Today I was brought to tears. That doesn’t happen that often; I’ve been dealing with OCD for more than twenty years, so there isn’t much that surprises me or catches me off guard. I have in place myriad coping mechanisms, so usually when an OCD incident happens, I go into procedure mode. I know exactly what I need to do to cope with it, so I rarely break down in tears.
This incident was significant, though. I thought I might be able to stop it, and when I was not able, I knew that it would cost me two hours of sleep and the expense of extra wash and dry cycles. As I pulled the fitted sheet from the dryer, part of it hit the side of the dryer, which of course is not acceptably clean for my bed. So the challenge began.
I needed to keep the contaminated portion of the sheet down near the foot of the bed. I struggled a bit with it, trying to hold it in the air and not touch it to the floor. When I thought I had it straightened out enough I placed it on the mattress. After a few seconds, it all started looking the same. Did I have the dirty corner at the foot of the bed or not? I couldn’t be sure. If I could just pull the corners down around the mattress everything would be okay.
It was not to be. The first corner I pulled down rolled back up. Disastrous! There being no effective way to truly sanitize a mattress, the sheet that rolled up took mattress germs back up with it. I marked the spot where it stopped with one hand and rolled it back down with the other hand. Sure enough, it had rolled up to the point where my pillow would be. I had no choice. The sheet that I had taken out of the dryer minutes before would have to go back into the washer. I felt sick. The tears welled up. I bemoaned my situation for about thirty seconds, then I had to kick in to high gear. This was setting me back hours in my schedule. The bedspread came out of the washer and onto the floor – later to be re-washed also, naturally. If only I had a sanitary place to put it. The sheet went back in to the washing machine for another spin.
True to my prediction, I climbed into bed – my nice, clean bed – at 3:30am. That was two hours later than it would have been. On the bright side, I used the extra two hours to make candy for my family.