Another day of treatment and it is going well. I feel lucky that I have a good therapist and the woman knows what she is doing even if what she is doing feels cruel at the time I can understand why it has to be done and I have to admit that it is starting to help. Even if I do spend the rest of my day in self pity and it takes me up until the next morning to function all over again.
I decided that I was going to leave the house late compared to the ridiculously early in fear of having to walk back up my street to re do every check. I only had enough time to do my checks once and I was running late. Of course my anxiety went sky high when I left the house. When doesn't it. I just ignored the thoughts the best that I could. Easier said than done but I didn't cave. I went straight to the station and I refused to walk back to do any more checks. By the time that I got myself to the train station I had to just jump on the train as it approached the station. I would always buy my ticket first but I decided that routine needed changed and I did not need to fear having to communicate with the ticket guy and hand over money. I still felt the fear but leaving the anxiety to do its thing. I was calmed down by the time I reached my stop and I pushed the button to open the train doors without using my sleeve or hoping someone else would do it for me. However, I did cheat. I used the back of my hand. Next time maybe I will be the bully to the OCD and I will not only touch that button with an open palm but I will give it a good rub and maybe if I am feeling particularly cruel I will rub my hands together and tell it that hundreds of people touch this button every single day and they probably don't have good hygiene habits. I feel like taunting it but then again I am a wuss and it might taunt me first.
My session went well. I handed back the piece of paper but I had to admit that I still have a niggling doubt about it. Maybe a 1 or 2 on the scale of 1-100. I was scared to admit it. All morning I had the thoughts going through my head that she would notice that I was still slightly uncomfortable and then if I admitted it I would be accused of not trying hard enough. Believe me I gave it my all. I touched the paper every day. At one point I was so angry at the paper and germs that I gave it a good crumple up. Then I apologized to it and flattened it back out again.
We went through what else we could do to see how I felt about the surfaces. I handed over my phone and my ipod. I felt that I would be OK with her touching them and putting finger prints all over the screens. When she handed back the phone I took it. I felt slightly anxious but I said that the thoughts are unjustified and it felt OK. With the ipod she had done the same but she took it a step further and put my earphones in her ears. I was uncomfortable with the idea and the longer she left them in gave me even longer to think about spores of bacteria multiplying and going into the surface of my earphones. I could take back my ipod without much bother but when I had to put in my earphones and keep them in until my 90 reached a 40 it was a struggle but as she assured my anxiety would decrease naturally and it did. She taunted the OCD and spiked my anxiety up a few times but it quickly decreased this time. Well. Compared to last time.
The next task was shaking hands followed by holding hands mid shake. Putting my other hand onto hers and her other hand onto mine. It started to feel warm and clammy. I felt fear of the germs her few rings would hold and put onto my hands. Then a nightmare situation came. I had to touch my face and then from my face touch my lips then lick my lips. She showed me that she could do it and she even licked her finger. I sat there like I was watching a horror film. I wanted to shut my eyes and ignore what I had just seen. No matter how often I looked down at my feet I was told to look up. I felt like a child getting into trouble and I felt silly to hold such fear. I did manage to touch my face but touching my lips was a much harder task and licking them felt impossible but I did it. I then had to sit with my thoughts. We were triggering the OCD and then taunting it and giving more fuel to the fire. I sat there with the thoughts throughout the session. With each trigger my OCD made up the most elaborate stories of what would happen. Then I sat with them longer. Trying to keep the reassurance away and any kind of distraction. I was not even allowed to tell myself that the thoughts were unjustified. It was a case of letting the OCD go on and on and then seeing it for what it is. Nonsense. Completely absolutely nothing but nonsense.
I could write down my elaborate stories that the OCD creates. I could give it names like.
'The travelling germs' and this is how the story would read.
One day the travelling germs decided to hop on to the light switch from my hands. They quickly jumped onto my husbands hands when he flicked the switch to go into the other room. They quickly spread all over and multiplied. It was an ideal spot for their holiday. Toasty warm with the most ideal body temperature. Here they thought that they were in the Antarctic when they were on my hands. They didn't stay long because they prefer the warm climate.
The travelling germs soon went into town with my husband and into his workplace and they hopped onto other switches and surfaces and they infected other people. Within a day their travelling party spread to the whole office building. Switches, keyboards, elevator buttons and door handles. When they found another ideal person to jump onto and have another luxurious holiday and they took advantage. Saw the sights and had a tour of every organ and went on a raft ride through the blood stream. However they didn't stay long because the body temperature soon heated up. They caused another flu outbreak and they didn't like such high temperatures. Off to the next victim the party leader said and off they jumped onto another door handle.
OK. So I might not have the best stories but I am sure that it could be made into a horror film. It definitely scared me under the covers when I got home.
I have 3 tasks to do this week. I know that it will be tough but I am going to give it my best shot. I end up with the fear of getting into big trouble if I don't complete them all by next Tuesday. That only makes me more determined to complete them all and show it who is boss. Even if its a wussy boss.