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Friday, May 8, 2015

Possible dog poop on my jeans

    Well, I guess when I was writing my blog post yesterday, I didn't realize it at the time, but I was actually giving myself a pep talk for a situation that would present itself that night.  Now, I need to follow my own advice.  Last summer I had a very difficult time being outdoors, particularly walking around my neighborhood.  Just felt dirty, because a lot of construction was going on.  Especially when it was windy, I would feel like things were blowing all over my clothes, "contaminating" them, and feeling very dirty and uncomfortable in general unless I was indoors.  Because of that, unfortunately my daughter and I spent the majority of last summer inside.
     This year, since I am doing a lot better, I was bound and determined to not let those same issues get in the way of enjoying time outdoors again.  The other day I was walking our dog and as we rounded the corner to come home, I noticed some brown liquidy spots on my arm.  I'm not sure when they popped up.  I know my dog did her #2 business outside, and I cleaned up after her, walked back home and washed my hands.  Then we went back out again and walked down the street a second time.  As we were approaching home, I noticed these spots.  Where else would they have come from?  I can't imagine how cleaning up dog poop could have gotten on my arm, but it was you never know.  Maybe something blew down from a tree?  But how does it get on your arm?  I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I walked in the door, immediately took my clothes off, looked over every square inch of my clothes for any brown liquid...didn't see any, but washed my hands probably about 10 times, and then took a shower, and changed.  I told myself I needed to wash these clothes, and not let them sit there forever thinking they were ruined/contaminated.  Well, long story short....they are still sitting there.  I haven't done anything with them, because the pants are spandex yoga pants and they probably can't withstand the heat level of a sanitary wash cycle.  I have NOT thrown them away yet, but not sure what I'm planning on doing with them.  I remember sitting there after the incident thinking, " I probably won't want to go outside this summer again.  Every time I walk the dog I'm going to be afraid that somehow her poop is ending up on me". rained so much over the next couple of days that I didn't have to think about it again.  I heard the rainfall in our area was about 7 inches one night.  Places flooded in town, people's backyards had formed swimming pools.  A lot of rain.  Yesterday things had dried up, and I decided I was going to walk our dog again.  I was not going to let what happened the other day prevent me from going out again.  After all, what happened that day had never happened before.  I really felt it wouldn't happen again.  Wrong.  I had on a nicer pair of jean capris and a hoodie this time, and again she did her #2 business on our walk.  She kind of pulled away on her leash as I was picking it up, so then I'm afraid somehow the poop bag brushed against me or something, and ...of course it was slightly windy again.  Also because of the rain she was lapping up water continously around the block, trying to make her way over to mud puddles and dirt.  Splashing through the water puddles.  When we got home, I inspected my clothing (because I was paranoid about last time), and wouldn't you know I find a damp brown chunk on my jeans that kind of flaked off.  I picked it off, and couldn't see any reside left behind.  So, I don't know...was it dog poop?  Was it mud or dirt that flicked off as she was splashing through the puddles?  I just don't know.  And not knowing it was drives the OCD crazy, because it will tell me it is poop.  Definitely. 
      Ugh!  Today I am forcing myself to wash the pants, twice through a sanitary setting.  And I need to wear them again.  Even moreso, I need to tell myself as I'm doing this, the following:   "This is dog poop on my jeans.  I am now wearing pants that have had dog poop on them.  There could be dog poop remnants on me right now".  It sounds utterly ridiculous (because maybe it isn't dog poop), but I I've found that by taking my self-talk to an extreme level that the grossest thing I can think of to happen is actually happening (even if it's not), then that is what helps me make progress.  Eventually my mind will accept that there could have been dog poop on them, but I am still wearing them, and it is okay.  And they don't have to be contaminated forever.  This is so gross to think about, and so hard.  But I so very badly want to be free of this disorder, and I need to face these fears.  But I'll be honest...I'm scared to walk my dog again.  And I had some fleeting thoughts again last night where I told myself I'm not going to take her for walks anymore.  But that is not realistic.
     I was thinking about OCD the other day, in the sense that it feels like we live inside a box sometimes.  We are inside of it, looking out.  It feels like we are locked in the box, but the only way we're ever going to get out of it is by using the right key.  But then once it seems like we are partially out, then is another door that takes another key.  But each "key" is a breakthrough.  There are a bunch of windows that help things seem not so dark sometimes, but to keep walking out the doors, and eventually leave them for good, we have to find the right keys.  I am hoping that this is one of those times, where this will be the key I need for another breakthrough.  The pants are being washed, let's hope I can wear them.  An update soon!  

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