Friday, April 20, 2012
More Stupid Blood Exposures
Wow. I can't begin to express how much I hate the new Blogger interface. It absolutely sucks. If there is an option to use the old format, I will be forever grateful to the person who shares this info with me.
Anyhow, I did something huge last night. I had a drop of blood on my sock shortly after putting away some groceries. I knew it came from me, at least I was pretty damn sure it did, but ocd was screaming, but what if it didn't!? I had two options. The urge was to change my sock, scrub my foot, and change my clothes. The second was to keep the sock on, keep my clothes on (which I really needed to do to sit with the bed exposure from earlier yesterday morning), and dab the blood with a bit of Clorox to make sure it didn't mess up anything else. I did the latter.
The real challenge was going to bed with that sock still on. Because I was already dealing with a previous blood exposure, my brain was on high alert already. This can create some major anxiety and resultant urges to engage in compulsive decontaminating behaviors. I wasn't sure how I would feel, but I'd already made up my mind that I was going to sleep in my bed regardless. And I did. I feel really proud of myself.
As for my anxiety level on the bed exposure/fear, it's now basically non-existent. It was in the 90s easily when it first occurred to me yesterday morning, but apparently the Do Nothing approach caused my mind to be done with it. I'd say the anxiety about it now would be maybe a 5. Yes, just a five. Wild stuff.
Putting away groceries, then going to bed in the same clothes I was wearing when I touched them? Also pretty epic. I believe I've done this fewer than five times in two years. I'm finding that, just as engaging in compulsive behaviors spreads to other things like peeing in a pool, true response prevention (not delaying - delaying does nada, IMHO) also extends to other areas. It is absolutely the hardest, scariest thing to do, but the benefits never cease to amaze me.
But, as always, it's not all fairy tales. I got up this morning, found some spot (probably just a variation in the paper process) on the toilet paper in the bathroom where my daughter had just been, and was convinced it was contaminated with something. I asked her to change clothes and wash her hands because she'd used the roll. Sigh. You win some, you lose some. I'm not going to get too down on myself about this.
I am hoping to fight like hell and be ready to take a trip later on next month to visit some family. That's a post in itself, so more on that later. For today, I have some goals. I have to avoid the biggest trap, which is feeling clean and going to excessive lengths to avoid feeling contaminated. Right now, I feel pretty clean. I have to remind myself that I'm really neither clean nor dirty, and just keep pressing on. The ocd will continue to try to find things to trap me, and I have to remain focused ahead to avoid getting sidetracked by all of the bullshit.
Posted by I Am Not My OCD at 2:40 PM