Total Pageviews

Monday, August 25, 2014

OCD and change

Change can be tough on anyone.  For people with OCD, it has the capability to really throw things off.  My daughter started middle school a couple of weeks ago, and this has changed many things in my routine/way of doing things, which I'm not going to's been difficult.  BUT, I think sometimes change can be good and maybe help propel you forward, even when you don't think you're ready.  Because let's face it...when we're met with something that triggers our OCD, it doesn't feel good.  Our instinct is to avoid or find someway to fix it.  It's scary to face it.  But sometimes it's necessary if we're going to get out of these woods.  I've been thinking a lot lately about my OCD in general.  I've beat "bits and pieces" of it through the years, but I really started putting together a program and working very hard on hit at the end of May.  3 months later now, I would estimate that my symptoms are probably 20% reduced.  Of course that's just a guess.  But it's still a significant portion of my OCD.  Things that I would never have thought I could face 3 months ago, and they are just "normal" now and not a problem.  Am I still consumed with OCD everyday?  I wouldn't say that it affects me 24/7 anymore, but it definitely still affects me alot.  It still is affecting all kinds of decisions I make.  When I first started tackling my laundry issues 3 months ago, I didn't ever think I would be at the point I am today...and truth be told, that was an area in which I wasn't ready to face, but was kind of forced to one day.  And I am THANKFUL for that, because it has given me a lot of freedom in that area.  I am doing pretty well with my laundry issues, there is really only two big things left on that list, and both are yikes!!--at the top of my hierarchy.  I'm not ready for those yet, but I am glad to be rid of the other rituals in that area.  After looking at my bank account and really trying to figure out just how much money I've spent unnecessarily on throwing things away, I knew it was time to start handle the clothing contamination.  I have  a LONG, LONG ways to go in this area, but I have been able to wash and rewear some things, that I wouldn't have been able to do even a few weeks ago.  So back to the change in routine that I was mentioning daugher started middle school a couple of weeks ago, and this has forced me to start working on a couple other areas of my OCD pretty hard-core.  First of all, when she was in elementary school we had a 9:00 start time, which meant my  husband was long gone to work by the time we had to leave for school.  This year she starts at 8:00, and we actually have to leave a couple of minutes before my husband does in the morning.  Now if anyone remembers from all my previous posts, one of my big issues is not wanting my hubby home by himself, because I'm scared of what he will touch and I don't want him getting into my "safe places".  Well now there is a few minutes time lapse that he is home before we leave.  I'm not proud of what I've done to make myself feel more comfortable right now, so I'm not even going to mention it on this blog for now.  I do have a temporary solution to help give me comfort, until I can get used to this idea of him being here by himself (even though in reality he is probably just finishing getting ready and walking out the door).  The clothing contamination issue is something I am having to force myself to work on now, and I don't feel ready..but I feel it's necessary.  My daughter has woodshop class this year (yes, even the girls have to take it), and so of course the contamination concern is huge there.  It's her first class of the day, so then I worry she has sawdust and all sorts of things all over her the rest of the day.  This is the first year that she actually changes clothes for PE during the day and has her PE locker.  So of course PE is her 2nd class of the day and she goes there directly after shop.  So then I worry about her touching her clothes and changing and getting "shop class contamination from paint, chemicals, etc.) on her clothing.  I know many of you will disagree with what I'm doing, but I gave her hand sanitizier, and told her to put it on (and better yet, try to wash her hands) before PE class...especially if she has been working with "stuff" in shop.  Then of course her socks are on the locker room floor, and I get concerned that contaminates her shoes, and the list just goes on and on.  I know there is nothing I can do about it, and I've found some creative ways (that again I'm not proud of and are probably reinforcing my obsessions), but as time goes on, I'm hoping I become less and less concerned with it.
I have still been avoiding get togethers with family, basically because I don't want to be hugged by family members.  Although I did receive a couple of "half-hugs" in the last week, from my doctor and an old neighbor, and I was able to wash and re-wear those clothes.  So I guess some progress is better than none.  I even washed and re-wore some outfits that I had worn to doctors office appointments and sat in waiting room chairs, and to me that used to be an absolute no-no.  One of the shirts had even brushed up against the doctors scrubs and lab coat, and I knew he had probably been in the hospital at some point that day (because he is an OB/GYN), and so of course I imagine all the contamination that could be all over him, and I still washed and wore it.  So that is HUGE to me!!!
On a not so good note, I feel horrible because I missed my grandpa's birthday dinner last night.  I honestly was going to go, had bought the birthday card and everything.  Then all of a sudden something clicked in my head, and it was too much to deal I didn't go.  Then I texted my mom after the fact and explained I didn't feel good (which that actually was true, because I'm still dealing with some physical health issues that I posted about last time).  Then I felt even worse because I didn't show up or call.  The reason why I didn't want go?  Because I knew I would have to take my shoes off in their house and I didn't want to walk around in socks and then contaminate my shoes.  Because then my shoes would always be "contaminated", and then I'd have to figure out what to do about that.  I also did throw out a shirt the other week because my dad touched my arm.  Oh, that makes me feel so horrible to say that.  My niece turns 4 next week and I'm not sure how I will go to her birthday party.  I don't want to be hugged by  her...sad  :(  Oh, how I hate OCD.  


