Hopefully you enjoyed the OCD Con recap posts! But alas, now we are back to “real life.” Our family is getting back to real life too, and it’s been an exhausting shock to the system!
Our kids got out of school near the end of June thanks to the large number of snow days this year, and the timing of the end of school coincided with my really hard time/start of my new medication. My mom decided to fly out to help me (and to help with the children) and arrived the evening of the first day of summer break.
We had planned to go visit her and my dad and leave the kids with them at their house while we went to San Francisco for the conference, but we obviously decided to adjust our plans and plane tickets with this new development (my breakdown).
My mom stayed for a few weeks and my dad flew in before the Fourth of July. They left a few days after we got back from San Francisco. So, I had a nice buffer from being the “full time mom” during summer break for a few weeks while the kids enjoyed grandma and then both grandparents….and I could do my exposures and otherwise have some alone time.
Me and the Kids
But now, here we are, tired and around each other most of the day. I instituted a “schedule,” and we have some summer camps and activities… so we are surviving! I have to surreptitiously do my exposures and manage my OCD, but luckily my medication is kicking in and things aren’t so daunting and difficult.
I’m still going to weekly group therapy, and it’s good to go there to make goals and have that accountability as well. Some days are more difficult than others, and I wash my hands more than I ought or spray disinfectant spray when I know I shouldn’t, but by and large I am trying to work through my hierarchy and do exposures that are higher up on the list.
Lately some of my “newer” and harder exposures have been things like using the bathroom out and bringing in my bag/purse to the stall, putting dirty laundry in the wash machine without washing my hands after, using my bath towel more “indiscriminately” (instead of being careful to use certain parts on certain body parts), wearing pajamas and pants more than once before washing, touching my fly/zipper/waistband of my pants during the day without washing hands (I consider those parts to be dirty since you pull up your pants and zip your fly after wiping but before washing hands), and sitting on the ground inside and outside.
I’m also working on having a normal level of “anxiety” when random things happen that would’ve have caused a meltdown in the past. My daughter is “helping out” with this quite a bit (un)fortunately… I think she has fecal impaction and has been leaking in her underwear on the way to the toilet often….like multiple times this month. We’ve been working on getting her more fluids and fiber to try and help her poor little bowels, but each time she leaks is like a test for my OCD—how will I react? Will I throw out her clothes or wash them normally (obviously the underwear is its own story, but the pants and shirts that don’t appear to have any stains but that she was wearing at the time??), etc. etc. I think I have been doing a lot better than I used to in similar situations in the past, but it is still hard.
Overall, the OCD is still there but I’m handling it better thanks to ERP and medication. I guess that’s the moral of most OCD stories, isn’t it? Do your therapy and use medication if necessary. 🙂