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Left for Dirty – An OCD Casualty

There are certain items that cannot be cleaned.  Paper is a good example.  It will fall apart if it gets wet.  What to do?  There was a time when I had documents that I needed to keep and use, so I tried disinfecting them with a clothes iron.  I felt satisfied that they were clean enough to touch, but the heat oxidized the paper badly, so I discontinued that method.

Now what happens to a paper that falls on the floor?  If it is unimportant, like say a shopping list, it goes in the garbage after I rewrite it.  If I can’t throw it away, it gets left for dirty.  What am I supposed to do with it?  I have special stacks and boxes in the closet for these casualties of OCD.  A dirty paper will be placed in one of these spots.  Hopefully it is something I will never need to touch again (as is the case with so many important documents).  If it so happens that I do need to touch it again, the usual OCD hell ensues.  It’s not bad if I only need to look at it; I can don gloves and obtain the information I need.  There are times, though, when I need to take a contaminated paper somewhere else.  Again, wintertime is more bearable since I can wear cotton gloves out and do not attract too much attention.  Warm months are when the lake of fire is unavoidable.

There is only one acceptable way to deal with a situation such as this.  I carry the dirty piece of paper (or other object) where it needs to go with my right hand.  Then a separation of tasks becomes necessary.  In order to be able to touch clean items – my purse, for example – I must use only my left hand for clean tasks.  I have had so much practice at this that I seldom confuse the hands and their respective tasks, but it does present challenges.  If I am at a place where I need to sign something, it is difficult to keep the paper from moving when I am using only my right hand.  At times I must use my purse to hold down the corner of the paper until I am done with it.  I don’t want to do this because the bottom of my purse falls into the “super dirty” category.  (I will tackle the subject of categories in the future.)  I don’t want to make the paper or counter any dirtier than they already are, but it is the only way to get through the situation.  When I get back to my car after an episode like this, I can either put a vinyl glove on my right hand so that I can drive home, or I can sit there for about fifteen minutes spraying and wiping my hand.  If I choose the latter, at some point my left hand will be bumped by the right hand, and then I have to start cleaning both hands.  And then I accidentally hit the steering wheel and have to start spraying it.  OCD is definitely a snowball in a lake of fire.

About admin

I am a female in my early 40's who has been dealing with OCD since age 10 and a fear of germs since 14.
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