Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Change is hard in so many ways

Change is one of the biggest things I struggle with. Some of it has to do with me just being me. Some of it has to do with me being an introvert. And a big, old chunk of it has to do with my OCD.

This week I did TWO things that required changes. They may seems like no big deal to you. That's ok. But trust me when I say they were HUGE things for me.

I downloaded Adele's new album. New music is really hard for me. Really hard. And people are all like "how is listening to new music hard??"

Main reasons:

1. I don't know all the lyrics to new music. This is huge. Number one, I really, really like to sing along with music. If I don't know the lyrics I can't sing along and that really affects my listening experience. Number two, I don't like not knowing things. Not knowing things is the bane of my existence. If I could download music into my head and know all the songs I would be way more happy and willing to listen to new things. This is a HUGE hurdle I have to overcome with every new song that comes along. It sounds so dumb -- why is it a big deal? Well you aren't me so you can't understand so just trust me on this one. It's a HUGE FUCKING DEAL. I would really be ok with not having any new music in my life ever...but that's unreasonable and dumb and would drive the people around me crazy (because they like new music as most people do), so I keep trying. But I am definitely never going to be on the cutting edge of music.

2. What if I don't like the music? Ahhhh. Just thinking about it makes my heart beat fast. Again, why such a big deal? One, if everyone else likes it and I don't, then I have to explain why I don't like it. And I'll have to do that over and over and over again to every single person who is like "OMG, don't you love the new X song?" And if I say "Uh, no, I don't" then it's like "OMG, how can you not?!?!" And then I just don't want to have that conversation again and again and again. And probably my reasons for not liking something are like "I don't like the bump bump bump beat" and people are like "WHUT?" Nevermind. You can't understand why I don't like it and I know you want to but I can't express it in a way you understand and dear god let this conversation be over. But it never is. And if I lie and say "Yeah! Love it!" a) I hate lying, especially when I feel pressured to lie because the person who I am talking to can't just accept "No, I don't like it," and b) then they might make me listen to it and I don't want to. Two, if I spent money downloading something and I don't like it...well I just wasted money. I HATE WASTING MONEY. I'm one of the cheapest people alive. Wasting money hurts. Seriously. I know you don't understand and that's ok. Again, just trust me on this.

Anyway, I actually like the new Adele album. Yay! Thank god. And that inspired me to try ANOTHER new thing. New face wash.

Now, new products I put on my body are REALLY hard for me. I have really sensitive skin and sometimes new products make me break out in a rash or do weird things to my skin. So that makes me hesitant. Another reason is because of my shark nose. I can't stand weird smells. And "weird" is a REALLY big category. Like really big. I can smell everything. And if it somehow doesn't agree with my nose, it needs to go away and die in a fire. And if my body/skin feels weird after, ugh. No. Won't use again. And then that whole waste of money thing. Use the product once or twice and then I can't use it again and it's a waste of money. Gahhhh.

Thing that go on my face and head are the hardest. Closest to my nose and my face is the most sensitive part of my body. And I'm just generally extra weird about my head and face. It's just a thing. Trust me (again).

I've used the same face wash for 4 years. Before that I used the same face wash for 5 years. When they stopped making it, I freaked out and emailed the company for discontinuing it. I got an email back with a coupon to try one of their other face washes, but I was too pissed from their betrayal. That switch actually went smoothly because I found another company who made a similar face wash I liked. But now we've found out about microbeads and how they're destroying the environment so I've been trying to find a new face wash without microbeads. Also, now I'm vegan and it turns out so many face washes have dead animals in them. Jesus christ. Like my life wasn't hard enough already. But once I know there is tallow or gelatin or some other weird dead shit in my face wash there's NO WAY I can rub it on my face. Gah. Death. Literally.

I bought two new products at Target that are vegan and microbead free. One is ok. It doesn't make my face "feel clean" though. I am using it right now, but really unsatisfied. I know, get over it. Ha, if only I could.

I bought another one. I smelled it in the store, and I thought it had a mild enough scent I could stand it. Nope, wrong. Tried it twice. Yuck. Gave it to my roomie.

I bought three different vegan face washes from the vegan co-op. A month ago. I've been too afraid to try them. They've just been sitting in the cabinet.


Adele went well. Maybe facewash will go well. I put the "unscented" one in the shower. "Unscented" is such a bullshit lie. It is not unscented. It is intentionally not scented like anything in particular, but it is NOT unscented. Not to the shark nose.

I had coffee with my OCD friend who knows how hard the face wash is for me. We talked about it. And Adele. And after she left I decided I was going to try it.

I tried it. The smell was not intolerable...I don't think anyway. When the face wash got wet it got very foamy and weird and it scared me and then I was gagging the entire time I was trying to get it off my face so the smell took a back seat to the surprising texture. My face feels fine now so that's a good sign. Maybe I'll be brave enough to try it again tonight during my nightly shower (yeah, I shower twice a day -- OCD people). We'll see.

