Saturday, October 1, 2016
One step at a time
Wow--I can't believe it's been about a month and a half since I last posted. When I first started this blog, I remember posting all the time. Probably because OCD was completely consuming my life at that point, and it was a means of journaling and trying to process this disorder. I don't post quite as much anymore. In some ways I guess that is good, because it means OCD is not in the front seat anymore....but it is still definitely there, more than I would like it to be.
I forged ahead pretty well over the summer, and a lot of that had to do with my motivation and feeling better physically during that time. Now that we are in October already (what?!), I feel the change in seasons wreaking havoc mentally. I don't need to be diagnosed, I know that I deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is a real thing. As summer starts winding down, and we are back to school for several weeks, and especially when the days start getting shorter, and that much needed sun isn't showing itself as far into the day anymore, I can feel myself mentally slipping into this. I am aware of what I'm facing, so I just need to stay one step ahead of it. I must keep exposing myself and working on all things OCD, at least doing something day to day so that I keep making progress.
So the whole car thing so far has not been an issue. My husband hasn't needed to ride in the car yet, so that is good. That was one of my primary OCD stressors over the past month. I think I have figured out a way to deal with this when the need arises, so now I just wait for the time he needs to ride in the car, and go from there.
I've been doing exceptionally well with laundry. I'm down to about only 6 loads of laundry per week now (excluding my husbands stuff which is easy to do in a half day), which has given me back loads of time--pun intended! It is so nice to be able to run some errands, or whatever I should be doing, without worrying about my laundry lurking in the background. Now, if I could just figure out a good detergent balance we would be good to go there! I still feel like the clothes don't rinse out well, and I'm down to not using much detergent at all, so I don't know what else I can do there, but those few extra rinses per load do take some extra time that I wish they didn't need to do. I am able to do laundry now while my husband is home. I still prefer not to, because it brings about way too many obsessions if he could somehow open the door when I wasn't looking and "contaminate" the laundry.....but if I absolutely need to do a load while he is here (which isn't very often), I can do it. All of my toilets can flush now while I'm doing laundry (that has sure come a long way since 3 years ago). If things get contaminated, I am able to throw them in a wash cycle by themselves. I rarely throw clothing away anymore (but if I'm being totally honest, I have on occasion).
Things still aren't going great with my husband either. I told him that he needed to clean up his room/clothes situation before he could even get in my car and he agreed to this. He wasn't doing anything about it, so I actually cleaned up his room for him about a week ago. Sorted through everything and vacuumed that room for probably the first time in 2 years. Then I told him he needed to go through all of the clothes so that he could toss/donate what he doesn't use anymore and I could get everything else washed and back into his drawers and at least feel some semblance of normalcy in his room. He still hasn't done this. I just don't honestly know what to do about this situation anymore. I bring up things that bother me about the OCD in relation to him and living together in the same house, and he just still doesn't want to hear any of it. I have thought about going to see a therapist again strictly for this reason...to see if I can get some guidance on how to deal with this, because I just don't know how we are going to continue to do this. But then I get frustrated, because why should I go spend $200/month on a therapist, when I feel that my husband could just easily listen to me and we could work on a plan together. After all, he knows that I've been able to self treat most of the rest of my OCD, so I'm not sure why he feels it would be different with him. Basically I have always been willing to do the work, but I don't feel he is willing to listen/work together. And there is a lot of resentment on both ends, and it is just big mess. To add to this, he has also been sick with a cold for over a week now and this really has me on edge. I'm worried to leave the room because I want to make sure he covers when he coughs...the other day he didn't. Coughed completely open mouthed right onto me and our daughter. That turned into quite the argument, and I will leave those details to your imagination. Sigh.
Onto other exposures....my neighbors had a block party last week where they welcomed some new neighbors that just moved in. It was a fairly good sized gathering with lots of kids there. I went! It was a fun time too! Not too many problems, other than one of my neighbors touched my sleeve (why oh why do people feel the need to touch others? I know it is human and all of that, I just don't ever remember doing that to people even when I did not have OCD), but fortunately I was able to just wash that the next day and it was fine.
I've continued trying to "resist" OCD thoughts, meaning if my OCD is telling me to do something, I am trying really hard to just let that pass. Such as when it tells me to wipe the couch down, or go wipe my car down. I don't always win, but I am getting better so that is good.
And that is the essence of the image at the top....Two steps forward, one step back still gets you ahead. Please always remember that in your fight against OCD. OCD can consume us, it has taken away so much from us. We can't let it win. We must fight, and that means constantly moving forward. It is hard, hard work. Don't let the days that OCD wins (and we all know there will be those days) defeat you. As long as you keep pushing yourself (even despite the inevitable setbacks), you will be staying in the race. You will eventually get ahead of this monster, which is what we all want. A life that is not consumed by OCD. And that is what we need to keep fighting for.