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February 11, 2013

Living With Lyme and OCD

When I started this blog I decided to make my focus be on my life with a twist of Lyme. So, here we go...all about my little quirks that I consider to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tendencies and part of my anxiety.

As far back as I can remember I've been a germaphobe.  I am picky about eating meat and when I clean it's usually deep clean everything and get rid of clutter in my life because in my brain clutter=germs. I sanitize my light switches, remote control, cell phone, fridge handle, and anywhere else that my brain sees as dirty.  I consider myself to have OCD tendencies and not a flow blown case of OCD.  Here are the most unusual things that I do and I completely know its ridiculous and funny:

  • I refuse to eat meat (chicken, beef, turkey) that comes from more than one animal.  No hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, most frozen dinners, ect. I can't fight the thought of contamination and the thought of multiple animals being mixed into one item for me to consume (like a burger) that is ground meat from an unknown number of cows. Ew. 

  • I can't eat beef unless it has NO pink at all and isn't dipped in the bloody juices. That is just disgusting to me. 

  • Every time I stay at a hotel, one of the first things I always do is sanitize the remote control in the room.

  • I get freaked out sharing beverages and food with anyone except my husband, even my sisters or mom.  If someone accidentally drinks my drink I will just give it to them because I can't get past drinking it after anyone else. 
  • The straws at Costco completely freak me out. They aren't individually wrapped and you have to push down that little lever to release a is a big test for me every time I go there and I force myself to drink from the nasty straw. 

  • I purge clean my house eliminating as much clutter and extra things that I can. 

  • I wash my hands very frequently and wear gloves to cook food, especially chicken.

So as you can tell, none of these things is life or death but it is a bit extreme for living life in America. I can at least laugh about these things, but I haven't been able to face the more severe ones (yet). Very recently the voice has intensified and added on consequences if I don't do the action like  'something bad will happen if you (me) don't clean ______ or get rid of ____.   It's ridiculously controlling.

I decided to fight the voice in my head on things that I know in my gut aren't a big deal but to my brain they are hard to get past and for some reason my brain is fixated on them. I try really hard to fight the control the little voice has over me. I watched a documentary once called The OCD Project and saw a ton of examples about facing these fears. I don't even know what I'm afraid of! I just constantly think about the germs! For example, I recently cleaned the fridge out and the top shelf was fairly clean,  it had crumbs, but my OCD kicked in saying I HAD to pull the shelf out wash both sides of it and put it back in the fridge. Instead of giving in to the stupid voice and walked away thinking 'screw you' to the OCD voice.  Ever since that day I have thought about the top shelf of the fridge, but I refuse to clean it because I refuse to give into everything the OCD wants me to do.  Another time I could completely melt down is when I drop one of my pills on the ground....but before I can think about it too much I pick the pill up, dust it off (not really believing that dusting it off will help in be less contaminated) then swallow it and ignore that OCD voice to the best of my ability.  I've had to catch myself numerous time from wanting to check if I flushed the toilet or locked the door or turned off the stove and then check again.

I've gotta say, the things that I haven't been able to get past (yet), like mixing meat and sanitizing remotes and light switches, are silly, but I really believe I've had OCD tendencies for so long as a way of protecting my already compromised immune system.  By looking at it from that approach it is completely logical for me to have these fears about germs because my body isn't strong enough to process anything extra. And it's also logical to believe that as I continue to get stronger these tendencies maybe won't be so bad!

Tonight is especially bad. The stupid voice keeps telling me I need to sanitize the bottom of all our shoes. Are you kidding me?! No fricken way! I will not give in. I am stronger than Bartonella and I am stronger than the stupid things that my mind fixates on!

Instead I write and share my life with a twist of Lyme (and Bartonella)!

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