Welcome to another “Everyday Thursday.” Looking back, we had a fairly busy weekend (Friday through Monday), although now I’d say that the week is kind of dragging along. The last week of summer vacation does that to parents, huh? We are so close yet there are still so many days left…
Overall, I’d say that it was a fairly successful week. Busy weeks are usually best, as I’ve mentioned before, because I can stay occupied and not think so much about the OCD. We had dinner at other people’s houses both Friday and Monday, one of which was more formal and the other less so, and one of which had more random people to meet and talk with while the other had only two non-family members. We also got to go to our good friends for a birthday cake and ice cream gathering on Sunday. I am trying to only eat one dessert a day, so I saved up for some intensely sugary store cake and frosting with chocolate ice cream that day. It was worth it.
OCD and conversations
Social gatherings bring up a different subset of my OCD sometimes, that of reassurance seeking in conversations. Basically, I worry that I’m not being totally honest or telling the absolute truth when I talk to other people, so I try to have a conversation ally (typically my husband but sometimes my mom or a friend or whomever). This person doesn’t usually realize that they are providing reassurance (until it has been going on for awhile). What often happens is that I will start telling a story and then break at crucial moments to bring my ally into the conversation and reaffirm that what I’m saying is true.
“Hey, we went to see a really great movie the other day and such and such played the main character—hey (conversation ally), wasn’t that such and such in the movie? What other movies was he in?”
“Oh my gosh, we went out to eat at this new restaurant in Portland the other day—(conversation ally), what was the name of that place?” (CONVERSATION ALLY ANSWERS) “Oh yeah, that’s what it was called. It was so good. Wasn’t it so good (conversation ally)? What did you get again?”
I didn’t really realize that I did this until my mom told me about it a few years ago. It’s like I lean on another trusted individual in conversations or social situations as a safety precaution. Now when I notice that I’m doing it, I recognize it as an OCD tendency and try to stop and hold my own, as it were, but it’s a difficult habit to break! It’s good to get some social exposure to practice, so it’s lucky that I had plenty the last week or so.
Shopping and such
We also went to the temple one day (always a good OCD exposure and one that we might delve into more in the future), and the kids and I went out on a shopping excursion Monday. Shopping with the kids is not easy but is always a lesson in patience as well as being a great exposure. They feel the need to touch so much, step on things that are not the ground and should not be stepped on, grab things, demand things, squirt soap in their hair when they are washing their hands (okay, that’s probably only happened once but it was on Monday), let their stuff fly away when we are eating lunch outside, etc.
Luckily, we survived, and I overcame the urge to buy certain things that I probably would have previously due to possible “contamination.” So I’d call it a win overall.
I’ve misplaced my notes from the doctor so I’m not sure if I’m accomplishing all I set out to do these last few weeks, but I feel pretty good about my progress. How are things going for you?
Have you ever sought conversation reassurance? Any good exposures you are trying to conquer this week?