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. :)


  1. Good for you for touching the doorknob and for dealing with the paper towels well. You are doing great! Though you still have challenges, you are letting OCD brain know who's boss.

  2. Sounds like there's still work to do but that you're seeing some real improvements. Way to go. Good luck at Toastmaster's tonight. :)

  3. Oh wow - you are doing sooooo great, Karin!!! I'm incredibly proud of you.

    Ugh, I hear you about the mice stuff. That is still a hot button issue for me. Totally get that!! Hang in there. You are doing great. : )

  4. I am so happy for you, the small steps or little things can encourage us and end up monumental. I feel that way about the paper towel roll too sometimes..or if I take something out of a drawer, that the whole drawer is now contaminated. It takes alot to put the stop to thinking that but the only way not to give it power, or give in to the OCD brain is to do just what you did.

  5. Thanks, Tina, Jess, Sunny and Krystal lynn. Sometimes the difficulty with making smaller improvements is that they aren't visible to the whole world. I may 'look' all better but noone really knows how much I have to work at it, besides all of you, who also struggle with OCD.