Today, for my sister’s birthday, I went indoor skydiving. I’m not much of an adrenalin junkie, but this is one of the few things I could consider, so I said yes and went along. Obviously, I had seen the photos on the website and knew I would be wearing a jumpsuit and helmet – but where this would normally freak me out, I wasn’t bothered. I was more concerned about remembering what I had to do and not looking stupid in front of the audience! I was doing really well – even when they told us to take our shoes off and stand on a public floor in our socks (something I can barely do at home!), but then I noticed a ‘bad’ mark on my jumpsuit and I was back in that twilight zone of not knowing how to react. I felt my panic surge, but because of where I was and who I was with, I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t even take it off to see if the mark was on both sides. I had to spend the next 40minutes or so in the jumpsuit – my only comfort was that I was in long sleeves underneath. At the same time I wanted to have a rational reaction to it, be just like everyone else.
I have been in a similar situation before and it’s brought on a panic attack, but this time, I was okay. That’s not to say I wasn’t worried – I was, very much so, but the fact I didn’t have a complete melt down was improvement. I controlled my breathing and tried to focus on the here and now – and the challenge of indoor skydiving. The worry didn’t go away completely except for the couple of minutes I was in the wind tunnel, but the important thing was that it didn’t stop me from doing what I had planned on doing.
I’m so glad that I didn’t let my OCD ruin my day or my sister’s. If I had let it have its own way, I would have been out of that jumpsuit, out of my top, scrubbing down with hand sanitiser and on my way home to wash thoroughly and burn my clothes. But if I had done that, it would not only have cost me money, but would have ruined a very special day for my family who were all there together (a fairly rare occurence). I also would have missed out on a great experience. OCD has cost me too many great experiences, and now I want to get them back.
Okay, so when I got home I had a shower and washed my hair. My clothes have gone in the wash, except for the long sleeve shirt I was wearing. The jury’s still out on that. It was the only thing to have direct contact with the mark, and I’m wavering between just washing it and wearing it again and throwing it out. I don’t want the OCD to make me throw another thing away, but I’ve been here before – thinking that tomorrow I will be strong enough to make the right choice, but I usually end up giving in. I’m not there yet and the worry is still there, but I think we could call this battle a draw, which makes a nice change.
I haven’t yet overcome any of my OCD issues, but if I can stay as strong as I did today, there may be hope that I will reach my goal.