Saturday, November 6, 2010

SHORT fuse

UGH. UGH. UGH.  I hate how OCD can lead me to rage almost instantaneously sometimes.  Of course that rage is misdirected.  I should be getting mad at the OCD, but instead I get mad at the person who unknowingly got between me and my compulsive avoidance. 

When I take out the trash, I avoid touching door handles.  Before getting the trash ready to go, I go downstairs and unlock and open the door so that I won't have to touch the door handle with my contaminated trash hands when I actually carry the garbage out of our house.  I did this as usual after doing my regimen of exposures that I have started attempting daily as part of my new intensive CBT program.  So downstairs I went, passing the girlfriend of one of my housemate's along the way.  As I passed her I thought, "She better not have closed the door!  I opened it for a very specific and deliberate reason..."

And of course, like most normal people would probably do when they see an open door, she closed it.  Cue the deluge of unwarranted profane name-calling in my head.  alksdjlfaksjdlkfasjdlkfjasd.  Yeah.  SO annoyed.

And you know what makes that annoyance worse??  Knowing that I have no real right to be mad at her.  She did nothing wrong.  She got in the way of my compulsive avoidance of touching a doorknob with my "dirty" hands by doing something responsible - closing a freaking door.  I have no reason to be mad.  And that infuriates me even more.  I know I should turn that anger around and use it against the OCD, but when my anger/anxiety shoots up like this, it takes all I've got to avoid going into complete compulsive mayhem.  If I can't be mad at her, I get mad at myself for being mad and start compulsively punishing myself through - you got it, compulsions.  It's harder for me to stop, to be rational, to keep the desire to wash and wash and wash reined in when I am irritated and angry.

I'll be okay.  Just really frustrated by the fact that I "had to" set down my bags of trash and go wash, knowing that I would "have to" pick those same trash bags up once again later, only to wash again.  I wish I could call what this girl did inconsiderate, but I can't.  Because in a normal world, what she did would actually be considerate.  It's just me in my bizarre world with my maladaptive rules that doesn't sync well with the rest of the world.  I'm working on it.  I've been doing well.  But sometimes there are these breaches in my relatively calm facade from which sudden, intense anger just bursts out.


  1. Oh my gosh. I SO get this! This is how I lived for YEARS! My person was my husband, though. I literally spent 6 years being furious with him because of things like this. NOT good for a marriage. I am so lucky he stuck with me until I found the right meds so I could function again.
    I'll keep you in my prayers. It sucks to be angry because you're afraid.

  2. Great topic. I relate very well to this too! I am not an angry person, but I'm a very anxious person. And when things cause me to get anxious I get very angry at those who unknowingly aren't participating in my 'plan" to keep everything in life perfect! And that happens a lot - not only for my primary OCD concerns, but also for other things that I obsess about (work, my dog's health etc). I feel for ya!

  3. Yes, I can really really relate, too. I feel like my OCD turns me into a completely different, not very nice person. Hate that!

  4. OCD tries to write all our rules - to write the script for our whole day, our whole lives. But we're smarter and stronger. Give yourself a pat on the back for being able to take the trash out at all, and realizing that the other person is not to blame. Try to say good things to yourself ... maybe you can't stop the compulsive berating (I know I can't) but you can balance it with as many good messages as you can find.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  5. Oh, the anger. I KNOW that anger. For a long time I thought I had to learn to deal with an anger problem - and then I realized, it was really the ocd making me lash at anyone who got in my way. When someone messes up my routine - when they do something tiny or thoughtless that is HUGE for me - it causes all of this rage to bubble up. Rage over their action or thoughtlessness, rage at myself for caring, rage at my mind for torturing me, rage at my life for being this way, rage rage rage. As I heal, this is the one thing that I am the most thankful has faded away.



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