I've been asked by a couple people, why am I doing this? Because sometimes it hurts. It hurts to share a lot of the Things I Do. It's embarrassing. It's really, really embarrassing. (And I haven't even gotten to The Big One yet.) So why do I bare my soul to all of you? Many, many of you are people I've known for years, and who I know in real life, and the most you knew was that maybe I had a few little tics. Maybe you knew that I'm a "bit" of a germaphobe. Maybe you knew I washed my apples with soap, or soaked my strawberries in salt water.*
*That's a post for next time!
But all of a sudden, I come out with this blog and I'm confessing that I go nuclear on the house with Lysol spray after a guest leaves, or I refuse to allow my child to play at mall play areas, or I hold my breath when I walk by people, or I check that the back door is locked 27 times a night, etc. Suddenly I'm confessing to you things that are difficult to confess to. Why? Why do I do this to myself?
I've come across a few quotes recently that pretty much sum it up. Here's an oldie but a goodie:
"If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it." -Erma Bombeck
Well, Lawd knows I'm trying to make it better, but I'm having little actual success so far, at least as far as brain circuitry and chemistry is concerned. So, yeah, what's left but to laugh? And to try to make you laugh? My heart swells with pride when I hear that I've made just one of you smile. I love to make you laugh. I want to make you laugh. If that's the only thing I have control over, if that's the one thing I have success at, it's what I'll aim to do.
Here's the second quote that resonated:
"This is pretty much all I've got...And I'm not saying [it's] fun. Every time we meet, I complain. I moan. I get mad and throw a hot potato fit. But here's the things: I like telling my stories. It feels like I'm doing something concrete about it. When I leave, the concrete in my chest has loosened, melted down so I can breathe for a few days."
-From The Help
This is pretty much all I've got. I don't see a lot of friends in person very often, and in fact the couple of friends who I do hang out with, they don't know about this blog. (See, of course, the Acid Test friends!) So it is here at Poop on a Hot Tin Slide, and to my poor poor husband, that I rant about germs. And the "doing something concrete" about it part is that I feel like I'm sharing something important--something important to me. I'm "spreading the word." I'm sharing tips 'n trix on how to be a little safer, a little cleaner, in my OCD Land. And I'm sharing what it's like in my mind, what the world look like to me. How scary it can be, and how it can be made better and less scary. And healthier for all!
I'm also trying to show people that even though I have a "disorder" of types, I can think clearly. I can have valid opinions (for example, on the dreaded Hygiene Hypothesis). Some people think my mind is clouded by OCD, that I can't see clearly through it or form an educated opinion because of it, but just because I don't like to shake hands with people doesn't mean I can't read research or formulate a concrete position on a theory.
I also hope to show people that just because I fall outside the realm of "typical" does NOT MAKE ME WRONG. The fact that I'm in the minority when I come home and immediately wash my hands does not make me wrong--in fact, I think it's a very appropriate thing to do. It's not the most common practice, but neither is taking off your shoes here in the U.S--while in Asian countries, it is. So who's to judge what's unusual or atypical? And if it is indeed outside the realm of typical, who's to judge if it's wrong?
I also blog because I have found a few kindred spirits. People saying, "OMG ME TOO! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!" I love finding out that I am not the only one. Not that I should be the only one, people. Washing your hands and taking care not to spread Teh Sick is stuff we learned in kindergarten. I mean CUB OD. It's stuff we see on TV commercials. Stuff we see on signs all over doctors offices or workplaces. Messages in children's books. Entire shows devoted to the topic on Sid the Science Kid, for baby Jesus' sake.
. . .
Anyway. To sum up. I do this for me, to lighten the load. I do this for you, to make you laugh. And I do this for mankind, to save us all from bat flu.
Oh, plus, I'm dying for a little internet fame. Bygones.