A Rough Day

Today was not a good day for me and my anxiety.  We had an epic battle.  There are sick people at work and while I like this people and consider them my friends, I can’t get past the illness.  I expected that she was coming back to work today, so I took an Airborne tablet and a multivitamin beforehand.  Even if those things don’t do anything, they make me feel better.  

I am a terrible ogre to be around whenever someone else is sick.  Having OCD means that I have a lot of anxiety and that comes out in frustrating rituals.  I do a number of things to “avoid illness.”  Please, as you read some of these things, do not tell me that they don’t work to prevent illness.

What I do most whenever I have to be around sick people is ignore them. I avoid them literally like they have the plague. I don’t even look at them! I pretend to be so extremely busy at work that I can’t even take a second to look up from my computer.  It’s just easier to distance myself when I don’t have to look at the person who is ill.  I don’t breathe deeply all day and my lips stay pursed.  I guess I think that this will keep me from breathing too much of their air.  I don’t know.  Today I spent a good 10 minutes at one point washing my hands over and over and over.  I think I went through 1/3 a bottle of hand soap to be honest with you.  It just never feels clean enough, no matter how much I wash or how hard I wash.  Yes, I know, washing hands too often can lead them to crack and cause more infection or whatever.  I put lotion on after I wash, so my hands almost never crack and bleed.

Probably the worst thing that I do is pick my upper arms.  I have a very mild case of keratosis pillars and if my anxiety is high, I will just sit for long periods of time and concentrate on popping the bumps. Gross, I know, but it leaves my arms looking really ugly.  Today, there are red bumps all over my upper arms from where I’ve been picking at my skin.  I have some really deep scars on my upper arms because of this. I kind of like the winter only because i am forced to wear long-sleeved shirts and my arms get a break.  Apparently this is common among people with OCD and it may be dermatillomania, but I’m not sure.

At the end of the workday, I come home and feel exhausted from being so tense and vigilant for the previous 8 hours.  It was not fun.  I’m glad to be home, but not looking forward to probably doing the same thing again tomorrow.

Thank you for reading.


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40 thoughts on “A Rough Day

  1. I’m sorry you had a rough day, Megan. And I won’t try to tell you anything at all.

    I have PTSD, from working as a security contractor in places you’d probably rather not visit.

    Last Christmas, our neighbours left a bag containing presents on our gate. I checked it for anti-handling devices and command wires. I thought it could be an IED.

    For me, every pile of trash by the roadside is a threat; every open upper-floor window could hold a sniper. And never, ever tap me on the back, unless you’re on excellent terms with your dentist.

    I don’t get out much anymore. They say it’s pancreatic cancer. Probably just as well.

    1. Thank you so much Andrew. My problems seem small in comparison. When I’m outside that is my safe haven , but it seems the opposite is true for you. I’m sorry for your struggles and hope you are doing well. It means a lot to hear from you.

      1. The wounds inflicted on our hearts and souls are individual, Megan. Pain hurts; it can never really be compared/

        I admire you; I do not comment often, though perhaps I should. You are one of the bravest people I have ever met.

      2. I do know brave, dear heart. I would trust you at my back in a firefight.

        It’s not what we think we are; that’s immaterial. It’s who we really are, day on day. I see that in what you write.

        And there have been days on which your courage carried me, though could not have known it.

    1. Andrew, I have read some of the comments here. I just want you to know that I will be praying for you, as I am led to do so for bloggers and those at fb and for whatever else may catch my attention. May the peace of God be with you.. (:

  2. I am sorry to hear about what you’re going through.

    After I followed the link to the keratosis pillars, I realized that I sometimes do the same thing regarding picking at them (anytime I utter the phrase “picking at them,” I get uneasy). I had no idea what they were called; I just figured that my skin is messed up. It’s good to know that it’s actually a thing, and I don’t feel as messed up about it. I wanted to thank you for that.

