Friday, January 16, 2015
OCD and Winter
Somehow OCD seems more difficult in the winter. I think it must be a combination of things, at least for me. It's the cold weather, the cold/flu season, the sometimes lack of sunshine, and feeling more "holed up" among other things. I sat down this morning and did an inventory of my OCD symptoms. If I look at my rock bottom OCD, where I was last year at this time, I have had a reduction of symptoms by about 35% from then, is my best guess. It honestly feels like the clothing contamination is my #1 issue right now. I have managed to completely rid myself of many OCD things, but for some reason this one is difficult....and it never used to be a problem, until just over a year ago. I consider myself severe OCD still. But it is leaps and bounds better than extreme, debilitating OCD...which is where I was for about 9 months. I feel like if I could get a grip on this clothing contamination and "safe zone" maintenance, that I would honestly probably be considered mild on the spectrum. It is what I am working toward in 2015. I had a great day yesterday, which is really something incredible when you have severe OCD. I felt motivated, I felt more at peace with things. The sun was shining outside and it was beautiful....which really helped! I got 4 loads of laundry done, got to the grocery store, made dinner, and picked up most of the top story of my house. My daughter has been sick the last few days with either cold or a respiratory flu bug. She has missed 4 days of school this week. Weirdly enough, my contamination is not horribly triggered when around her when she is sick. She has good cough hygiene and I really have no problem being around her. In fact she is home from school today still and sitting inches away from me on the couch when I type this--coughing and I don't really flinch. I have a lot of issues around others when they are sick though...maybe it's somehow not knowing what they could have and imaging all sorts of possibilities, catastoprizing the worst case scenario. The winter time is difficult for the whole flu season. Influenza is something that really sets me off. Being about in the winter when more people are out and about sick really triggers me. I find myself more hyperaware of others around me. I find myself not wanting to go out to the store (unless its non-peak times of the day). I have to work this weekend in my pediatric office, which will be like entering a germ zone. Thankfully I have no patient contact, but I will still feel disgusting when I leave work. My hands seem more dry in the winter too. The lack of sunshine does something to me....maybe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder? I feel so much better when the sun is shining. We have had a lot of influenza and whooping cough in my city right now. Being a phone triage nurse, I hear all kinds of stories from parents every day. Many of their kids are at school sick, and the parents will admit it! This further declines my trust in the common sense of people. Working as a pediatric nurse definitely does not help the OCD thoughts. My husband and I have been having more difficult times too lately. I plan on writing him a letter in a future post, even though I'll probably never give it to him. Lots of thoughts going through my head on that right now. His job situation is kind of up in the air at this point and he is feeling a lot of stress surrounding that. I feel like he is taking a lot of this out on me, and its not really helping with the OCD either. I am hoping for the good OCD days to outweight the bad OCD days this year, and I hope that for all of you too. I have a lot of ideas swarming around in my head for future posts. If anyone reading this has any ideas, bring 'em on!!! I also look forward to connecting with more of you this year. The Internet community is really a fantastic thing, and I am so thankful for it. I have met some really incredible people through this blog, and I am thankful for each and every one of you!