Saturday, April 21, 2012

Correlation: Stress Level and Finding What I Fear

I'm pretty sure I found blood and pieces of skin or scabs no fewer than 20 times yesterday. I felt the overwhelming need to change my clothes after bringing in the mail and opening a "scary" package. But I didn't. I also felt the urge to change after part of the grocery bag hit my sleeve, but I resisted. And when I stepped on a cold spot on the floor and was convinced it was wet, which is terrifying to me because I can never be sure why it was wet, I was sure I'd have to change my sock and quite possibly wipe my foot with bleach water. But I didn't. And I wore the clothes and the socks to bed.

Yesterday's exposures included, total:

  • handling visibly dirty laundry, some of which I've been too afraid to tackle for months

  • putting away groceries

  • grocery bag hitting my sleeve

  • bringing in the mail and opening a package which "looked contaminated"

  • finding things that looked like scabs or blood

  • stepping on a spot I believed was wet with an unknown substance

  • cleaning the toilet

  • going to bed in "dirty" clothes

  • Washing for <20 minutes
For the fourth night in a row, I washed for no more than 20 minutes and subsequently slept in my own bed. I did stay up rather late last night, but being Saturday I was able to sleep in and still got a good night's sleep. Sleep is magical when it comes to dealing with the stress that ocd brings. Being exhausted makes everything so much worse and leads to a lot of, "Screw it, I just don't have the capacity to deal with this today." Sleep is absolutely critical, non-negotiable.

It is the weekend, and I suspect my typical Friday anxieties had a great deal to do with why I felt tense and found so many things scary yesterday. I still feel a bit stressed because I don't care much for weekends, but I'm determined to stay on track. If ocd gets an inch, it'll take a trip around the globe.


  1. WOW. Seriously, I don't even know what to say. What a list! This is unbelievably impressive. This is a great thing for you to look back on whenever you have rough days in the future. You need to come to my house now and make me tackle that many ERPs in one day! I dub thee the "ERP Queen." ha ha ha (I refer to myself as the "Avoidance Queen.") I like your title a lot better. : )

  2. I agree with Sunny--WOW. That's a lot of success. Keep lists like this handy so you can look at them often and remember your victories.

    When I'm exhausted, or even just tired, it's harder for me to fight the OCD and depression too.