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bobfish

Trying very hard not to feel disgusted and anxious...

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Hello again...

It's been a while, and in general I've been doing very well. I finally started university about a month ago (hooray!), and I've been really enjoying it so far - I think a change of scenery has definitely helped my overall mental health, and having a much busier life has encouraged me not to ruminate or perform anywhere near as many compulsions as I used to.

I never actually said this even though I was planning to, so I'll say it now: thank you so much to everyone who's helped me on this forum, including @PolarBear, @taurean, @OCDhavenobrain @snowbear@Wonderer and others! You've really helped me to recognise compulsions and understand better how OCD feeds on uncertainty and causes distress.

My anxiety has mostly been fairly manageable over the past few weeks. However, with that said...

In the past few days, I've been getting increasingly anxious about something pretty disgusting that I've unintentionally been doing over the past few weeks at uni. It got to a point today when I had a massive bout of anxiety while doing some work, and although I was relatively successful in riding the wave and felt a bit better after a while, the thoughts are still really strong and plaguing me quite badly. Apologies, the following is really quite gross...

So, a few days ago, I realised that when I used the (communal) toilet to pee, I would often 'miss' and end up splashing some urine onto the floor. Most of the 'missed' pee ends up on the floor around the back of the toilet bowl, but I also found out that sometimes there end up being quite a few drops of urine near the front of the toilet bowl. This has never really happened before - definitely not at home - and I'm not really sure why there's a difference - maybe something to do with the shape/height of the toilet bowl? Anyway, I can't believe I hadn't consciously thought about that before, which is why I'm feeling so disgusted with myself and embarrassed right now - especially since this has apparently been going on possibly every day for the past few weeks, and I don't think the bathroom floors are even mopped.

Anyway, I had some wipes so I wiped the floor around the front of the toilet bowl, but I haven't yet cleaned the bit around the back, mainly because I was worried about touching the toilet bowl with my arm or something and contaminating myself. But I've been feeling very anxious about how dirty I've made the floor and whether that will cause anyone to get sick - I ended up giving in to several compulsions, including researching whether or not urine can make you ill.

Now the floor of my room feels contaminated with (dry) urine, since I've definitely transferred some from the bathroom floor, and anything that touches the floor (e.g. my trousers when putting them on) feels contaminated as well. What's worse, I realised today that my shoelaces sometimes touch the floor, so if they've touched the bathroom floor then I've contaminated them, and so every time I've tied my shoelaces I've contaminated my hands, etc. - so now literally everything that I've touched feels contaminated and I'm very worried that I've contaminated random members of the public and made them ill.

It's been very hard to deal with this anxiety because of how widespread the 'contamination' is - I can't possibly clean everything I have, and what about all the things in public that I've touched? I really wish I could turn back time and relive the past month, but this time being more careful in the bathroom - but obviously that's not possible...

So, perhaps cleaning everything, including my possessions, my shoes and the rest of the bathroom floor, would be a compulsion. Perhaps I should just be more careful in future and stop worrying about this. I know that none of my friends have been sick because of this, I'm pretty certain that my neighbours haven't been sick because of this, but it haunts me that maybe someone I don't even know has been badly sick because of this - and in general, the feeling that everything I own and pick up has urine on it, and I might be transferring urine to other people, is very unpleasant and disgusting.

Rant over - I'm just not really sure what I should do now, to be honest...

Edited by bobfish
Clarity

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It's quite usual to miss the bowl and then need to clean up urine. 

Regularly happens to me. 

But what doesn't happen is any fear threat or "chain" of contamination spread. 

Why?  Because like millions of others, urine creates no dread for me ; to me its simply bodily waste material with no threat attached. 

Am I foolish, risk errant?  No - I am simply reacting without an OCD bias. I wipe up, and forget. 

I am explaining this as the cognitive part of CBT. For non-sufferers, we don't fear spread like a contamination OCD sufferer does - we don't see or feel the connections that to a sufferer spread the risk. 

Once we understand through the C of CBT why we are receiving a false and greatly exaggerated threat message, then we are ready to start ERP on the feared situation. 

 

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The p*** isn't the main contaminant, your OCD is. Other people get a bit of urine splash, and don't care. Remember, you can't be as 'clean' as your OCD tells you, and live a normal life. Your choice. 

