I have to do this every single day. It’s usually the worst part of the day though, with the behaviours generated by having OCD.
Step 1: Leave my bed
Leave my bed. This is the easiest part, so long as I don’t touch anything.
My OCD splits all the environments in my flat into different contamination states. In the past being in bed didn’t count as having any contamination, although in the last year it’s evolved into being avoid a state all of its own.
Step 2: Breakfast
At this point I have two choices.
- I can wash my hands twice so that I can touch my cupboards (estimated time 30 minutes)
- I can use disposable gloves as a barrier between me and the things I touch (estimated time 30 seconds)
Now onto making and eating breakfast. Put my granola with milk in a bowl and eat it.
Because of the contamination level from the contact between my mouth, which hasn’t been cleaned yet and (in)directly on other items, the bowl, spoon and surface now require cleaning before I can use them later in the day.
I usually don’t clean them until later.
Step 3: Netflix
I know have to change gloves to ensure I don’t contaminate my phone from the breakfast items. I’ll break my phone from cleaning it later, it has happened to more than one phone.
This step is just while I work up the motivation to have a shower. Depending on what I’m doing later and how anxious I am this state could last between 5 minutes and 5 hours.
Step 5: Shower
Including disinfecting the bathroom floor,washing my hands, cleaning myself and brushing my teeth this part usually lasts about 2 hours.
After this the bathroom floor and any sinks I’ve used are now contaminated from whatever I’ve washed off. Exactly what that is and why it’s a big deal doesn’t matter. It just is.
Step 6: Flat cleaning
This bit just eliminates any contamination created on any surfaces or sinks by the previous steps. It means that for the rest of the day I don’t need to worry about contamination as touching the items will no longer feel contaminating.
I’m ready to start the day now.
If that seems tedious and and excessive, that’s because it is. With OCD I’m aware of the irrationality of what I’m doing, but I have no real means to control it.
This is my start of the day, every day. On the plus side, for today, I don’t want to hurt myself.