Monday, April 27, 2015

Garbage cans- Revisited. Karin Does Something Really Strange.

I did a job interview at a theatre because I wasn't told it was a telemarketing job.  I was told it would involve computers and phoning.  By the time I found out what it was really about, I figured I'd do the interview, and since the job was only for a few weeks I would handle it.  I was really hoping they wouldn't call back and I wouldn't look like I was being really picky at the March of Dimes.

When I first got married I was thrilled that now my husband could make all the phone calls in the family and he seemed ok with that. When I was a student at university and my roommate was moving out, I was supposed to call the phone company to re-register the phone in my name.  I didn't do it.  I waited and when the phone was cut off, I bused my little self to the Bell phone centre to do it in person. - For a higher fee.   That's how much I hated using the phone to call strangers.  Then when our son was 4 and I got increasingly depressed, I went to see a counselor.  One of the things we worked on was me being able to make my own phone calls. Which, btw, I can now do. This came in handy after the germ-OCD hit and I didn't want to meet anyone, use door handles and the like.     So this is not an innate talent I've got.  I will see how this goes.  For all I know, I'll be really good at it and have a ball.  One can hope, can't one??

Now, on to the Garbage.   This is the 'last' ocd thing, I think, that I have to get rid of.   Back in earlier blogs I explained how I did the garbage and how I improved  (link: and:  But I was still showering and using 'garbage' clothes.  So Cory told me to not shower afterwards (it's been a whole week, now.  I wonder when i'll get to use the shower again!  Snicker.) Bad joke.

 I could just wash my hands.  And no changing clothes.  OK.  And to touch the garbage cans daily (the ones in the house, but I did one better than that).

Monday night is garbage night at our house.  In the winter I'd change into shorts & tee shirt and socks, while in summer I'd put on a long sleeved sweat shirt and long pants.  This was so I could put these clothes onto a special shelf each week and only wash them when the pile got big.  Since I didn't need the out-of-season clothes, they could sit for awhile on the shelf . Then I'd take out the recycle and garbage, wipe  down the kitchen garbage can and the floor in the basement.

Last Monday i did not put on special clothes.  I took out the garbage and washed my hands.  Then it hit like a ton of bricks.  Sure, my hands were clean, but the recycle bin touched my pants and if i sat on the couch i would be contaminating it- maybe.  Did i really want to take this chance???  I stood in the kitchen for a half hour or more not touching anything, just working this thru my head. It was not a fun time.  Basically catatonic.  Finally, the dread started to leave and i could entertain the idea that I wasn't contaminating anything by sitting down at my computer.  So I did.  But I could not write about it that night because it was still too raw.  I didn't want to relive that half hour.

EVery day afterwards, I went outside and purposely touched a garbage can (not with my hands, just brushed it with my clothes)  and didn't wash it off or change clothes.  After a few days it stopped bothering me a lot. (A chocolate covered ice cream bar after I did it, didn't hurt either.)

It went much smoother tonight.  And no catatonic freak-out afterwards.  I know I used to complain that when I did an ERP   nothing much happened- never again.  Last Monday's response is not one I want to have again.  That was hard.  It actually worked tho.  Surprise, surprise.  


  1. Excellent work, Karin! That was so hard! I don't know if I could do it and actually see it through without giving in and washing. Great job!

  2. Oh, the phone call anxiety! I used to send notes through the mail rather than call someone, even if the time frame didn't allow for it. Congratulations on your garbage exposure ~ that is awesome.

  3. I know the cure:

    I had OCD since age 12. A very good psychologist explained there are two types of OCDS the active and reactive. I have the reactive one. The one cause by real live stressful events. As you know OCD is an anxiety disorder. By my mid 30s and OCD going from wanting my bed clean at age of 12 to everything is contaminated by the time I reach 30-- and so all the problems and anxiety cause by real horrible situations that were mostly INSTABILITY and LACK OF SUPPORT SYTEM since childhood.

    Don't want to go too deep into details of how my OCD got so bad, but I can tell you how the OCD vanished.

    I meet an amazing mature man, kind, clean inside and out. From a nice town (rich area), and at first when he would touch me. I will go home and shower, but other times I was so tire I would said: I WILL DO IT TOMORROW. And that is what sychologlist called DESENSITIZING from OCD.

    See many experts thing that exposing the person with OCD to confront OCD is the cure. They are so naive and are missing a key ingredient: What makes you happy? What makes the OCD person feel free, save, happy, loved, pretty, secure, successful. It is those feelings that fill you in so much that the OCD becomes second place, and this is when confronting them (I wont call it confronting is more of a time-out time. I will shower later, I clean this clothes later.

    I do agree that the person you date or married has to have certain behavior of hygiene. NOT OCD hygiene, but just clean in general: Showers every day, keeps his stuff clean etc.