Note: how precious the system is about blocking words!

Edited by paradoxer

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You are most welcome.

As for everything else you said, you are way overthinking this. You are analyzing, ruminating, researching... all compulsions. No one else is doing this and I'll guarantee there's lots of guys at uni with bad aim.

Drop it. Completely. No cleaning, no dwelling on it, nothing.

Edited by PolarBear

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First, congrats on starting uni and working on your OCD.

Second, lets look at normal and not normal responses to this type of situation:

Normal (but kinda rude):  Miss the toilet, make a mess, do nothing, move on
Normal (polite): Miss the toilet, grab some paper, wipe up the mess you can see, throw it in the toilet, wash your hands, move on
Normal (more polite): Work on your aim so you don't miss as often :)

NOT Normal: Worry about contaminating everything because of a bit of urine 
VERY NOT NORMAL: Clean all your possessions and everything they have come in to contact with because of that feared contamination

The best thing you can do is try and be as normal as possible.  In fact it might even be good to intentionally wipe up in front of the toilet, even if you don't think you have missed just because it can be a kind of exposure to wipe up urine (so long as your response is reasonable, like a normal amount of hand washing and thats it).

Remind yourself, the anxiety you feel is real, and yeah probably unpleasant, but just because you feel anxiety doesn't mean that the thing you fear is true.  

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8 hours ago, dksea said:

Remind yourself, the anxiety you feel is real, and yeah probably unpleasant, but just because you feel anxiety doesn't mean that the thing you fear is true.  

:thumbup:

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Firstly I’d like to congratulate you on uni! Yay! What an achievement!I I don’t want to go into too much detail or reassurance around ur latest issue, all I will say is that I live with a man and 2 boys, I frequently end up sitting on a wet toilet seat during the night from my sons missing the bowl in the dark or whatever, what I do next is dry myself a bit and go back to bed, no shower, no soap, just dry and away I go, there’s also times I see drops of pee around the toilet on the floor but don’t have the time to clean it right away, it doesn’t bother me because I do not have a contamination issue with it....nothings ever happened to me, I’ve not got sick or anything, so my advice will be as always is to resist your compulsions and try and curb that ruminating on the subject, u have so much positivity in ur life atm, don’t let OCD interfere! X

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Hi everyone,

I know it's been a while but I thought I'd continue this thread since my latest trigger is on a similar theme.

About a month ago, my baby sister wet herself by the front door and left a large puddle on the floor. I was having quite a rough week and feeling very low, so I couldn't be bothered to immediately clean it up, mop the floor etc, and just waited until it dried, telling myself that I'd clean the floor later. And then... I kind of just forgot about it. And now that I've suddenly remembered, I can feel a pang of anxiety that I'm trying my best to control, but it's been really difficult because this is such a big trigger.

I know that urine, especially human urine, isn't generally considered a medium through which diseases are spread. And I know that it's been more than a month, and no-one at home has gotten sick or anything, and I should probably just let this go (maybe clean up any mess sooner if it happens again). But my mind keeps thinking about all the letters that have been put through the front door and been in contact with the floor, all the times people at home have put their bag down on the floor, and so on, and again I feel really disgusted by the idea of trace amounts of urine being spread everywhere. I ended up giving into some compulsions and researching chemicals that are found in urine, and wondering whether, because of me, anybody has gotten sick or had an allergic reaction to ammonia or some other substance in urine.

I just really don't know what to do. As I said, as it's been so long, I'm trying to tell myself that all this worrying is just OCD, and that I should just move on and maybe take better care of the floor if another 'accident' happens... But it's been really hard to stop worrying!

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What you are doing is mostly appropriate. Researching was a compulsion. That has to stop. Ruminating is going to be a big compulsion. You need to work on that. 

Kids pee. Sometimes it gets everywhere. Yet we've survived as a species just fine.

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It would be no big deal to all of us, therefore it need not be to you bobfish. 

And remember, contamination OCD thrives on alleged "chains of contamination which, to non-sufferers, simply DO NOT EXIST. 

The goal of the OCD SUFFERER, whatever the theme, needs to be to see things as the non-sufferer sees them. 

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