I'd like to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone that commented on the post about my mouse problem. You really did comfort me and provide some much needed evidence to counteract the cognitive distortions swimming around in my brain. I'm grateful and blessed that you cared enough to write.
This is it. After almost 11 months of avoidance, tears, fear, anguish, and frustration, I have agreed to let my husband clean the basement. At this point, we believe it would be too much for me to attempt it with him. Even letting my husband do the cleaning alone is extremely anxiety producing. However, I feel that I have no choice. I met with my doctor today to finalize the plan for tackling this issue. I would just as soon throw all the furniture out and never set foot in that room again. Of course, my husband feels slightly different about this situation. We have a lot of furniture that we bought specifically for that room. There are two shelves of books down there. There is a rack of CDs. My barely one-year-old college diploma is proudly displayed in that room. There are mementos from my child's youth. Yes, I am ashamed to say, if I let the OCD take control, I might even consider tossing some of my now grown-up child's items. It breaks my heart when I think about that.
This afternoon, my psychologist stated that if I don't deal with the basement, then OCD wins. So much of my life has been taken by this cruel illness. So many years. So many moments that could have been joyful. Oh, I simply cannot let that happen anymore!!
I do believe that God has given me the strength to come this far, and He will give me what I need to continue. It is hard. So incredibly hard to give up control and surrender to uncertainty. Will my husband get sick from cleaning the basement? Will we spread contamination to others if we use the items that remain down there?
I am going out of town next week and my husband, wonderful man that he is, will stay behind and clean. He and I have had a discussion about almost every item in that room and what to do with it. As part of the ERP, I am no longer allowed to question my husband about the clean up. Next week, I cannot call and ask him about the process, nor can I question him when I return from my trip. And then, somehow, someway, by the grace of God, I will have to step foot in that room and sit on the couch and begin to use everything like normal again. I have no idea how I will do that. Well, actually, yes I do. One step at a time. Just like everything else.
This is my prayer: "God, I am giving you this ERP. When obsessions strike I feel like a lost, little girl with nowhere to turn. I know that is not true. I'm asking you to give me the strength to move forward. I'm asking you to help me put my family's needs above my anxiety. I also want to serve you better and I can't do that with this weight hanging around my neck. Lord, I also ask that you comfort each person who reads this post. Please Father, give them the support and strength they need too. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2 ESV