The other night I was folding some laundry leftover from the weekend.
More laundry was in the washer and dryer. Larry had started washing cat blankets and beds, and I followed him with a load of clothes.
As I folded the laundry, I thought that the last of the kitty laundry was dry. It was time to empty the dryer and fill it with a new load, the clothes.
So I started to ask Larry to empty the dryer for me.
After all, that way I could avoid having to clean the dryer filter “good enough.” I wouldn’t have to worry about stray pieces of lint floating around and causing a fire. I wouldn’t have to worry about finding the dryer sheet hidden in the laundry, just waiting to ride upstairs in the laundry basket, ready for the cats to pounce on and eat and get sick from.
Yes, those are some of the things I worry about when it comes to laundry. And there are even more things I worry about when doing laundry.
But the other night, as I was folding laundry, it hit me.
I needed to take the kitty laundry out of the dryer myself.
I needed to stop waiting to be rescued.
I needed to stop depending on Larry to do the tasks that I didn’t want to do because of OCD. I needed to stop avoiding what I was afraid of.
I went downstairs and took care of the laundry myself.
I’m still avoiding certain tasks and situations because of OCD. And I’ve been expecting Larry to do some of those tasks and take care of some of those situations.
For example, I leave several cat care duties to Larry because of my OCD.
I don’t like to change the water in their bowls because if I have to wash the bowls first, then I’ll worry about getting all of the soap residue off before I fill it up with cold water for drinking. And I will have to check over and over to make sure it’s cold water and not hot water that I leave in the bowl.
I avoid washing the cat food bowls for similar reasons: I might not rinse them well enough and soap residue might make the cats sick.
I don’t clean the litter boxes because it’s just too messy and sometimes hard to look at.
Yes, OCD is a strange disorder.
I’m depending on Larry to carry a chunk of my OCD load for me. That’s not fair to him. And it’s not fair to me in that I won’t get better in those areas if I don’t try to push through the anxiety related to them.
I’m going to have to study my routines to find other things that I’m relying on Larry to take care of because of OCD. And I’m going to have to start helping with those tasks.
And stop expecting an OCD rescue.
Have you ever leaned too much on someone else to carry the load because of OCD, depression or some other issue?