I realize sometimes that I am waiting for something to change. While that is happening to some degree, with consistent exposures and forcing myself to deal with the anxiety, I sometimes forget that my attitudes and beliefs are what need to change. Some people are completely unbothered by the things that threaten to completely unravel my sanity!
There was a time when I was like that, when life was fairly normal and the things that have me trapped in rituals rarely even crossed my mind. I keep thinking that there may come a day when the realization of what I have lost outweighs the fear of what could happen if I make an error and don't disinfect something properly.
I remember when I used to run out at 2AM for something I'd forgotten and think nothing of it. Pajama pants, hoodie, and flip flops, buying what I need and heading back home. I'd crawl into bed in exactly what I wore to the store, never washing my hands and certainly never thinking a thing of it. Yet, now I have to go through this whole decontamination process when I get home, which includes stripping out of every stitch of clothing and putting on fresh. What the eff is that about? Suddenly the whole world is dangerous? Clearly not any more than it was previously. But my mind, well, it would have be think so.
So what has happened? It came to be that I needed to have certainty in my life. Nothing with any risk is acceptable. It's no way to live a life, for nothing is certain.