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.