I am facing a point in my life that I need to get well ASAP. I am tired of OCD stopping me from doing all the things I want to do. I have been tired for a very long time and yet why can I not get well because of the desperation that I feel?
I think it is party because I have a dilemna. Is it just me or is one of the things that makes getting well difficult figuring out what is normal and what is not?
For example. At this moment I do everything to avoid using public bathrooms.
The other extreme would be to sit on a public toilet.
However the latter I would NEVER do. Because that is how I was raised and most people I know at least tell me they would never do that.
So where to draw the line?
When I was in my mid-20s I recovered amazingly well with just meds and then allowing myself to do more and more. I got to the point where I would use public bathrooms, even using the toilet paper provided. However I do not know if I used a tissue to open the door. I don't think I did. I am pretty sure I did not touch the seat at all though and would flush with my foot. I wish I could remember so that maybe I could get some of that feeling back. The sense of calm when washing my hands in the public sink without being terrified of others around me, or splashing myself. Or just not feeling so utterly contaminated as soon as I walked in.
However saying that, it seemed natural at the time and I did not need to give it too much thought. A sign of how well I was doing I suppose.
The issue now is that I am not in a happy place where doing things feels like a reward that relaxes me. I used to let myself do things because the thing itself would calm me, but everything now is much harder as life has given me experiences to see contamination in everything, even things I used to love to do, including starting new jobs where contamination wouldn't bother me as much until I saw contamination happening (if that makes sense). I am looking at a job right now, but because of life experiences I am already thinking of all the contaminations likely to be there and the uncertainty that I would be able to remove such contaminants before going to my car the way I did at my last job.
Animals also used to be a therapy for me. But now I would not want to get a pet because it would likely touch things that bothered me. This was never an issue in the past because the animal was enough for me to look past this.
I feel like I am drowning. Not one part of my apartment does not have a contaminated part. My car feels dirty. I am trapped. This is not like me.
I am smart, I have ambitions to continue my career and I even have the desire to be a mother but as I am 42 this is unlikely unless I can get well now and then get extremely lucky.
I need help but have no health insurance. I want to just start touching things and then just resist the urge. But I fear that the therapy won't work and I will lose every last possession I have. The major issue is my OCD does not have a component that says that something bad will happen. It is very psychological as a fear of contamination of strangers' bodily fluids. As simple as that. But then as complex as certain things bothering me more because of bad experiences with certain people from my past.
Has anyone else had similar OCD and gone through successful exposure therapy? I do not fear the process, but I fear that it will not work after I have cross-contaminated.