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Fartoolong

Fartoolong

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
22
Location
London
Hi there,
I just wanted to ask for some advice really - to put my crazy mind at rest.

Basically I have battled with bulimia since I was 16, came clean 1 year ago after 10 years with no one knowing about it - and it's kicked off all sorts of other problems.

When I was stressed, upset etc before, my coping mechanism was to binge and vomit - When I came clean about my illness (1 year ago on 25th August) I went cold turkey and haven't thrown up since!

But - I find that when I get upset, etc now, I don't know how to handle it - so I turn to cleaning. And not just a bit of tidying up - i'm talking, pulling the sofas out, hoovering under the bed, dusting everything, wanting the hoover marks in the carpet - And nothing is ever tidy/clean enough - even though everyone says that the house is immaculate, I can still see dirt or untidyness!
I can sometimes clean for 8 hours solid - and still by the end of it, it's not clean enough!
I sometimes get up in the night, just to clean.
My mind races when i'm laying in bed thinking about how dirty the oven is.

BUT then on the flip side, I have days where it doesn't bother me - but then it irritates me that it's not bothering me - which kicks off another cleaning frenzy a couple of days later. Am I making sence?

So, basically, is this OCD or just obsession??

Pdoc seems to think it's just my way of coping with everyday stress (as a way to avoid my old coping mechanisms)

Louise x:confused:
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
hey Louise, i dunno is my answer! sorry

i have obsessions with food and numbers/codes. could be OCD???

the food thing can be quite bad as things touching and contamination is to much for me to bear. i get distressed and angry about it and will starve other then eat whats infront of me sometimes. will feel physically sick at times. i recognise number plates and remember them, not the car or colour just the plates.

both obsessions have been there since i was a child.
 
Fartoolong

Fartoolong

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
22
Location
London
I'm like that too.
With certain foods, I can't eat it unless i've made it myself and I have a massive phobia of sandwiches unless they are freshly made!

Where does it come from? It's so strange - and when I tell people about it, they can't understand it.

I think that my sandwich phobia came from when I was at school and being made to eat sandwiches that had been roasting in a lunch box for 4 hours - and being all warm and completely unfresh! I used to hide my sandwiches, and the dinner ladies thought that I had an eating disorder (I was only 6) so used to stand over me and force me to eat them! The thought of it makes me want to gag!

Lxxx
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hi Louise

Yes this is something that I have come across many times before. I've been in many eating disorders units and often when people try to give up one coping mechanism they start another as another way to cope.

This happens with addictions too, some people stop taking drugs, then start drinking alcohol.

In actual fact excessive cleaning, eating disorders, obsessions and drug and alcohol abuse and self harm are all coping mechanisms.

I guess what I would try to do now, is get to the bottom of why you are finding it difficult to cope with your overwhelming emotions, or being upset and try to deal with that.

You can undergo some therapy to do this, but there are also many books out there which you might find helpful if you are unable to.

It might be worth everytime you want to start cleaning stop yourself and write down precisely what happened that upset you, the thoughts you have about what happened and what emotion(s) you are feeling, and why you want to avoid dealing with them by cleaning and what makes it feel unbearable to sit with your feelings. After a few weeks you might see a common trigger or thought process, which can go a long way to helping yourself.
 
Fartoolong

Fartoolong

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
22
Location
London
Hi Sapphire.
Thank you for that info. I will definately try the writing down what my mood is like when I get the urge to clean. See if I can work out what's triggering me!

I was in CBT, but that stopped in about March, but i'm starting it up again in the next couple of weeks! My pdoc thinks that I stopped the therapy too early, and that I need to go back to have some sort of release! I'm actually looking forward it.

I was really stressed out last night because I hadn't done any washing for over a week, because we'd run out of washing powder, so when our food shopping was delivered last night, I got the washing powder straight out, and put a load on. I then proceeded to do 5 loads and couldn't sleep properly. So I practiced my relaxation and after a lot of interuptions by my thoughts, I was able to fall into such a lovely deep sleep - and didn't wake up till this morning - which is quite unheard of.
 
Q

quality factor

Guest
Hi there!

I agree with Sapphire a thought diary may be a good way to approach your problem, and hopefully in a while you may be able to see if there is a common trigger that sets you off. You may in time be able to put a more practical coping mechanism in place, which will help with your thoughts and consequent actions.

QF.
 
A

Ainsworth

Guest
I think that my sandwich phobia came from when I was at school and being made to eat sandwiches that had been roasting in a lunch box for 4 hours - and being all warm and completely unfresh! I used to hide my sandwiches, and the dinner ladies thought that I had an eating disorder (I was only 6) so used to stand over me and force me to eat them! The thought of it makes me want to gag!
mine started in childhood to, being forced to do anything has a negative response on anyone and it can stay with you.

i have a need to know what the food is, to see it, sounds strange but cant do sauce base things and cant eat much meat, that makes me gag also.

dont know where the number thing comes from, i also remember converstations, im like a little dicaphone, can recall everything, not good, so much in my head it feels like bursting :eek:
 
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