Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Progress Update

     I have been continuing to truck along with working on things this spring.  One of my main goals currently is working on laundry routines,  and finding a way to spend less time with the washing machine.  I am a suds lover.  I love to see suds in the washer and that is how I feel my clothes are getting clean.  Because we have an HE washer, this creates a problem.  For awhile, I was using WAY, WAY too much detergent in the wash.  This was great, in the sense that I felt my clothes were very clean, but created a huge problem in another sense that the clothes would take so, so long to rinse out.  I would often times be running an extra rinse cycle 7-8 times after each load of laundry, just until the water was clear.  Because, of course, I didn't want detergent left in my clothes because that would cause an OCD problem with chemicals being left in my clothes.  It has taken me a long time to be able to find a level of detergent I am comfortable with, that requires only a couple of extra rinses per cycle.  I would still ideally like to see myself using a little less as I move forward, so that when the cycle dings done--it really is done.  It is getting easier, I must say.  I have probably cut down on detergent by about 30-40% right now, and I am still titrating down, so my goal is to be there within another month or so.  It will be so great to be able to run a normal wash cycle and have a load done in about an hour, as opposed to the 3-4 hours it took at one point).  Seriously, I was spending about 4 hours of my day just re-rinsing clothes (because I do on average 2-3 loads/day).  I have bought some clothes off the rack this spring (still won't try them on at a store), instead of buying everything online.  I have been eating with my hands again (this is a big one!).  When my hands were covered in warts (because they were so irritated and unhealthy from the frequent handwashing), I stopped doing anything with my hands.  That was another significant downfall for me.  My hands used to look most OCD sufferers (that deal with contamination).  It looked like I soaked my hand to my wrist in red-koolaid.  Everything from my wrist up was healthy,  fleshy skin.  The hands were horrific.  Red, dry, painful, cracked, deep cracks that would bleed.  I rarely have cracks on my hands anymore, and my hands are typically a normal color now, although they are still dryer than normal.  This is a huge difference for me, and I believe the healthier skin is what finally fought off the warts.  I have just a couple of spots, teeny little pinpricks on my hand which I feel are teeny warts, but you wouldn't notice them if you looked at my hands.  I feel better now about using my hands to eat.  I've been trying to eat most finger foods with my hands over the last couple of weeks, which will also help me out when we need to go to a restaurant for some reason.  I typically avoided that, or I just wouldn't eat because I didn't want to use the silverware.  Now, I know I can just order a burger or sandwich and eat with my hands.  So, I feel like these steps I have been making have been working to get me somewhere here. 
     My main issue still, is with my husband.  Why am I having such a hard time with him?  Moreso now, I am feeling super mentally stressed and burdened by the weight of my relationship with him...if you can call it that.  We really don't even have a relationship.  I felt like I have been working really hard at trying to improve my OCD, and I have done so much better in so many areas.  But, the one area that I repeatedly make no progress in is my relationship with least not feeling like he is contaminated.  I'm having a really rough time.  These past few months that he has commuted to his job (and been gone every single work day for about 10 hours), I have been doing so much better.  But I wonder, is part of that just the fact that I feel more freedom with him being gone all day?  Is it because I can make appointments and leave during the day and not worry that he will come home?  I can go get groceries and not worry that he will come home?  I can talk the dog for a walk and not worry that he will come home?  I can do my laundry without worry that he will come home?  See the pattern here.  I think this is part of it.  Sometimes he works from home, and that completely throws my day off.   I think another reason that I'm having such a hard time with him, is that he is still not willing to bend in any direction to help us have any sort of relationship together.  He doesn't have the best hygiene, and you might say he tends to run on the other end of the spectrum.  I feel like he is contaminated, because a lot of the things that he does.  He sometimes goes a few days without showering (especially on the weekends), his shower that he uses is covered in black mold and he refuses to clean it.  His bedroom truly smells and he has dirty clothes laying all over the floors and beds, along with full trash bags of trash (that have been sitting there for months).  If you're reading this post and new to my blog for the first time, we don't share a bedroom or bathroom fortunately.  His sheets have had blood, from a cut, on them for months (I can't even get to the sheets to wash them, because of how filthy his bedroom is).  These are just a few examples.  I would have hoped that he would have cleaned up the legitimate things that needed cleaning, but he refuses to do it.  And this makes me angry, because I have worked so hard to bend myself in the opposite direction to work on exposures, and would be willing to work on those things to improve our relationship.  He also is just very detached and emotionally distant in general.  He is prone to irritability, and I think this makes me feel unhappy in the marriage.  I also think that our marriage (even without the OCD included) is so dysfunctional and unhealthy, that I feel mentally drained when I am around him.  When I get up in the morning (and I know he has left for work), I almost feel a weight has been removed my chest.  For the next 10 hours, I can just relax, until he comes home.    I think it is a combination of all of these things, that is bothering me.
    I am still trying to improve my health in other aspects too.  I haven't been doing the greatest at exercising, and I can tell that I feel worse because of that.  I am trying to eat better currently, adding more fruits and vegetables into my diet.  It is also influenza season, and this is always a trigger for me.  Historically, I have a much harder time with my OCD in the spring because of the flus that go around.  I feel myself much more on edge when I am out and about.  The toll that my marriage takes on me, leaves me feeling like I mentally and emotionally start slipping.  The good news is that I am aware of this, so I am very on guard as to it being a trigger.  I know it's dangerous when I start feeling that slide, because I've spiraled down before.  Just got to keep climbing the ladder, and getting back up again.