Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hosting a Party: OCD Exposures en Masse

This weekend we're having a gathering at our house. There will be lots of people--family, friends, maybe neighbors--more visitors than we've ever hosted here. Am I nervous? Not really. But will there be exposures? Mmmmm, yep. Here's what I'm doing to keep OCD from crashing the party.

  • I'm stopping obsessions before the first guest arrives. If I'm feeling the tug of irrational fears today, I'm working hard to squash them before the weekend. I've had intrusive thoughts about the pesticides I use on my landscaping, and of course I've mentioned the occasional nagging cooking ritual. If I'm planning on wearing a dress, baking cookies, and playing music, why wouldn't I plan on thinking positive thoughts?
  • I'm committing to keeping busy. It's hard to talk to everyone, but it's easy when I have an excuse to: If I stay moving, I'll move quickly away from the OCD thoughts that might interfere with my good time. Whether I'm preparing snacks, holding a baby, or just sitting and chatting, I want to keep myself distracted from OCD.
  • I'm not going to plan conversations. I've already said I have a lot to plan, but a person with relationship OCD like myself should not try to map out where conversations will go. I might say something embarrassing. I might offend someone. Yes, it's possible. I accept that.
  • I'm not going to be surprised. If any of the above does not work out as I hope it to, I won't be surprised. Every time I let OCD surprise me I'm in for some trouble. I'm ready if the stress of the situation, the excitement of entertaining so many guests, and, by the time the evening winds down, fatigue leave me vulnerable.

And then again it might be a splendid, OCD-free evening! Here's to hopin'.


  1. Hey... I have a question. Is it possible to start "acquiring" OCD? I really don't know very much about it, but lately I've been miserable and freaking myself out all the time... I wish I could just talk with you. :( Anyway, I'm just browsing through your posts.

  2. Turns out it went well! Though I only had one pre-party OCD thought, I overcame it. Thanks for your support!