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Ok so first I apologise for another post from me (you guys are so amazing for listening us ramble on a daily basis, I can’t thank you enough for being a sounding board). 
This evening, I’ve kind of gone into a mode of acceptance. On the one hand, I think it’s good. But it also has made me kind of sad. Essentially, I have come to the conclusion that given my brothers lack of cleanliness, I have two options. The first, which is to spend all my time as nauseam cleaning everything for the rest of time all day every day. The second option is to just accept that things aren’t going to be as clean as I want and just “suck it up”. I actually know what I have to do but it’s going to be incredibly hard. The hardest part of it all is going to be my bedroom. My bedroom is my safe space. My clean space and which I have certain rules that I follow on a daily basis to keep things a certain way. I figure the only true way around this is basically to integrate my room into the rest of the house. It’s not great because my stuff is going to get “contaminated” but what choice do I have? I know to say that it isn’t, is a lie is w stretch too far. My brother doesn’t wash his hands unless told to and to manage that all day is impossible. So stuff is going to be in contact, first hand, second or third with stuff that isn’t clean. But again, what can I do? Spend my life walking around with wipes?

As a side note, I’m worried that my 3D glasses came into contact with the underside of my belly/crotch area while I was getting changed (they were in my drawer). I have an overwhelming urge to wipe them but I probably should just leave them as is because I have a problem with depth perception and I have no idea half the time how close or far things are. It may not have touched at all. 

Just feeling about down and resigned. 

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18 minutes ago, BigDave said:

It’s not great because my stuff is going to get “contaminated”

:no:  Nope......You FEEL and fear that it is going to get contaminated.  There's a huge difference :)  Your current opinion and fears are that of an OCD sufferer and are accompanied by feelings of anxiety/distress/disgust etc.  If you can change your reactions and compulsions, understand them, how it works...you can get to a place where your feelings will change.  I'm not going to say you won't care....people are different, some like a tidy, clean, immaculate place, and they don't have to be OCD sufferers.  Non-sufferers may feel angry, annoyed, disappointed, irritated that others disrespect their space.  They may tell a sibling to keep out of their room or tell them they're a muck beggar for not washing hands....but they wouldn't feel your level of distress.

You work on the compulsions and although you'll feel anxiety in the early stages, this will change.  Maybe you won't care at all, more likely you'll be someone who does like a nice place but simply because you like it that way, not because you live in fear of contamination.

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Hi BigDave

If there are things that realistically won't change then yes, accept them - e.g. realistically, you won't keep everything perfectly clean to your preferred standards. But I don't think you should accept the idea that you need to feel constantly under threat from that situation. You can change your attitude. You can decide to let yourself live in a place that's less than 100% clean without constantly torturing yourself with the idea that it's not ok, that you aren't doing enough to keep it clean, that you're constantly in danger of feeling unbearable disgust. I think that deliberate change in attitude is an important step, otherwise you keep on fighting with yourself. Like Caramoole, I'm not saying you'll change your preference for cleanliness. But I think you can choose to live in the world as it is, even though it doesn't match your preference, and you can choose to let that be ok by you.

I want to recommend something that's helped me massively. There's an OCD therapist in the US called Michael Greenberg. He has a website with articles explaining his ideas and a couple of interview episodes on the OCD Stories podcast. He is developing a version of ERP based on stopping ruminations, with the idea that it's when we're ruminating (mentally engaging at all) with the feared idea that we're anxious. In your case you might practise not engaging at all with the idea that your room is contaminated if you don't want that idea to keep bothering you. (I did this with my own worries - not contamination but I'm sure that doesn't make a difference. I started very brief - think of the thing for 30 seconds then don't think about it for 30 seconds, I did that maybe just three times each morning. You keep it easy and non-anxious - the aim is simply to learn that with practice you can actually not ruminate. I started with small worries that I could handle fairly well before trying the more difficult ones a few weeks later.) By doing this you can prove to yourself that you don't have to engage with what you fear, so you have control back and you feel in less of an impossible "trapped" situation. It then becomes your free choice whether you carry on treating the contamination thoughts as something terrifying that you have to try to deal with or as something that you can't be bothered to engage with any more - you feel the initial emotion still maybe but you let that come and then go, and then you get on with your day. (I'm not fully at the "can't be bothered" stage yet but I do think I'm making progress and getting over incidents more quickly and easily than before.)

P.S. I think the idea of doing ERP in a way that doesn't involve anxiety isn't exactly standard practice so it might be that others, including your therapist, might disagree with it. But it makes so much sense to me that I really wanted to mention it anyway. If it causes issues with your current therapy method though, maybe it might be best to stick with what you're doing.

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