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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Feeling like a bad person today

  So, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I'd like to say it's because my OCD has been improving.  And I guess, truthfully, it has to some degree.  But I am still very much not out of the woods.  I am leaps and bounds better than where I was at last year at this time, and I actually do fairly well on a day to day basis (as long as Im staying with my normal routine).  But that is just the problem...take me out of the routine and I can see how much this is still affecting me.  I like to think that the OCD isn't bothering me as much.  Since I work from home, and as long as I don't have any family functions or appointments to attend (where I would contaminate myself), then I do pretty well.  I've developed some "rules"--yes because those of  us with OCD seem to have issues with that.  But these are actually good rules:  things I want to incorporate into my life everyday.  Nine things...getting adequate sleep, eating 3 meals regularly every day, walking every day, getting sunshine for 1 hour everyday, spiritual involvement (church, listening to Christian music, reading Christian books/inspirational fiction, reading the Bible, praying), positive self talk, doing something relaxing or fun by myself everyday, doing something fun with my daughter every day, and facing up to my OCD everyday (whether it be a small exposure or big, I need to face up to it everyday).  And to be honest, I've found that as I've incorporated these things into my daily routine, I do feel a lot better.  I feel like I am functioning at a pretty high level again...but of course that also includes the fact that I continue to work from home, and don't like to veer outside my comfortable routine. 
    But on to the title of this post, something that does veer outside of the routine.  I'm feeling like a bad person today.  A horrible person.  A horrible sister.  I've talked a lot on this blog about how I have trouble being around children (other than my own daughter).  Because of this, I don't spend very much time with my sister and niece at all.  I haven't actually seen my niece in over a year, and she is almost 5 years old.  I'm a horrible aunt too.  I didn't use to have as much trouble being around her when she was younger, as long as there were no illnesses, which I was sure to ask about every time we got together.  Now that the clothing contamination and safe zones are still a huge issue for me, I'm finding that it is difficult to be around her, because I don't want to hug her or have her touch my clothes, or sit on my couches, etc.  Horrible, horrible, horrible.  My sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last summer.  Fortunately it was a thyroid cancer that typically has a great prognosis.  I didn't go visit her at the hospital or at my parents as any of this was going on.  She stayed at my parents for several weeks so they could help out with my niece.  She had friends come visit her, but I never went over.  Not once.  Never offered to take care of my niece during this time either.  I've seen my sister a couple of times since then, but it's been on occasions where my niece wasn't there and was with her dad instead.  My sister recently found out that she has another malignant node in her neck and she is scheduled to have surgery again in a couple of weeks.  She called me yesterday and asked if I could watch my niece for about a 36 hour period following the surgery, as she was trying to line up caretakers for her.  It would involve her being at my house during this time, sleeping 2 nights overnight.  As she was telling me this, she was even considering letting a woman at her church help out that had offered (that she barely knew).  So, I am feeling horrible.  So many contamination issues around this.  I have a really difficult time with people coming over to my house anyway.  Only my parents really have been here in the last year.  I don't let anyone use the bathroom either.  So how is this supposed to work?  I made up some stupid excuse that I may have to work, and told her a truth also--that there is a lot going on at our house right now and it is tense place and I'm not sure it's the best place for my niece to spend a weekend.  That is really true.  But what kind of sister and aunt am I when I can't help out in a time of need?  When I'm willing to let my niece stay with a stranger basically, because it is too much for me to handle?  When my OCD is obviously such a problem that I can't figure out how to make this work.  In reality, I would be keeping my distance from her, in a similar way to which I do my husband.  It would be contamination of everything, and a 5 year old can't understand that.  It would be a great exposure if I was ready for it, but I' m not.  In all actuality I could see the situation worsening as far as my house, my safe zone, being so contaminated that I couldn't get it clean.  I don't want this OCD to get worse.  I don't want to develop new problems.  I fear I'm appearing selfish.  But its not that, it's the disease.  A disease that I keep in silence.  So, in conclusion, I am feeling like a bad person today.  And I obviously have a long ways to go still toward recovery of this disorder.  Ugh.  


  1. Sigh. I completely understand this. I wish I could offer a lot of words of wisdom, but I don't have many. This is a terrible quandary. Have you told your family - parents and sister - about your condition? I think it might go a long way to their understanding where you are coming from. That it's not that you don't care - it's that you are absolutely terrified of these things. The only other thing I can suggest is CBT/ERP with a real specialist who truly understands OCD. That was the only way I was able to make any significant progress. I'm so sorry. I know exactly how you feel as these are things I struggle with too.

    By the way - I really love your nine rules. They are excellent.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Sunny. I still haven't told my family about my OCD. Well, that isn't entirely true. I actually confided in my sister once that I did have it (but we didn't get into specifics). Funny that it seems that when people hear the words OCD so many of them equate that with "neat freak" or "germaphobe". I thought that by telling my sister the words OCD it might kind of start the gears turning and she might look back and things might make a lot of sense. But to be honest, we didn't get much into it. And I know, I know...I really need to get some help with a real true specialist, and not just myself. I think to really "cut out the contamination" aspect of this disorder I need to do some pretty significant things, rather than just taking out little pieces on my own. How are you doing by the way? Have things been improving for you? I know you were going through a rough patch and I'm hoping that maybe that is turning around? I hope so, please let me know how you are doing. And my nine rules may sound so simple...but I"m glad you like them. They really do help!!

  3. Dear Hopeful

    This is my first comment on your blog but let me assure you that I am a regular visitor of your blog and keeps on re-checking it for any new posts.
    Not that it's interesting but because I can feel myself in it. I'm an adult and had been affected by this disorder for so many years but I only came to realize it recently that this is why I am so. I never thought that there would be people like me but after reading your blog and another related to OCD, it's shocking that there are people out there like me inspite of having so different backgrounds.
    I had been thinking to say this for quite some time, also searched your profile for an email id but could not find one and so finally posted it here.