    At any rate, I also think you’re pretty awesome for getting through your day while confronted with this. That’s a win, and they don’t come easy. Thank you for sharing it, because it gives others encouragement.

    1. You’re welcome 😊 don’t feel weird at all. Keratosis Pilaris is very common! Thank you for taking the time to write me this comment. It made me a bit more thankful for making it through the day.

  3. Do you want a recommendation for a lotion for your arms? I know something that works and it can be ordered online. There’s an excellent return policy that goes with it, so if you hate it or it doesn’t work for you, you can return it and get your money back, no questions asked.

    I’ve developed OCD over the past three years myself and have caught myself doing things that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t do, so I feel your pain and empathize.

    It is my understanding that Eboost can help with potential illness and energy, so you might want to see if that helps. I’ve heard people say they haven’t been sick in years simply because they use it daily and that they’ve been able to cut coffee out as well. It’s worth a shot, right? I’d rather try something healthy and see if it works for me than pretend there’s no way I can catch a bad cold or the flu. Realistically, it’s always possible. I get insane looks at every store I go to as I thoroughly wipe down the shopping cart with antibacterial wipes, but I’d rather do that than get sick. It takes me an extra week or two to recover from something whenever I get sick, so like you, I prefer to avoid it.

    I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. It’s not paranoia, it’s logic. I recommend increasing your B12 intake though, as that is really helpful this time of year into Spring. It’ll help reduce the severity of anything you might get, but it can also help keep you healthier. Take a deep breath. This too shall pass.

    Give Chester a kiss for me. 🙂

    1. Hello friend 🙂 Yes, I’d love a recommendation on some lotion for my upper arms. Nothing I’ve tried works because it’s a stubborn condition for sure. Is Eboost anything like Emergen-C? I take that in the mornings and it really makes me awake and alert and it’s full of vitamins. I need to take in more B12. I’m not sure I get it naturally all that often, maybe I do, I’m just not that aware that I do.

      1. Here’s the link for the lotion. http://www.sephora.com/kp-duty-lotion-P73509?skuId=784413&icid2=brand:dermadoctor_kp%20duty_p73509_image

        There is also a scrub that I can’t vouch for, so I’d read the reviews and maybe give it a shot. You only have to use the smallest amount of this lotion and it lasts a long time. I saw vast improvements pretty quickly when I first noticed mine flare up out of nowhere. I only have the occasional issue here and there, but I’ve still got a tube to turn to and it works so fast, that I know I can rely on it. I’ve used other products from this company and have never been disappointed.

        I know 2-3 people who swear by Eboost. I don’t know how close to Emergen-C it is because there are a lot of vitamins involved with Ebost and, with some of the choices, greens as well, so I think it’s worth sampling. They have a $1 sampler that I’m going to order myself. It’s seems worth a shot. Here’s the link for that. http://eboost.com/eboost-trial-kit

        You might want to ask your doctor the next time you’re in the office for a check-up if you have an intrinsic factor. If your stomach doesn’t properly absorb B12, your doctor will recommend B12 shots. If I even think I’m near a sick person, I go B12 and B6 crazy and it helps lessen the severity of any cold and any flu symptoms. Now is also a good time to consider taking echinacea and goldenseal as a precautionary measure. Just follow the instructions. When in doubt, talk to you doctor about all of the best ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season.

        Here’s hoping some of this is helpful. Hugs!

  4. Seriously, I love you and think you are the cutest thing…but get a grip and realize there are people out there, like me, who have four children, one who is a heroin addict, and the others even when doing well cause me no end of worry. I will be having to “put down” my precious cat of 20 years sometime soon as he has no life and has wasted away from being over 20 pounds to under 6. I beg you not to take this reaction of mine “totally under stress” as criticism. Just a reminder for you and your many readers that there are some people suffering untenable stress. I think you are awesome Megan and have loved reading your posts for quite some time now, you really have a gift. Sorry to be such a downer and totally understand if you don’t want to share this. But honey please don’t waste your life on the “small stuff”…life goes by in the blink of an eye,and the older you get the more you realize this. Always wishing you the best…Patti

    1. No, I don’t think you are a downer. I wish I could get over the small things, believe me I wish that everyday. The small things are big things to me now. I had a lot of very rough moments in my childhood that are still with me today. I do know true heartbreak and pain and am not one to take things lightly. I’m sorry for the things you are going through now Patti. I never meant to make light of anyone else’s struggles, only to share some of what I experience on a daily basis.