  1. Being able to wash and re-wear "contaminated" clothes is yes, a progress :) Congrats!

    And admitting that you cannot do anything about your daughter getting contaminated at school is also good for you.

    Regarding the husband being left alone at home, you also cannot do anything about that. as they say, if you cannot control it, accept it and don't obsess over it.

    Laundry detergents kill germs. Stop using anti bacterial soaps completely - that will help you.

    Contaminated shoes -- thats a tricky one i knew it. But in my case, i had to accept that shoes are themselves dirty anyway or i will have to buy 5 pairs of shoes every week. I just change socks each time and clean my feet when i shower before going to bed.

  2. What i realized is, the more options we have, the more difficult it is to get rid of our obsessions.

  3. Thanks, John. Good to hear from you! I have been washing and rewearing a lot more "contaminated" clothes again, so that definitely is progress! I still have a long ways to go, but for awhile was wearing a sweatshirt/hoodie over my clothes and then "contaminating it" for a week at a time, and throwing it away b/c I felt it was dirty. So although I still have a lot of issues there, it is better I think. School year has been going good too, and I've thrown all her school clothes in the wash at the end of of the week. All of them are contaminated anyway everyday from school, so I figure its okay to wash them all together. It's been going better. My husband brings in a lot of issues with my OCD, so that is definitely going to take awhile to address that . The weird thing is I see myself making baby steps in most areas of my OCD, but the issues I have with my husband I am not motivated to address. Maybe there is somewhat a bit of emotional contamination there too? I'm not sure. Anyway I agree with your comment completely about "the more options we have, the more difficult it is to get rid our obsessions". I told myself I should just stop buying antibacterial soap and then when I need to wash my hands..I only have the option of "regular" soap or nothing. I am doing better with the non-AB soap though, the only times I really use that are after I get home from being out in public, and in the have YOU been? Have you still been doing the hypnosis and your meds? I am curious as to how your progress is going too!

  4. Hi there! I have stopped the hypnotism after 4 sessions. The first 3 were focused on inner child that could have played a role in me getting an ocd. And on the 4th we've decided to discontinue for a while and see if the meds will do better which is currently OK. Im left now with washing grocery items which is difficult :). What i notice is, this is more habitual rather than because i think theyre germy. Im thinking on how to eliminate this as it is time consuming and really outrageous.

    Btw, regarding your hubby's role in your OCD, im not a therapist but maybe you should address and resolve whatever issues the two of you have. It's the stress or whatever trauma you had with him that may be causing your stress. and OCD breakouts.

    Lastly, please continue with your acceptance mode, it does really help in getting in terms with our imaginary contamination.