Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Garbage cans revisited.

I did it again.  Acted without thinking of the consequences.  Big Ocd no no. 

Situation:   Dogs saw the neighbor dog outside so we went over there to play for a few minutes.  Not a problem usually.  But today was garbage day so the neighbor was putting her garbage can and recycle bins back where they belonged.  I do believe she patted Zoe.  Because Zoe sticks herself in front of any and everybody to get patted.  She was also right by their recycle bin.  I dropped the leash and it fell about 2 inches from the bin.  I thot I had to clean it but when I got closer noticed it wasn't touching anything but the driveway.  Whew!

But did the dog touch the bin?   Did the lady touch the dog?  Must I wipe down the dog?  I don't want to (I'm lazy)  but I don't want the whole house contaminated with garbage germs.  I don't hardly let the dogs touch our clean recycle bin in the house!  Bruce puts a bag into it and then washes his hands and I take the bag of recycle stuff out and throw it into the outside bin on garbage day.
Funny thing tho- the dread isn't very loud.  It's mostly " you've never liked this before, why now?'
So I rate this a 60/100 even tho it should be 110/100.  This confuses me but the calm I feel is fine with me.

I called Bruce and asked him what he would do if it were just him and the dog living alone- would he wipe off the dog?  He says no.  He says the outside of the garbage cans aren't dirty except maybe dusty.  I have noticed the garbage men don't usu.. throw the whole container in the truck (that's gros) so the situation is better than it could be.  BTW, the dogs are outside enjoying the sunshine so I have time to think this thru.  I really want to just forget it and go on my way but I don't want to feel upset later on when I see the dog in the house or being patted by someone who then touches the fridge etc.  Because sometimes I get a delayed OCD reaction.  I think everything is ok, but then go wash the fridge etc. and finally the dog after the damage has been escalating.  So I don't want to overreact to these calm feelings, which could just be my lazy -don't-clean feeling that then gets superceded later by dread.

So I'm going to imagine Kat touching the dog an then touching her computer etc. See how that feels.
Not too bad. 

Picturing myself touching the dog- more intense dread feelings. I'll sit with this one for awhile.  While I'm imagining this I keep having ' no one else cares. Why should you care' thots running thru my head.  Over the 'eww gross, I'm kissing the dog's head right where she was probably touched'' thots also going on.-  I guess those are the ' reasons against or balancing reasons' on the proverbial thot record method of examination I've been taught.

And the verdict is:  touch the dog and see what happens.  Then touch 1 thing and see what happens.  Then touch -  ooh I'm getting resistance now, just thinking about going that far.  Up to this point I could still wash everything if needed but touching more than 1 thing means I've made the decision.  I think dread will happen at that point.

OK here's the results:  I went out and patted the dog all over so I couldn't tell myself that I 'might have missed where she was touched by 'garbage can hands'.  Then I closed the door, touching the handle- so far ok.  Then I touched the broom handle, still ok.  Then I touched the art canvas that one of the birthday party kids might use.  Not so ok- what if I contaminate someone else?  That's not nice.  Put the contaminated canvas on top of other things- Katrina's origami book, some ribbon etc.  That would be hard to want to wash all that off.  Not too bad. Touched the fridge door but didn't touch the water spigot.  guess I'm a bit unsure still.  Went to the bathroom and brushed and hairsprayed my hair.  Not sure if I want to touch the hairspray can again.  Brushed my teeth and washed my hands.  Went back out and touched the broom to re-contaminate myself and am now at the computer.  I think it's fine. 

I am supposed to go to my exercise class now so i'll have to bring the dogs in and leave without washing up.  Anxiety is going up as I think about it but it's not too bad.   I think I can push thru that.  Wish me luck!

Evening Update:

I did all that, came home from exercising and was only a bit hesitant about touching everything I contaminated.  The problem with noting the items is that it makes it harder to touch them because they are now noticeable.  While I got back in my car after exercising with no problems, (it wasn't on the LIST)  I did have a twinge of 'ick' before touching the fridge. 

Oh, and just after 5 pm I fell asleep til 7:30.  So I guess it all tired me out!  We don't have a tv to vegg in front of and Katrina wanted to use my computer.  I was too tired to read once I finished reading to her, so my default event is sleeping.  I'll have to take a melatonin pill tonight to get to sleep at a decent hour or i'll probably be up til 3 am.


  1. I can't imagine how crippling it must be to constantly wonder if you can touch things without getting contaminated by them. Kudos on today's issue. Sounds like you've come a LONG way. :D