A little while back, my husband and I sat down one evening and talked a little bit about my OCD regression and current issues. It was like an in home therapy session (since I haven’t been to my doctor in awhile due to life and insurance changes).
I got a piece of paper and wrote down some of my “obsessions” and things that my OCD is focusing on currently. These included going to the bathroom (obsessions and compulsions mostly related to wiping and being “clean”), worries about saliva contamination, laundry cleanliness (mostly surrounding my hands either getting dirty putting laundry in or my hands being dirty when folding clean laundry), wanting to wash my hands after washing the dishes, and my hesitance to use all the bathrooms in the house (avoiding the “kid bathrooms”).
My husband and I then talked a little bit about these topics. For some, we discussed what made me “fear” or worry about contamination. We then talked about different exposures I could do to fight the OCD.
Some were easy. For the saliva, licking my fingers or making sure my fingers touched my lips or mouth when I ate finger foods, took pills, etc. and then purposefully touching other things would be good exposures. Other things were similarly straight forward. Use all the bathrooms. Don’t wash my hands after dishwashing, etc.
I wish I could say that I have been doing all of these exposures. I’m pretty terrible at actually following through. I have been working on my bathroom issues and hand washing, though I have not been making huge strides forward.
I think doing “home therapy sessions” and writing goals is so important, but I need to be better at committing to do certain things on certain days (or each day). Maybe my husband and I need to have a follow up session where I can report back or set more specific goals.
It is so much easier to flake out on yourself than on a doctor or someone else who holds you accountable. I can ignore or put off things, but when someone is there, wanting to know how it’s going, it puts a lot more pressure on me to get things done and make progress.
A normal person
Another thing that I’m trying to remember again is the whole idea of “What would a normal person do?” I used to think a lot more about this, and I decided I should bring it back. With OCD, we can get so caught up in what we think is “right” or normal (or should be normal) that we distance ourselves from what is actually a “normal” response or way of behaving.
When doing home or individual therapy sessions, it’s helpful to remember to aim for “what a normal person would do” or what I did before the OCD took over. So, with all that in mind, I plan to recommit to my goals and doing exposures. And trying to act more in line with what a normal person would do. Hopefully. Ahem.