Do you ever get the feeling you've touched something when you haven't? Do you ever believe you've sabotaged yourself? One of the biggest ocd issues I struggle with is being unsure of my own actions and behaviors. Did I get this paper towel off of the roll, or was it a used one from the sink or counter? Did I really put soap in the dishwasher or washing machine? Did I use my hand instead of my covered arm to switch off the light? Did I reach over there and touch the garbage with my clean hands? I'm always convinced of these things, it seems. I ask for reassurance a lot about them.
Now that I am getting more comfortable with my daughter helping me with laundry (she's really good at it, too!), I am getting things done much faster and no one is running out of clean clothes. She had been asking for her own chores for a few months, but ocd kind of makes me feel like I have to do everything myself and I hadn't been able to allow her to help with anything. I finally asked her what she would most like to do, and she said laundry. Of course, it had to be the thing I fear the most, right? But it has turned out to be a very good thing for both of us. I love seeing her confident little smile as she carries the towels to the linen closet and sets them inside, folded a little less perfectly than my ocd would prefer, but wonderfully nonetheless. "Did I do a good job, mom?" she asks. And I tell her, "The best ever. Way better than I do!"
So currently, the biggest obstacle between me and the damn laundry is my doubt. My most debilitating, time-consuming ocd brainfart is that I become absolutely convinced that I either didn't set the washing machine on the full cycle, or I went out there, opened the door, stuck in a dirty hand toward the end of the wash cycle, and contaminated everyfreakingthing. My daughter always says, when I speak this brainfart aloud, "Mom, why on earth would you do that?" I have no idea why I would, but I sure am afraid I did - especially if I happen to be working with something "contaminated" while the stuff is in there.
It seems that just thinking about something, like what if I touched something in the washer near the end of the cycle with that blood I found on my hand from some unknown source? Then BAM, ocd turns what if I did into I must have done. When that happens, I typically tell myself that resistance to the thought is futile, the risk is just too big to take, and I immediately run out there and restart the effing machine. This is something I need to work on because it is an extremely strong compulsion I have an extremely difficult time talking myself out of or avoiding. I feel like it owns me, and it's gotten to the point where I will close the door to the laundry room, check the time so I know exactly when the machine should be done, and put something (like a big bag of cat food) in front of the door so I know I would have had to go through multiple obstacles to contaminate the clean laundry. I guess they call it "the doubting disease" for a reason, eh?
So, moving on. Goals progress for the week (even a shitty week). To review:
* Put away the holiday decorations. Done!
* Get living room how I want it. 90% Done!
* Read every day from my Kindle or a real book. Didn't do.
* Start taking better care of myself, including daily exercise and multivitamin. Improved.
* Go to bed at a reasonable time, regardless right now of where "bed" ends up being. Eh.
* Avoid taking the "comfortable" route as much as possible, with the awareness that doing so is what fuels ocd. I am in a fight for my life. Was improved, backslid.
* Do at least 3 loads of laundry per week, reasonably spaced so I am not freaking out and doing an all-nighter every Sunday so people have clothes for the week. Did it!
* Ask for reassurance less. I must say, "Did I just touch that?" or "Did you just touch me?" 500,000 times a damn day. I'm sure it annoys my family even more than it annoys me. Was improved, backslid.
On a cool note, I also tackled a goal from my "later" list of goals, and I have been sleeping in bed exclusively ever since I started again over a week ago. That's huge. I'm proud of that one.