Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Out With The Old Obsession, In With The New

An interesting thing I have noticed about OCD, through my efforts toward recovering my personal control, is that my mind quickly finds something else once a compulsion or obsession is calmed or eliminated. My mind will literally scream at me (well, not literally, just in the sense of a very intense stream of worried thoughts bombarding my consciousness) new, random things to worry about. For example, if the price total of several things I am buying doesn't feel right, or if something about one or more of the items feels wrong, I will be afraid that something bad will happen. I have struggled with that one before, but it mostly vanished when replaced by the more severe contamination fears. It is attempting to return, which I take to mean that the contamination obsessions are loosening their grip on my brain. At least with the magical thinking variation of OCD, I was functional and happy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Fungus Among Us

I think things are improving. However, I do find that it is very easy to slip backwards and to become a bit of a hermit by not leaving the house. I suppose dropping the decontamination ritual upon returning home would eliminate the whole desire to stay inside (which, in turn, exacerbates the OCD). But that will take some effort.

I have decided to set small daily goals, even if it is something as simple as packing a healthy lunch for my daughter instead of having her buy those disgusting school lunches. It is something we both want, and it will help me overcome some contamination issues with the OCD. It is currently difficult for me to touch most things because I fear that either I will contaminate it, or it will contaminate me. Which, of course, is absurd. I need to start living my life again and I know I can beat this.

My current goal is to pack a healthy lunch for my daughter each day this week, in addition to the typical exposures I have to deal with on a daily basis using the 15-minute rule (wait 15 minutes before acting on a compulsion). The 15-minute rule has worked wonders with my need to constantly mop the kitchen floor. I managed not to clean the floor for the entire duration of Thanksgiving break (that's Thursday through Monday, y'all!). Five days - a record for me. My lungs are thankful, and my hands are almost fully healed.

Quite unfortunately, due to all of the handwashing and the acrylic nails I was wearing, I managed to acquire onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the nails), which I understand is a bitch to get rid of. It's funny, because in all of my efforts to avoid contamination of various sorts, I ended up with a friggin' nail fungus.