The other day as I was taking a shower, I looked at my pumice stone and thought “you are probably one of the worst things for an obsessive compulsive to own.”
I’m not going to try and offer a quick, light-hearted summary of OCD and what it is and what aspects of my life have fallen into its black hole. For the past few weeks I’ve been making a mental list of the common things people own that are very dangerous for obsessive compulsives. As I encounter these things, I will share them with you. Mostly because a fair amount of my friends read this blog and I kind of am a weenie about sharing my OCD struggles in a personal way. Welcome to the madhouse.
Since I wear flip flops 97% of the time, my feet have the potential to quickly become fairly nasty. Upon realizing this, I invested in a pumice stone to keep my feet from being ridiculously awful.
All seemed well in pumice stone owning land until Saturday. The weather here in the Northwest has been absolutely beautiful. I came home and sat down with my dying dog in the front yard. After I stood up, my mom said “you have something on your leg.” “It’s just dirt” we concluded. As I stood in the bathroom, about to wash it off in the sink I took a closer look and realized it definitely was not dirt.
In case you’ve not figured it out:
Dog + yard = __________ (poop)
Immediately, I jumped in the shower. Of course I wasn’t going to touch it, because that would make my hands infected. Instead I turned the water to a ridiculously painful temperature and watched as the heat burned off the trace of doggie poo on my leg. This is where the story turns from normal into obsessive compulsive land. Feeling as if the poo was still stuck to my skin, I pondered my options. Loofah or pumice? Pumice, obviously. Once I decided to see if the pumice stone would make my knees a bit softer. It didn’t, though it did successfully make them look as if I had fallen off of a bike and tried to use my knees as a braking system. Have I ever mentioned that I don’t ride bikes?
Back to Saturday. I grabbed the pumice stone and started scrubbing. After twenty seconds, my leg was bright red (a combination of water rivaling the temperature of the sun and a piece of something that is made to remove calluses) and it was painful to stand in the shower.
The thing that I find the most amusing about OCD is that most of us stand in completely stupid situations and rationalize with ourselves. “It is normal to take a diaper off when changing a baby’s diaper.” “My foot will not fall off if I step on a sidewalk crack.” “I can hold a knife without it resulting in a spontaneous killing spree.” (If you are not an obsessive compulsive, you probably think I am a freak. If you are an obsessive compulsive, I am virtually high fiving you.. which I appreciate, because then I won’t feel the urge to wash my hands.) OCD has nothing to do with logic.
As I stood there, wincing in pain as the water was dripping down my leg I did the only thing that seemed right. I kept scrubbing.
One thing I love about my obsessive compulsive episodes is that eventually I snap out of them. Out of nowhere, it will just occur to me how insane I am being and I will just walk away. A few moments of scrubbing later, I dropped my pumice stone, turned the water off, and thought “bathrooms are very dangerous for an obsessive compulsive” and I then made a little mental note of the other scary devices of torture spread casually around my bathroom.
-soap (pretty much the biggest OCD cliche)
-toilet paper (you might think.. tp? really? consider folding)
-tooth brush (hello touch symmetry sufferers!)
This post was going to include a multitude of things. For example, today I restarted the 365 project, meaning I will take a picture every day for a year. Today I also had a great drive home from work, a great phone call, a great e-mail, a great visit with a friend and a great discussion at Bible study. and then I just ate a few Wheat Thins, and now I will retire.