I don’t want to be broken anymore living life in a million pieces

(Alive–Avalon)

So because I used to be living in a hell called OCD, I am now very vigilantly searching for any signs that it could be coming back, because I am very much aware that relapses are possible, especially considering how bad I had it at my worst. If I were to relapse, I would really like to get help right away instead of waiting until it is almost unbearable and my hands are bright red, painful, and frequently bleeding…not that I intended for that to happen the first time, but with my concurrent communication difficulties, getting the attention I needed was kind of problematic, so I couldn’t express that I needed help until it was a somewhat dire situation…now I have the social skills to share whatever I’d like to share pretty freely, so I will be able to get help if I need it…

So I have a question for anyone who comes across this who has never struggled with OCD. If you have ever had OCD, I still love you and wish you the best, but this question is not for you…

So yesterday I was petting a puppy who ran up to me (b/c how could I resist the cuteness explosion in my heart) and the puppy started licking my hand. I know that if I were still in the throes of OCD that for one thing I doubt I would have been touching the puppy (the only times that ever happened were once when it would be socially inappropriate not to (in which case I immediately washed my hands) or when the puppy was put on me and started climbing me (in which case the panic on my face caused the puppy to be picked up off of me) and when I was doing exposure with the puppy), but if I did touch the puppy and especially if I had been licked I would have (A) kind of freaked and immediately washed my hands possibly more than once and sanitized them at least once afterwards. That did not happen yesterday. Instead I (B) made a mental note not to eat with that hand and went on with life and an hour or so later when I got up I washed my hands…so my question is was (B) the right choice, or would a non-OCD-er have (C) gone on with life without any special considerations due to having been licked?

I am fairly certain that (A) is not the right answer, but I honestly don’t know if (B) is correct, or if most people would pick (C). I know I don’t need to do things exactly the way other people do, nor do I need to force them to do things my way—eating off the floor works for me, and I see no reason not to do that on occasion because it is working for me, and likewise, I think it is disgusting when people flush toilets with their feet, but I am not going to tell them they have to do it my way—but I am genuinely curious about this. Please let me know in the comments below what you think. Which option do you choose? Why? What do you think *most* people do?…or am I totally off-base and there is a completely different way that people tend to respond?

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