Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Fun Exposure?

A fun exposure? Yep. Well, sort of. I have a frequent customer account with a large makeup retailer. I was recently offered a free makeover by this retailer. My first thought was that it seemed like a fun idea. Of course, my next thought was of an OCD nature. I know they use clean or new makeup applicators to apply the makeup. However, I also know that some makeup techs will "double-dip" the clean applicator back into the eyeshadow or blush, etc., thereby contaminating the makeup.

I asked Jim what I should do about this. His response? "Well, I think most people would get the makeover and not even think twice about it. I think you should do it; it would be a good exposure." So, I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon for my free makeover. I'm looking forward to it, but I have some anticipatory anxiety about it too. If a previous makeup artist has double-dipped into any of the makeup (and it probably has happened), then there is a chance I could get someone else's germs. I especially worry about getting any type of eye infection. Even worse than getting sick, I worry that I will get contaminated and that I will become dirty and "gross." What does it mean if I am dirty or gross? That I'm filthy and unloveable and that no one would want to be near me.

I think this is only a 30 or a 40 on my SUDS scale, but if I let myself think about it too much, it could climb. I'm making the conscious decision to go to the appointment anyway. I will also have to make an effort to not reassure myself tomorrow by doing mental compulsions during the makeover. Telling myself that I probably won't get sick, or that I won't get germs, or trying to convince myself of the odds that I will be ok and not get dirty, are just mental compulsions that only serve to temporarily bring my anxiety down. I need to accept that I could get sick or dirty, and that even if I do, I will figure out a way to survive it. I must learn to live with the uncertainty. It's the only real way to battle anxiety.

Who would have thought that even playing around with cosmetics could be a challenge? OCD sure is crazy, isn't it?

16 comments:

  1. Anything can be anxiety-provoking if the wrong thought pops up, so yeah, even though the make over is supposed to be fun...it can be anxiety provoking. Perhaps you will end up being able to relax and enjoy it though.

    I reassure myself all the time, and it's very helpful. I don't see why reassurance is a bad thing...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you are so right, Kristina. OCD can take any little thing and turn it into a HUGE thing.

      I believe that reassurance (from ourselves or anyone else) is really not a good thing because we need to learn to live with uncertainty. That is the biggest problem that people with anxiety struggle with. We need to learn to live with the idea that maybe something isn't going to be ok, and yet, we will still get through it. Because we can tell ourselves that something will be ok, and then of course, it may very well not end up being ok. And deep down, we all really know that, so the reassurance just becomes a compulsive act to just reduce anxiety. I (personally) think it also depends what kind of things we are telling ourselves to reassure ourselves. During an ERP, I often tell myself stuff like, "You're alright, you're ok - keep going" but I try not to tell myself stuff like "You won't get an infection. You'll see, nothing will happen." Odds are nothing will happen, BUT something might. I need to accept that possibility and still move forward.

      Personally, I think that sometimes a little reassurance is ok if it's used to help us actually perform an ERP that we wouldn't otherwise perform. It's just that we can get sort of addicted to reassurance (at least I know I can, and I have). Also, reassurance helps our anxiety go down (in a compulsive type of way) and it's better if we learn to live with the anxiety, and eventually our bodies will learn to let the anxiety go down on its own - and when I did this enough, what I found is that my overall anxiety base got much lower, my anxiety peaks are not nearly as high as they used to get, and when I do have peaks, they come down much faster than they used to. Anxiety really (still) sucks, but learning to live with it and allowing my body to feel it and not question it eventually worked to make my life much better. Anyway, sorry for a book of a response. I hope this makes some sense!

      Delete
    2. Yes, thanks for the reply! I see what you're saying.

      Delete
  2. I don't wear makeup so I can't relate in that aspect. However, I can relate to the concern for germs. One day I was at a place ordering grilled chicken and I noticed that the person serving me was not very health conscious in that he didn't wash his hands between touching some raw ground beef...and then serving at the cash. Yuck! Since then I have refused to go there to order any food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeeeeew, I definitely would NOT go back there either, Linda. There are ERPs, and then there is just plain crazy and that would be crazy. Yuck. Time to find a new restaurant! ha ha ha

      Delete
  3. Sunny, I think it's prudent to be concerned about germs, though I know it's easy for it to turn into contamination OCD very quickly. :-( Sometimes when people do makeovers, they have individual-sized makeup containers, so even if double-dipping is done, it's just you.

    Regardless, I hope you enjoyed your makeover--and good for you for going through with it even though you had anxiety about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement, as always, Tina! Yep, I did go through with it and I'll tell ya all about it in my next post! : )

      Delete
  4. I think your husband has really wise responses and I hope you get the makeover and enjoy it. (Can you post a picture pretty please?) I actually could do the makeover without any worries but I have a horrible time with going in for manicures and pedicures because I worry about them not having the tools or tub cleaned properly.
    I found it interesting that more than getting sick, you worry that contamination would make you "dirty or gross" and that is exactly how I feel about contamination issues. I often wonder what is behind my thought process there, in a behavioral or cognitive sense. I don't know that knowing would help my OCD but I sure would like to investigate it out of just curiosity.
    Have fun at the makeover!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Krystal Lynn, I wonder every day what is behind my thought process!!!! ha ha ha Not that I'm happy you struggle with this, there is definitely some comfort to know that someone else has those same weird thoughts about contamination. I guess they are severe cognitive distortions. I wish I knew why I associated clean with loveable to such a severe degree, but it is what it is.

      You know it's funny, I do get pedicures. Now I do worry about germs a bit, but that's why I'm very picky about where I do go. I make sure they clean the tubs very thoroughly with the right chemicals and that they only use brand new or properly sterilized equipment. Unfortunately, those places that do all that stuff tend to be more expensive (of course!).

      Delete
    2. I also worry more about getting "grossed out" over contamination than sick. I never thought about it that way until my therapist pointed it out to me last year. But he didn't explain why I felt that way. It's just the way I feel.

      Delete
  5. Sunny, I think it's great that you are going ahead with the makeover, and know exactly what you need to do. I really hope you can relax, enjoy it, and have FUN!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will tell you all about it in my next post, Janet! Thanks for being so supportive!

      Delete
  6. I hope the makeover is so fun! I definitely see how that is an OCD minefield, but I'm so glad you are going ahead with it. Make sure to take photos! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like how you put that Anna, a definite "minefield!" I did take a pic and I will put it in my next post! It's funny though, but I discovered that makeup doesn't show up too well on a camera phone. Oh well.

      Delete
  7. Can't wait to hear how it went. I have the same problem with makeovers. one of my cousins works at a makeup counter and one time before I knew what was going on, she'd put lipstick on me! I obsessed for weeks afterwards that the lipstick wasn't clean and it was full of germs and disease etc. I even had my Mom call her to make sure it was cleaned and disinfected but even when she told my Mom it was, I wasn't convinced. Oh, it was so stressful. I hope you have a fun time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it does sound stressful, Elizabeth!

      Actually, I was planning to update everyone in my next post, but I wanted to do a post about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation first. But my update will be in my next post after that!

      Delete