Daily flossing can add up to 6.4 years to your life….

After today, I’m going to live forever.

I’ve flossed over 100 times in the last 2 hours.  Literally, I lost track at a 100.

What? I’m sure you’re scratching your head in confusion. Well, a few posts ago I talked about walking the balance of pretending things are ok and letting people know I’m struggling.  In the vein of trying to open up more, I thought I’d share an OCD struggle I’m having right now.

I went to the dentist this morning, and they asked if I was a coffee drinker because there was a small stain on one of my front teeth. I’m not. So they said, “oh no big deal, just make sure you floss in the C-pattern and it will go away”.  I’m sure anyone with OCD knows where this story is going.

Well one area I’ve always struggled with OCD is germs.  I think about them all the time.  My grandma once told my husband that I used to wash my hands until they were red and chapped when I was younger. Flying in airplanes is terrible for me.  I’m not scared of heights (my dad is a pilot), but instead I’m constantly picturing the germs I’m being exposed to and can literally feel them running all over my body (ok not literally, but it sure feels that way).

I’ve been obsessing about flossing since the appointment. Since I don’t drink coffee the stain must be germs taking over my mouth. And thanks to those tramatizing cartoons they showed me when I was younger (see example below) I have a very detailed image of what they look like. So,from the minute they mentioned it, my fingers have been itching to touch some floss. However, I know it’s not good for me to over floss.  So instead I’m sitting at my desk mentally flossing.  And not just thinking about flossing, but literally moving through my head and flossing around each tooth, paying particular attention to the one with the stain.  And when I finish, moving back to the beginning and doing it all again.

I’m obsessing about it so much that I can’t focus on work. I’m hard at work (hardly working really) on writing a training plan and all I can see in my head is an image of the spot where they told me had a small stain. And then starts the flossing….

I can’t remember any of my techniques for dealing with OCD right now because I’m so completely focused on the tooth with the stain….and flossing to remove it.

I have a card with my OCD tool set on it—but it’s sitting at home somewhere in the dungeons of my desk because I have not needed it in a while.  I’ll have to go home at lunch to find it; the time it will take to do that will be made up for in an increase in productivity in the afternoon.  I hope.

Now…back to adding years to my life

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