How was your week?
Fall is here, and with it the added stress of having summer vacation over and “real” life begin again: school, schedules, meetings, to do lists, etc.
But all of this busy-ness is good for me, as I’ve mentioned before. Keeping busy is great for keeping obsessive compulsive disorder in check. As a result, I’m happy to say that things have been going along relatively smoothly. Of course, there is usually a slip up every now and then, but I had two things going for me this week—one, I had an appointment with my psychologist, and two, I’ve been reading “Stopping the Noise in your Head” by Reid Wilson.
As for my appointment, I think it’s so valuable to have that check in every once in awhile with my doctor. It forces me to evaluate my progress and admit my defeats or successes to someone else. Plus, we usually have a good chat about OCD or counseling in general. It is also a perfect (forced) opportunity to make new goals. Sure, I could make goals on my own, and I sometimes do and should, but making them in coordination with someone else makes them mean more, if that makes sense. I’m committing to do something in the presence another human being versus just to myself. There is a sense of responsibility that goes along with that.
So, this coming month I am to do deliberate exposures. Deliberate exposures are not my favorite. Basically, I have to choose to do something uncomfortable. In this case, with saliva. I’ve noticed the “saliva” contamination issue sneaking in, and we decided that I need to attack it head on before it blossoms into a major obsession. Basically, I have a hard time eating food if my fingers touch my mouth (without washing my hands immediately after). I also don’t like my kids putting their fingers in their mouths and then touching anything. So I have to purposefully get saliva on things that normally shouldn’t have saliva on them.
Similarly, I have to do some exposures with clothing: wearing pants at least two days in a row if not more, using pajamas over and over again before washing them, etc. I have to get over thinking certain areas or thing in the house are “dirty” (i.e., the bed). For example, if I sleep in a pair of pajamas, I usually won’t wear those to sit on the couch or go downstairs and eat breakfast at the table. Pajamas used in the bed are then “bed only pajamas” until they are washed.
Supposedly this is a strange, OCD driven habit that I have to get over, specifically by wearing my pajamas over and over again and wearing them wherever in the house I don’t want to wear them. Because that’s CBT. That’s how you overcome compulsions.
Which leads me to my next point of how I’m reading Reid Wilson’s book. I will eventually do a review, so I don’t want to get into it too much except to say that it’s a very interesting read in regards to its take on CBT and dealing with obsessions. I was going through a bad obsession the other day and kept thinking about it and worrying… but then I read some of the book and it helped. Keeping therapy and ways to overcome the OCD fresh in your mind is so helpful. I highly recommend it.
How was your week? What ups and downs did you experience?