I had another appointment with my doctor last Friday. It was a pretty good appointment; I had made some progress since last time and he had gone to the International OCD Foundation conference in Chicago and was excited to share some highlights, including an explanation of the “virtual camping” that occurred. I hope to go to the next conference in San Francisco in 2017. Who wants to come with me?!
In office exposure
Other than that, I did an in-office exposure of going into the bathroom and touching the toilet bowl, etc. and then heading back to my doctor’s office, rubbing my hands together, and eating almonds out of a bag that my doctor brought to work for his lunch.
Doing an exposure in the actual presence of the doctor is a good experience. You can’t really fake it, and you are immediately accountable to report your feelings, stress, anxiety, etc. As I’ve likely mentioned before, the most difficult part of exposure for me tends to be the anticipation of it. Standing there in the bathroom, looking at the toilet, and thinking about all the people who have used the toilet and what various bodily wastes have been in it was the most disturbing part of the exposure. Touching the door handle on the way out of the bathroom was also rough—I couldn’t help but think, “anyone who touches this dirty door handle will be contaminated….”
But actually getting back into the office and eating those almonds wasn’t too bad. Once you do it, you just have to accept that it’s done and then wait for any consequences to rain down upon you. Which, of course, usually doesn’t happen.
I’m supposed to do similar exposures at home but I haven’t, of course. I find that I tend to put off exposures once I’m home, thinking that I’ll do them later or something. So I need to get on that.
We did have some people over to our house for food and visiting and such. This used to be something that I either didn’t do or freaked out intensely about. I would worry about preparing food for other people. I didn’t want to spread germs or get anyone sick. I had a bit of a worry this weekend because one of the children in my Primary class told me about a sick sibling and mom at home, so of course my mind starting racing with thoughts of “maybe I will get sick because of this child.” “He probably has germs on his clothes.” “Why is he sitting next to me?” “I’ll change my clothes before we have people over just in case.”
I did change my clothes, but I didn’t cancel the gathering. So maybe I’m not totally better but I am trying. Sometimes. With some things.