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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Week 1 Progress

     So, I just wanted to update on my progress this past week with my planned exposures (see my last post).  I've done pretty good actually!  I have eaten some new foods--things that I haven't eaten for a long time due to fear of allergic reaction.  I have continued to buy donuts from behind the bakery counter.  One thing that really bothers me about that, is that sometimes they use the bakery tissue to grab the donuts from the case and I worry that their fingers might actually touch the donut.  Other times, they are already wearing a glove when I get there, and they use their gloved hand to directly put the donut in the bag/box.  This bothers me, because I don't know where their gloved hands have been, BUT....I've actually been doing really good with this for weeks now.  I've kept the donuts and ate them, and so far it's been okay.  I have not worked on handwashing this week, as I was supposed to.  Not because I don't think I can do this, it just doesn't come I really need to work on this next week.  I did combine a couple types of clothes in the washer that I normally wouldn't.  I have been flushing our main bathroom toilet during most loads of laundry.
    Also, I had an excellent time this past weekend--My husband was out of town all day Saturday, so my daughter and I did a "fun day".  It was awesome.  We went out mini-golfing, got lunch, took our dog on a couple of walks, ran some errands--got some new books and some clothing at a couple different stores.  I have been buying most of my clothing online anymore, because somehow it feels that people might not try those on so much as they would in a store.  But we did each buy some shirts from a store, and to my surprise I wasn't even as fanatic about the employee handling them as I have been in the past.  I suppose this is because I am getting more used to "contaminating" my clothes and it feels a little more comfortable to have people touch them.  We also went OUT to eat...yes OUT, at a restaurant.  It was so fun!  Yes, I did bring my own silverware, but surprisingly I didn't have any other issues while there.  I did end up washing my car seat (just the part you sit on, not the whole thing) after we ate out, but that was only because I wore shorts to the restaurant, and that was not my intention.  But..I was able to wash those shorts (even though had worn them out publicly) with some other that was good.  I can't tell if the reason I felt so comfortable going out to eat was because I am doing so much better or because my husband wasn't there (which makes me uncomfortable, because I feel like he watches me to do OCD related stuff).
    Some other surprising things I've been able to do recently is visit my newborn nephew.  They were in town at my sister in laws house and although it is somewhat easier for me to sit in other people houses or public chairs now, I still feel like I have to double wash those particular clothes to make them feel clean again.  I wanted to hold the baby, but my OCD did not want me to, because it knew it would raise the discomfort up a notch.  Driving over there, I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to hold the baby.  It just made me think of the birth process, dirty and wet diapers, and spit up.  Those were the thoughts going through my head.  As soon as we got there my brother in law asked if we wanted to hold him.  My husband said "no", but deferred that I would probably want to.  The baby was kind of put in my arms at that point, so I knew there was no turning back.  But in hindsight, I'm glad it happened the way it did.  I held the baby a couple of times for a very long period of time.  Even at one point I felt like he was wet on the back of his clothes, but I'm pretty sure that was just the OCD trying to taunt me.  I did come home and get out of the clothes right away, I washed my arms up to where my T-shirt ended, but then did not shower until that night, (which is my normal time to shower) this is good too.  Progress.
   I also find it is getting easier to wash clothing that I would have deemed "unwearable" in the past.  For instance, 2 examples recently were my nose started bleeding last week and I got blood on my shirt.  Another time I was holding my tablet and it became wet which I thought was strange, it might have just been sweat accumulation, but somehow my OCD managed to make me think it was battery acid from my tablet.  I double washed each set of clothes separately and incorporated them back into my regular wardrobe, but in the past I probably would have pitched them.  I think back when my OCD was it's worst, I simply felt so overwhelmed when something became "contaminated".  The laundry rituals were so time consuming, that it was easier to throw away clothes here or there, rather than spend hours washing them.  Now that my laundry rituals don't take as much time, it doesn't seem as overwhelming to have to wash something separately if needed.  I've still got a ways to go there, but I am getting there!
     I was able to flush our main bathroom toilet during most of loads of laundry, so this process is started too.
   I also went to my 20 high year high school reunion yesterday.  Crazy!  I will have a huge post about this and how things went coming up shortly, but this is incredibly miraculous that I was able to go to this...more to come later!!  It went VERY well though!  I think a lot of the exposures that I have been doing over the past few months have really helped set the stage for when I did something big like this.  It was potentially a breakthrough for me in the clothing contamination area.
   One thing that I really struggled with this past week and just could not resist was washing the couch off each morning.  It is such a pain, and I truly hate doing it.  I know I don't need to be doing it, but for some reason I cave every time.  I would really like to kick this soon and am going to make a stronger effort to reduce that this week.  I really struggle with my safe spaces in general still.
     So, this brings me to exposures for this next week:  The next step in my laundry issues is to start purposely flushing my husband toilet (which sits directly on the other side of the wall of our washer/dyer.  I don't think I can do this completely this week, but logically it is the thing that makes the most sense to do.  If I could do this, it would make it possible for me to do laundry whenever I wanted.  In order for this to happen, I have to feel comfortable if he flushes that particular toilet, or I will never be able to laundry when he is home.  I am going to try to reduce the number of times I am washing the couch off in the morning.  I would like to start reverting back to some non AB soap instead of always using AB soap.  I am also going to keep working on my exposures from last week.
     Just one last random thought to wrap up.  I think the more you prove to yourself that you can fight back against OCD, you truly become more and more motivated to keep moving forward.  When you see yourself really starting to make some life changing progress, it's a really good feeling.  And it gives you the "oomph" that you need to face some of the harder stuff.  More on this later too!


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