Gagging. Yeah. That's a thing. A BIG, HUGE thing. I have an intense gag reflex. It's very sensitive. It's very annoying. Weird tastes, weird smells, weird textures activate it. Sometimes compulsive thoughts about germs or weird things activate it. I feel like I spend a quarter of my life gagging. It's way fucking annoying. And I have no control over it. People always think I'm being "so dramatic" when I gag. Right, because gagging is such a lovely feeling. And sometimes I can't stop gagging and I actually throw up. That's even more fun. Every time someone says "You're so dramatic" or "You're ridiculous" I kind of want to throw up ON them. It took Andrea a long time to get used to it and realize how horrifying it is for me. And to not just laugh when it's happening. We can laugh later, but at the moment, if someone laughs, not only am I gagging at something that is horrifying my brain but now I am horrified and mortified that someone is witnessing and laughing at this whole thing. So please don't laugh. Not until I laugh about it. Then you can laugh. Because sometimes OCD just makes me laugh. It's either that or cry. And it makes me cry enough. So when I laugh at some ridiculous way OCD impacts me, then you can laugh. But not before, ok? Because then you're an unsafe person and I don't trust you to hold the weirdness that is me and my OCD. So then there is a wall between us. Very few people get to see and hear all my OCD tics live and in the flesh. And maybe that's ok -- but just know, that's a barrier between us. I've been called dramatic my whole life. It feels like crap and makes me realize you don't "get it" and that you're not trying "to get it" and then I can't be vulnerable around you and then if I'm not vulnerable around you, you don't know the real me. So you can either know the real me, all of me, or you can know the sanitized version of me. I don't particularly care either way -- the choice is yours. I'm just trying to protect myself in a world that isn't soft and comfy for me. Self preservation is the bottom line and I'll do whatever it takes to preserve myself.

Anyway, that took a bit of a dark twist. I didn't mean for it to. I really just wanted to say YAY! I TRIED TWO NEW THINGS THIS WEEK! Go me!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bad Germ Day

Carmie is taking a steroid. Steroids make you really thirsty. Drinking a lot makes you have to pee a lot. Carmie peed on the floor and I stepped in it and got the bottom of my jammies wet. Then I had to clean up the carpet (at 4 am) and then I had to wash my feet and my legs (from kneeling to clean the carpet) and then I needed new jammies. And then I needed to start the washer to wash my jammies and the towel I used to dry the pee spot and the rag I used to clean the pee spot and the rag I used to clean my legs and feet. And then I fell asleep again for a while. And then I feed the dogs and give them meds and wash my hands because ew, even vegetarian dog food is so gross. And then I took shower #1. And then we go to Bizarre Bazaar. There are so many people there. And so many handmade and recycled things. And dead animal things like leather and a skunk pellet. And dear Gzus I lasted 30 minutes now I have to go. And then we go to Mrs. Miller's and I was my hands. And then Mrs. Miller's dog had something gross on his muzzle and it was stuck so I had to have Andrea help me clean it off his face. And then I had to wash my hands to get them really clean. And then I saw a little poop in the dining room and I picked it up with a Kleenex and flushed it down the toilet and then went to wash my hands and there was no soap. Then I remembered I bought Mrs. Miller new soap and it was in my car. So first I washed my hands in the kitchen and then I went and got the soap and brought it in and then decided I should put the soap in the extra bathroom and why not wash my hands again so that the soap is primed and ready for the next person? And then we worked in the garage and there was a lot of dust and then I washed my hands about 7 times because I kept touching things and making them dirty. And then the dish towel was stinky so I had to use paper towels to dry my hands. And then I ran out of paper towels so I had to get more from the garage. And then my hands were dusty again and I had to wash them again. And then we came home and my dogs wanted to lay on us and have us run and scratch them. And then I washed my hands about 3 times to make sure they were really clean. And then I have to feed and med the dogs again. And then wash my hands again. And then we went to Andrea's house. And then I touched the sponge in the kitchen and it smelled and then my hands smelled like stinky sponge. And then I dried my hands on the towel and the towel smelled sour. So then I washed my hands again and dried them with a different towel. And then Kiki sat on my lap and she smelled like litter. And then I gave her some scratches and pets. And then I washed my hands. And then I scooped the litter box. And then I saw Andrea bought new litter and it wasn't the low dust kind and that's why Kiki smelled like litter. And then OMG what are those black specks in the litter? Probably flea eggs and now the cats have worms and I'm going to die. And oh wait, that's some special charcoal specks that are supposed to make the litter more absorbent. Not flea eggs. Thank god. I wash my hands again. OMG there is litter dust in my nostrils. I smell it all the way home. I walk in to my room and see the pee spot is still a little damp and then I think I probably better just keep my shoes on until I get in bed. And I better get another pair of jammies because my second pair probably got pee on the hem too. And OMG the fucking litter smell is so intense in my nostrils. Andrea, I have to take another shower. I am contaminated. I'm in the shower. She's brushing her teeth. I tell her I don't like the litter she bought. She said it was on super sale that's why she bought it. I feel bad that she has to buy more expensive litter because I'm a fucking spazz. She says it's ok. I can still smell the litter in my nose. I tip my head back and let water go up my nose so I can rub it around in my nostrils to get the smell out. Some slides down my throat and makes me gag. I tell Andrea I'll pay the difference in price of the higher price litter because I can't use that litter every again. I remember how last year I went in a lake and got water up my nose and I thought I was going to get brain eating amoebas, but hey! I'm still alive so I didn't! I remind Andrea about the lake and the amoebas and she said she kept an eye on me for symptoms during the window period because she promised she would. I forgot that the window had closed. Thank god I didn't die. Oh my god, they tell people to purify tap water when they do nasal rinses and I just rinsed my nose and accidentally got some too far back and maybe there's brain eating amoeba in my water. Probably not. But I better tell Andrea just in case. She's on alert again. I walk by the pee spot to get in bed. I start to feel a rising panic in my chest. Uh oh. Time to take half a Xanax before I spiral out of control into a full blown panic attack. You think all of the stuff that came before was an out of control spiral? Ha. That's just a typical bad germ day. The Xanax has kicked in. I'm ok now. OCD is pretty fucking gnarly, yo. I fucking love Andrea. She's the best. This shit is bananas.

Andrea read it and said "I always forget this is going on all the time. No wonder you're so exhausted by the end of the day." Yep. And this is only my obsessions and compulsions around germs, which is roughly about 1/3 of the things I'm worried about in a day. If I wrote EVERYTHING I obsessed about today and every compulsion I performed...you'd still be reading.