So, since I've been strugging with stupid OCD forever, and lately it's gotten so bad I can't stand it, I've started working through my cognitive behavioral therapy. I got this great book called "Stop Obsessing" which is supposed to be the best book on OCD, and costs much less than the $160/hour psychologist sessions.
There are multiple categories of OCD, such as hoarders, checkers, washers, orderers, worriers etc. I fall mostly into the washing and worrying categories. The book gives multiple options of treatment methods for each category to help gain control over the obsessions.
For my first phase, I chose the options of post-poing obsessions, creating 'worry time' and writing down the obsessions. This week I've been writing down every obsession I have when I have it. The idea is partially to make obsessing a chore, so it's less likely to be something I want to do, as well as being able to get it out. Somehow looking at a piece of paper saying "If I don't put two markers standing up against my coffee mug when I leave the room, someone might drink out of it and I might get cold sores" make it seem more ridiculous than it sounds when I think/do it.
Next week I will start the post-poning/creating worry time. This method tries to take the power from the obsession, and help you gain control. When I get an obsession "What if the cup I drank out of had a virus on it? *worry, worry, worry*" I have to say to myself, "Ok, I will take time to worry about this later, but not right now, 10 minutes from now I will worry". I will try to distract myself with work or something else, then when 10 minutes comes up, I have to either post-pone the worry again if I think I can, or else sit there and spend as much time worrying about it as possible. When you *force* yourself to worry at a time it doesn't pop into your head, you control the worrying, and it has less power over you. Also, in the time I did try this, I found that I didn't feel like worrying when it came to worry time, which is hopeful! Sort of like putting off having a cigarette for a few minutes, and the urge dissipates.
It gets into more difficult exercises later, such as creating distressing situations for myself and breathing through the anxiety, but I'm not there yet. I tried last week to get a coffee from the guy up the street who had 2 cold sores on his mouth. I ordered and bought the coffee, but it ended up in the garbage without me taking a sip.
One step at a time.
New word: Assiduous - another word for continuous or persistent.
I am grateful for the ability I have to choose how I want to live my life.