters and tonight is the first meeting of the season.  I'm not giving a talk, but will have to soon.  Probably in 2 weeks, unless the agenda person forgets to ask me and I can put it off another 2 weeks. :)