    So to go over again:

    1. We are always waiting for something that will make it ok. Meaning we always live with the hopes to reach "our ideal self." Having stability and feeling save was my need. Something I was missing and the reason why I was afraid and had stress and anxiety. Getting older makes OCD worse, because is stressful. I got someone older, so I felt young.

    2. Once you know what you want to make yourself feel good, save, free or secure or pretty.. Then try postponing the OCD reaction (trust me if you have been bless to be in step 1, positing cleaning wont be as hard as you think because you will be focus on how happy you are.

    3. Have a hand sanatizer and be active and continue to do what is making you feel GOOD. and keep posponing cleaning 2 days, then a week. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND one day you feel like there is no need to do that.

    At first you will feel you are walking dirty, and since everything around you is dirty, than you can touch it (thinking you will letter clean it) you will feel anxious, but remember the times when you had to wait to clean, then do that.. I used to say, ,fuck it im durty already let me lay down in this char or in this hotel bed.

    You brain finally connects with reality, and OCD will be gone.

    How long it took for me to get rid of it after finding my peace and security? I would said within 2 months the OCD was gone. See I never though of it gone--it was more of it long term postponing the cleaning. I then was busy living life the due date never came.

    Hope doctors get it once and for all. The hard part is to reach and obtain that thing that is so great it makes OCD unimportant. Like meeting the president, wining the lotto and or wake up being a queen, in my case was meeting this man. But make sure if the love of your life starts giving you stress.. leave him otherwise the OCD will come back.

    Sorry for my spelling I type fast and didnt spell check

  4. Hi! i just read your comment today. I don't know why my email didn't bring your comment to me. First of all i'm glad your ocd left!!! And since i had a very unsecure emotionally, household as a kid, i can see the insecurity as being a part of why ocd could get a hold on me. As a kid, i found out by experience that my mom would never hold me and cuddle me and tell me things were going to be alright. And i had to solve problems by myself. i was an insomniac at age 11 or 12 and when i went to my parents room and told them one night that i couldn't sleep they were unhelpful. As an adult, i could get that, that theywere unhelpful in the middle of the night, b/c they were half asleep. But there was no talking about it the next day or any other day. i just never told them again in the middle of the night that i couldn't sleep. If i mentioned it at all during the day (ie like:i couldn't sleep last night) they weren't responsive as i only remember solving the problem myself, by thinking about WHY i might not be sleeping.

    So by a young age, i was emotionally on my own. Then they joined a church that taught perfection is the goal. IF YOU sin you get kicked out of Heaven #1 and sent to the consolation prize of heaven # 2 or #3 or Outer Darkness- lack of heaven. So there was a lot of insecurity there, too. I was a goody 2 shoes, but still didn't feel good enough. not for god, not for my parents, not for my friends. So ocd upped the ante when i left home at 18. ONly i didn't know i had it, so i just kind of lived with the horrible thots, horrible feelings. Cause most of it was pure ocd. and scrupulosity. They can do a number on your guilt system.

    But since my daughter has ocd also, i can't just say it's from insecurity. I can say it comes with anxiety as my daughter was full of anxiety and would hardly talk to people other than our small family. This included no talking to relatives, other than the kids or if asked what she wanted to eat. She still has a problem saying 'thank you' at hallowween when getting candies from strangers.

    You are right, that ocd can be de-constructed. and then it goes away. For me, as i didn't know what it was i had, as noone ever talks about the internal ocd, just the checking or washing ones. i would finally come up with a solution to my ocd dilemma. For example, when my son was born i had a problem changing his diapers ( i'd been changing diapers since i was 9 ir 10 ). Now i was afraid to , incase i molested him accidently. This lasted for years- long after he'd gotten out of his diapers, the 'thot' would still come that i'd HAD that thought and the guilt/ dread/ humiliation would come for days. Finally i told myself that if he ever came to me and told me i molested him, i'd apologize and send him to therapy. End of guilt. The thot would come, i'd say my new thought and the guilt was gone and the thought would stay away much longer. Finally the thot was all gone, and now when i think of that, i just feel sorry for myself, not worry about how i could have 'done' such a thing. The only problem was it took 4-10 yrs for this thot to be de-constructed.

    With the germ contamination i couldn't think of any thing that started this. Except my daughter's birth. i believed that kids needed to be exposed to dirt. But ocd over ruled my life anyway with germ contamination- for me, not my daughter. ERP as well as thought records helped me get rid of it this time. It did take a while, tho.

    They called it a glitch in the brain. My off button (stop washing) didn't turn off anymore. I'd have to manually make it stop. Bonus deal tho, is the longer i didn't wash, the longer it'd take before the next ocd thing happened. I had to work thru each type of washing separately.