I went to see my new therapist, Cory yest. and we made a list of things I still hate to touch- bathroom sinks, kitchen faucets, the laundry... Only after i finished the list did i remember the real thing that I need to touch- all my clothes in the closet. Funny how the catalyst for re-entering therapy is forgotten while all my rituals that I felt I could live with come up first. Guess I don't really want to 'live with' rituals or weird ways of doing regular weekly or daily things.
Unfortunately OHIP isn't paying for this round. My husband's insurance co. pays for some of it; the rest I pay.
So yesterday I had to touch the top and bottom of the kitchen faucet to turn on the water, wash my hands and touch both the top and bottom of the faucet to turn off the water. Sounds simple. I did it, and didn't dry the hand that touched the tap because I didn't want to 'wipe off' the contamination onto the towel. Both a) so the towel didn't become contaminated (OCD reason) and so that I couldn't say that the towel was cleaning the contamination off my hand (ERP reason).
I stared at my hand for a long time, wondering whether I'd be able to think of it as clean, or ok. I went from a 9 to an 8, but then Bruce started saying things like: 'you're in control'. Katrina hates it when we say that to her, trying to help her remember that she can beat ocd. She tells us that it just makes her dread number go back up. Now I understand why she said that. Telling me that 'I'm in charge' that early in the ERP just says that if I wasn't so stupid, i'd be in charge and i'd get to a 0 really fast, and the reason i can't is just cause i won't, or don't want to, because, you know, "I'm in charge".
Interesting piece of information, that was! Saying things like: 'you can do it, Karin,' or 'you'll be alright' or 'shut up' (to the ocd telling me that I'll just contaminate the next thing i touch) works to calm me down and decrease the noise/ dread/ fear in my head.
Also that's when something Cory said to me earlier clicked. She said that my 'peanut butter' theory (where i touch one thing, and then it's contaminated now, and then i touch another thing and it's contaminated now etc.) isn't my thought- that's OCD talking. That's what i need to tell to shut up. And while i'm telling ocd to shut up, i'm also not taking mental notes of what i'm touching for OCD to use as new contaminated items.
OCD is such a devious sneak.
Yesterday it took 43 minutes before i was ok touching stuff. Today it took 14 minutes. I was busy with the dogs, tho today so just got irritated faster that i was being one- handed doing stuff- and not my dominant hand, either, while yesterday night i was just sitting on the couch, WAITING.
I'd like to do it 2 more times today, just not right now.
PS. i also think it's time the English language followed the rest of the world in not capitalizing their word for I. It's a pain for those of us with not very long fingers to always be reaching for that capitalizing button. Just my pet peeve!