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.


  1. You did awesome last night.
    I hate the new interface too. I started using it 5 days ago and I almost put it in a post how much I hate it. But I have no idea how to go back. It takes me so much longer to figure out where my stuff is..real irritating.

  2. You can still use the old blogger interface. Just click on the thing that looks like a gear. It will bring up a drop down menu and one of the options is "old blogger interface." There are two things that look like a gear, so click on the top one, because I think the bottom one just has to do with managing the blogs you follow.

    Awesome, awesome job sleeping in your bed last night with that sock on! You rock. I know that must have been brutal, but I promise, you really did the best thing, and you will definitely benefit from it. It's funny, when my OCD was at its worst, I saw dirt and possible blood everywhere. Now that I don't worry about that stuff as much, I don't see it as much! Weird how the brain works.

    You are right - you don't want to feel clean. That "clean" feeling only leads to fear of feeling dirty. I have to admit it took me a little bit to get used to the idea of being neither dirty nor clean. I still don't always succeed with that one (definitely a work in progress), but I can say that I no longer feel constantly dirty/clean, I just feel kind of normal. And yes, I have definitely found this true - once I really engaged in ERP, some other obsessions just seemed to fall away even though I didn't actively work on some of them. Again, weird how the brain works.

    REALLY great job!

  3. You win some, you lose some--yep. But you have been winning big time! You are doing great with those blood exposures--I mean, really great. You put is so well--the Do Nothing Approach affects the brain in a positive way.

    Re: blogger interface--over on another blog, Sunny (of 71 and Sunny) said there's a way you can use the old Blogger interface. There should be a drop-down box that gives you the option. She said it looked like a gear to click on. Hope that helps!

    Again--yay for you!!

  4. Thanks SO much for all of the kind, supportive words - and for helping me get the old Blogger interface back! It's funny how, when I am dealing with crazy amounts of stress elsewhere, something as little as Blogger changes can drive me up a wall. Much better now :D