In no particular order here is one way OCD still gets in the way.
Shopping. This is probably one of the most stressful things for me right now. Why? OCD is working triple time to try to prevent new things from getting contaminated. And new things can get contaminated for me simply by thinking a triggering thought or triggering word during checkout, whether online or in person. Consequently, I’m canceling orders as soon as I make them (thanks to Amazon for making it super easy in the app) and then immediately reordering trying not to think that triggering thought while I make the next order. Rinse and repeat. The same thing over and over. I’ll do this dozens of times before either feeling like I’ve successfully made the order, or giving up in frustration. On websites that aren’t Amazon it’s not as easy to cancel orders, so consequently I’ll make multiple orders and end up with two, three, sometimes as many as five of the same thing. Then I have to return a bunch of things I don’t need. Even if I successfully make an order, sometimes it gets contaminated right away upon receiving it, before I even open it. This again can happen simply by thinking a triggering thought while touching it, or it accidentally bumps into or touches something else that’s already contaminated. Then the compulsion is to buy the thing again and return the one that’s contaminated. Here’s a recent example. My beard trimmer broke so I needed a new one. I ordered one on Amazon, making several attempts before I got the ordering process “right.” It arrived. I set in on the counter in the bathroom. Then later I was ruminating on a triggering thought and walked into the bathroom and my hand brushed against it. Boom. Contaminated. So I tried to make the order again. This time I had more trouble making the order, making and canceling the order several times because there were triggering thoughts that kept coming up. After getting super frustrated I ended up letting two of the orders go through thinking that it would be more difficult to pinpoint the exact trigger that has been attached to the items by increasing the number. So then I have three beard timers, but then the two new ones get sent in the same package and I think the package brushed against my leg or something when I carried it into my apartment. I don’t remember, but the two new ones got contaminated. So I ordered again, and that one got contaminated. So I ended up with four of the exact same beard trimmers that OCD has marked as contaminated and I “can’t” use. So, getting frustrated with the situation I go to Best Buy and get two more trimmers. If you’re keeping track that’s six beard trimmers for a grand total of about $350. Good news is I was able to settle on one and actually use it. I’ve returned the four from Amazon. I still have one more to return. Is exhausting. I mean hell, it’s exhausting just writing about it. I could explore a little more about what “contamination” means and feels like for me, but that might be an entirely different post. Suffice it to say, OCD makes shopping difficult and frustrating.