Well, so much for sneezing, er, seizing the day! This past week I've been waylaid by a nasty head cold. Of course, whenever I get ill, it always brings the possibility that I can make others ill as well. This gives my OCD lots to play with in my mind.
The week unfortunately started with my poor hubby coming down with the head cold first. He was so sick that he actually took a day off of work, which almost never happens. That really scared me. Other than my husband's issues with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, he is almost never sick. Which makes sense, I guess, because IBD is caused by an overactive immune system (hence why it's called an autoimmune disorder). Thankfully, he recovered quickly, probably due to that high powered immune system (and some prayer!).
My cold started with a sore throat. I had a meeting the day of the sore throat. I made myself attend the meeting anyway, as I was not really sick, but just experiencing one mild symptom. I did feel somewhat guilty about going to the meeting, though. Afterwards, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The next few days I camped out in bed working my way through a box of tissues. I finally felt quite a bit better by yesterday afternoon. Since I was feeling up to it, my husband and I decided to go out to lunch and then do a little shopping at the mall. I was worried the entire time about being out in public. I was very careful to touch as few things as possible, in order to prevent the spread of germs. Granted, I wasn't coughing or sneezing, and I didn't have a fever. But still, I was a little stuffy and feeling a bit weak. I feel guilty because there have been so many news articles about the deadly flu that is working its way across America, and my neighboring state of Massachusetts has declared a flu emergency. I think I only have a cold and not the flu, but . . .
I'm also supposed to go out to dinner with friends tomorrow night. One of my friends is pregnant. I think I should stay home, but I don't know if that's OCD avoidance or if it's just being a responsible, caring person.
In addition, while walking through the mall yesterday, I accidentally kicked a piece of cardboard that was on the floor. My first instinct was to bend over and pick it up to prevent others from tripping on it. Instead, I kept walking and left it on the floor because I knew that's what I should do as an ERP.
Ugh. Sometimes, I get tired of feeling responsible for everyone else's well being and safety. I realize, of course, that that responsibility is self-imposed by my OCD. So I push myself to go out and I force myself to leave "hazards" on the ground and I end up feeling like a selfish person. It's just a feeling, not a fact. I hope. Yep, just another day in OCD land.