Today, I decided to deep clean the kitchen, well, okay…the entire house.
If I clean the kitchen, I gotta clean the living room, and if I clean two rooms, I gotta clean all the rooms. AND, the worst room in the house, the room I always dread cleaning the most, is my husband’s bathroom! He’s just gross!
Tackling my husband’s bathroom requires a hazmat suit and all the harsh chemicals my OCD doesn’t allow me to use. My OCD is so bad, I can’t even keep any harsh chemicals (toilet cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, or even floor cleaner) inside the house, with the fear, someone will get hurt.
I hate OCD.
However, I have no problem keeping other types of cleaning products in the house, such as disinfectant wipes, glass cleaner, and environmentally-safe (to the sewer monsters) dishwasher soap. But, it’s taken me years to allow those inside the house. I do not like them, but they do not bother me as much as the harsher products. Silly, I know, but it is a work in progress; one day, I hope to not be bothered by any cleaning products in the house- like a normal person.
MY OCD EPISODE
Today, I managed to deep clean my house, with harsh chemicals, without having an OCD episode. Unfortunately, the chemicals, it seems were the least of my problems. IT WAS THE HAIRY BLOB MONSTER IN THE SHOWER that triggered an OCD episode!
My husband is hairy, well, except for his head. He is slightly (to be nice) balding, however, I do not think the hair on his head is technically falling out. From my perspective, it just seems as if its relocating to other parts of his body…to fall out. This, is a problem for the shower drain.
I love my husband.
Anyway, I decided today, since I am already in deep cleaning mode, I would unclog the showers. Generally, some vinegar and baking soda does the trick, because for the most part, it’s just shampoo and body-wash clogging the drains. Plus, who doesn’t like watching vinegar and baking soda react!
Unfortunately, my husband’s shower drain was being stubborn. I went to the store and got this handy little stick thing (because I do not like chemicals) to try to unclog the drain. Now, if you have never bought one of these, you are totally missing out on all the fun!
Simply, it’s a stick, with ridges, that you shove (takes a bit of work) into your drain, and with all your might (with two hands), pull out the most gross, nastiest, hair ball in the world!!!
The coolest thing, is that it works! The downside, is if you have OCD… The gunky gross hairball touched me!
Gloves couldn’t save me, for that it touched the exposed portion of my arm! My OCD bully brain had convinced me that no matter how much soap I used, no matter what type of soap I used, or how hard I scrubbed my arms, we were all going to get super sick and it was going to be my fault!
It also touched my sweater, that I threw into the dirty hamper, that my kids later knocked over on to the floor….oh my, my world was upside down! Now, I had to disinfect the floor!
Irrational intrusive thoughts flooded my brain like crazy!
Stopping Intrusive Thoughts
Fortunately, my intrusive thoughts were interrupted by a phone call. Earlier today, we dropped the car off for an oil change and it was ready for pick up.
Distraction can be an effective way to stop intrusive thoughts. The drive to the car shop, cleared my mind, and acted like a reset button. Just like dealing with a bully, sometimes, you just have to walk away.
When we came back home, I was fine. I even managed to unclog the other shower without my OCD bully brain getting in the way (exposure therapy).
If this would have happened a few years ago, I can tell you…our shower drains would not be hair-free. I would have broken down in tears. I would have thrown away my sweater. I would have scrubbed my hands and arms until they bled. I would have disinfected the monkeys out of the floor where the dirty laundry touched. I would have stopped using the shower all together. And, I would have dwelled and dwelled and dwelled on my thoughts until I felt as if my heart were about to burst.
As silly as this story is, for some, the emotional fears stirred up by OCD can be super real. It takes a lot of work to overcome the OCD bully brain, but with practice, I promise, it does get better!