Monday, November 15, 2010

dreaming of a better future and eating tuna

Started new job today. And saw my counselor. On my to-do list is... breathing, or more specifically, not to stop breathing. I dream of a better future, when I will be able to stand to eat more than two things for supper (currently tuna and crackers plus fruit and veggie or bacon bits and cheese on salad, but it used to be pizza and veggie or cornbread and beans), when I will quit holding my breath as if that will help me deal with the situation better, when I will have a good night's sleep and not wake up early nor have trouble waking up from a medication, when I actually want to live most days of the week. Yes, this sounds lovely.

In the mean time, I have started taking classes at my local gym. Well, really, I've only taken one so far, but I intend to add to that shortly. And I've been excersizing at least 5 days a week for at least 20 minutes. Have i been working on relaxing? No. But excersizing? yes.

Today I expressed to my counselor that I was upset that my ocd didn't follow the rules I think it should (haha, as if ANY of our ocd follows the rules we want). See, I did the bathroom cleaning exposure and then journaled about it. But I got the bathroom clean in about half an hour! I was doing well! I mean, if you overlook the fact that I had several different excellent examples of catasrophic thinking in the short half hour, I was doing great. So she suggested I do some of the cognative work thinking about what evidence that I have that because I touched my swimsuit with dirty hands, I'd contaminate the whole chlorine-filled pool next week or month or year when I go swimming again (or pick another example of catastrophic thinking; I wasn't short on them!). It's just so irritating that the ocd can play so many games in thirty minutes. So the bathroom ended up clean, but my anxiety level was raised and my poor brain must just get really tired sometimes - I get tired of it even if it doesn't get tired of me.

Then there was the tuna example. Since I have switched tuna from the list of foods that might poison me to the short list of foods I'm willing to eat (go figure!), I fix it more often now. And after touching it, I want to wash my hands with soap before touching the dish towel because I don't want tuna germs on my dish towel. Immagine! She suggested that a normal person might wipe off their tuna-water-y hands straight onto the kitchen dish towel! How terrible! I mean, think of the germs! But my counselor countered that I eat tuna. But not after it's been sitting on a towel for a day! One of those conversations that leads me to suspect I have more contamination issues than I realize. If I die of tuna poisoning, then don't copy my tuna exposure of .... only rinsing my hands (no soap) before I dry them on the kitchen towel. Really risky, I know, right along with not PERFECTLY cleaning the bathroom. This life is hillarious (and depressing) but I wonder what life without ocd feels like.


  1. Your blog does a great job of putting into words how the OCD brain thinks about contamination issues. It continues to amaze me that so many OCD brains work in the same wacky ways!

    I'm glad you're making progress, and I hope we both can experience life with (less) OCD soon!

  2. I too made a comment like that the other day. "I don't want my life anymore. I don't want to have OCD anymore." Acceptance is the first step I am sure. But there are some days when I'm in the thick of things that I really wonder how it is possible to live with this horrible disorder.