Most people my age have their own home. I don’t. Partly because I simply can’t afford it – being single means there’s only 1 income. It’s also partly because of my OCD. I don’t really want to rent because of who might have been there before and I also have a huge feeling of responsibility for my parents.
At Christmas however I took the massive step of moving in with a friend and work colleague. It’s only weekdays not weekends but it was a huge thing for me. It still is.
My housemate has no idea about my OCD. Also because it’s actually her house (she had the mortgage with her boyfriend) I don’t have a huge amount of say in how things are done. She can clean things how and when she likes, she can wear shoes in the house and not wash down the sink or shower. All of these things she does and all of them stress me out. At home I’m much more free to perform my comfortable rituals but here I have to do them by stealth.
I’m getting better and obviously I have good days (eg when I can use the general cutlery) and bad days (eg when I have to use my secret store of knives and forks). It’s still all quite stressful for me which is one of the reasons I think I’m so tired even though I get more sleep As I now live closer to work.
However, this weekend is my housemate’s boyfriend’s birthday and they’ve invited over 60 people to a Barbecue. This would not be a problem if they were all outside. But this is the UK and it’s bound to rain. Even if it doesn’t they’ll go inside to sit, get drinks, use the bathroom (we only have 1toilet -upstairs next to my room). That means 60 people (50 of which I’ve never heard of let alone met) will be going through the house and using the bathroom, touching everything and with their shoes on (I have a real issue with shoes, just in case you didn’t realise).
I know this is going to be hugely stressful for me. So much so I don’t really want to be here to see the things that happen – I just want to live in blissful ignorance. But I can’t skip it. It would be incredibly strange and one of my other bestfriends has made me promise to be here as she doesn’t know anyone.
How can I get through this on the day and the week after?(This amount of stress will set all aspects of my OCD back for a few days at least). Other than hiding in my room on the day I need practical tips on a coping strategy. I’m hoping if I come prepared it won’t hit me as badly as it could and the recovery time will be quicker.
Any tips greatly appreciated.