I’m trying a new routine with my psychologist lately wherein I do an email check-in after two weeks and come back into the office after four. When I first started going to this psychologist, I was on the once a week program. As I started to improve, we drew out the in-between appointments time a little more and more. When I have the month long break between sessions, I usually get a little “wobbly” with my progress around week 3 and tend to regress and have some freak outs right before my appointment. This month stuck to that routine, although maybe one (my husband) could say that I wasn’t doing so well for the proceeding three weeks either. Ah, life.
When my OCD takes turns for the worse, I tend to get either really depressed and want to quit at everything OR I think, “I’ve got to power through this and if I have to do (whatever compulsion) to move on with my day and my life, so be it.” Mostly this week I’ve been in the powering through mode, although I have had moments of depression.
In regards to limiting compulsions…
I’ve been washing my hands a lot more than I should lately, AKA failing. I’ve also employed the use of disposable gloves, and I did use a fair bit of hand sanitizer when I took my kids to their well child check ups at the doctor’s office. To be fair, I think a doctor’s office is one of those places where even psychologists give you a pass for using hand sanitizer.
I’ve actually been doing okay though not great. This past week we got bunnies. Bunnies! As in more than one! As in pets! As in, they poop and pee and I have to clean the cage! This alone is a pretty big exposure for me (see “use of disposable gloves”). Petting and holding the rabbits are also exposures because my brain is telling me “those rabbits jump around their cage. Their cage has little poop pellets in it. Their feet aren’t getting washed. Their feet are gross. Their fur probably has nasty things in it too. Why would you touch them?!”
So there’s that. I hold those bunnies and clean their cage. Take that, OCD.
I’m also continuing to use all the bathrooms, including their soaps and towels. And there were even certain “surprise!” lifestyle exposures that I embraced. Well, embraced might be the wrong word, since it implies I was actually happy to do them, whereas I was more in a “grit my teeth and just do it” mindset. When I told my husband about one of them and asked if he was proud of me, he basically said “I should record you right now” because it sounded so idiotic. (I think that one was when my sleeve touched the top of a (used) straw in my glass and I didn’t change the shirt. That’s good, right?) I also didn’t change my (and my children’s) clothing after our trip to the doctor’s office (hello germs on all the chairs!). AND I tried on a skirt at Anthropologie and didn’t buy it. Even though it was on sale. Sigh.
Now it’s your turn! How are you doing with your exposures? What is proving to be a struggle? What new goals will you make for this coming week?
Good luck everyone, and let’s check back in next Thursday (my doctor appointment is tomorrow so I’ll probably get my new assignments then 😉