      1. I hope you don’t get too upset with what Patti said. We all struggle, we all have issues, and it’s not right for someone else to come along and tell you that you need to get a grip because you shared some of your pain. Andrew (above) said it very well…
        The wounds inflicted on our hearts and souls are individual, Megan. Pain hurts; it can never really be compared/
        I don’t want someone else to make you feel as if you can’t share your struggles and YOUR pain because of how they responded to your post. Your struggles are real and they are hard for you. You sharing them makes a difference in other people’s lives. Thanks for being open enough to share with us.

      2. Thank you so much for saying that 🙂 I’m not sure what the comment was intended to mean exactly, but that’s ok. Everyone is allowed to say what they will. And you are right, everyone has their own struggles and pain and those can’t really be compared to what other people go through. It’s all subjective and should remain as such 🙂

      3. Thank you for being so understanding Megan. I am having a rough time in my own life but you and the others are right, there is no way to compare the individual pain we all have in our lives and I apologize for making it sound that way. You are making the world a better place by letting others know they are not alone in their struggles, including me. I just realized that this time of year must be especially hard for you as flu and cold season approaches. I hope you hang in there and keep your spirits high. I think you are a strong person and do admire you so much. Just wanted to make that clear. 🙂

  5. Oh dear, how very stressful. It would be so much more pleasant for everyone if those who have colds or bugs could stay home until they are well. I guess that isn’t always possible.

  6. I’m sorry you had a rough day. I wash my hands too. There was a ttime a couple of years ago when my hands were always cracked and bleeding which only made me more anxious about germs. I don’t think they’ve done that for a while but I can always tell when I’m havng a flare up because I get really dry skin. I shower a lot too, although I’m trying to limit that.

    1. I used to shower twice a day at least. It was bad for my skin and hair, but I didn’t really care because I was “getting clean.” Thank you for sharing your experiences with me 🙂 Makes me feel a little less alone. thanks for the shoutout on Twitter 🙂 I really appreciate that!

      1. You’re very welcome. I usually shower twice a day but if I’ve hit a rough patch it cane be three times a day. I used to change my clothes a lot too but I’m getting a bit better with that.

      2. I do most of the time unless I’m going through a bad patch. If I’m going through a rough patch I wipe my clothes down with baby wipes and sometimes change them every time I go to the bathroom cause I worry about the germs in the bathroom. I’ve never actually formally been diagnosed with ocd I don’t think but I’ve had therapy on and off since I was about 11 and I’m currently on anti depressants to help keep my tendencies and anxiety a bit more manageable. It’s so nice to talk to someone else and know I’m not alone.

  7. Huh, you and I have very similar “rituals.” I don’t have OCD (so far as I know), but I do have anxiety and I am a touch “germ-phobic” as they say. I’m always worried about getting sick and if someone who seems ill gets too close to me I also try to keep my breathing shallow to avoid inhaling the germs.

    I also pick my arm bumps when I’m nervous or anxious. I never knew they had a name before, so thanks for that.

    I’m really sorry today was a bad day for you. Hopefully tomorrow will be easier. Do you have weekends off? It’s almost Saturday, so you will have a couple of days to recover from being around them. You can enjoy some downtime with your favorite coping mechanism(s).

    And of course, I hope you feel better.

    1. I do have weekends off thank goodness. I used to work in retail and had to work most weekends and weeknights. I’ll never do that again if I can help it at all. I need those weekends to look forward to.

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