I did 2 things today that I wouldn’t have done normally & I admit, I feel a small sense of achivement, as they are 2 things that previously my OCD would have stopped me from doing.
Firstly, we had an ice-cream tasting at work. Everyone in the office knows I have a sweet tooth and I was clearly very excited about the tasting. Last time we had a number of flavours and could have a whole pot to ourselves. Some people shared, if they wanted. Today, as I gathered round with everyone else, my heart sank to see 12 small pots of varying flavours, but all had been tried! Everyone was waiting for me to tuck in for my ‘expert’ opinion. So, in I went. I avoided the ones that had been eaten a lot, and focussed on those with patches that hadn’t been touched. I know technically any germs could be all over the pot, but I did it anyway. Then pots were being passed around more and people were even swapping spoons and cleaning out the pots.
Secondly, I had a small pot of chocolate sponge for pudding. When I took the film off the top, it came off too easily and before I had absolutely double checked that it was properly sealed. I decided that as it was only a tiny bit that would have been unsealed & I was going to put it in the microwave at full power, I would eat it – and I did.
Yes, I am slightly freaking out about both of the above, but there’s an overriding sense of pride. I’m glad I was able to do both of these scary things today. I know I’ll have bad days when I won’t be able to, but one day at a time. It was nice to be in the middle of a group and doing something everyone else was; something ‘normal’.
It’s been a month since I began my little ‘experiment’ and so far, it’s kind of gone well – at least with respect to what I had planned. In fact it’s gone better than I hoped. I had anticipated that I would give up one of my nightly routines gradually – a bit each month, hoping to be free of it by June. However, I was able to give up slightly more in February than I thought I would and last night (1st March), I went further and gave up the whole thing. It’s the first night in about 5 years, when I’ve not done any of it. The funny thing is, I wasn’t nervous, or anxious I was excited, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to be free of it and I felt so liberated last night. I now have to think of the next thing to ‘give up’ or change. My success so far as given me great encouragement that this, or at least bits of this, can be overcome and I can get my life back.
On the other side to this, my nightly checking that my family are okay and still breathing escalated – sometimes, I wouldn’t even make it back in to bed before I ‘heard’ something. As a result my sleep has suffered and I’ve been back to getting a maximum of 6 hours a night (which isn’t enough for me, especially to keep my OCD in check). I suppose this is my OCD finding an outlet one way or another – if I wasn’t doing my nightly routine in the old way, it had to find something else to do.
I think, that this will be March’s challenge – to consolidate what I have already done and resist the temptation to go back to it, and then to get the nightly checking back under control along with my sleeping.
Whilst searching for some motivational quotes earlier for a friend who is going through a really tough time at the moment, I came across this and just wanted to share it as I think we could all do with remembering this sometimes: