Confessions of a Hypochondriac

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I have been running my anti-plastic page for over two years now, some of my posts are shared outside of my own page and there is a common thread in MANY comments left on my posts that is making me scratch my head.

You see, I suffer from Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and hypochondria. Okay, well that was a big spill, an opening for me to be the butt of many a joke, but what I want to say, is that I have noticed the average person is more obsessive than me and more concerned about health issues than me. What? Really? Yes!

The amount of comments I read on my posts about people totally freaking out about faeces in their trolley, how if one piece of produce touches another type of produce, they are going to get infected with some toxic form of a garlic-banana mutant killer gene. And if their produce isn’t bagged, someone is going to sneeze and spray death delivering mucous all over their oranges. The post that has shocked me the most, is when I suggested people wash their clothes in cold water. People are totally freaking out that if they take my preposterous advice, they are all going to suffer “Death by clothing”. I kid you not, there is endless talk about needing heat to kill bacteria, how hot clothes need to be to kill all germs and how long clothes must hang out to kill bacteria … it goes on and on.

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The food we eat contains bacteria, we’d have no food if it wasn’t for bacteria. Our bodies are made up of massive amounts of bacteria. Life would not exist if we killed all bacteria. We’re not injecting our clothes into our bloodstream and this advice wasn’t for a hospital environment, just our homes. And we just wore them, and took them off, why are they suddenly viewed as a contaminant when we pop them into the washing basket? Why are we so scared of bacteria, to the point that we want sterile clothes? Seriously, I have never heard a news story where someone had died because their clothes killed them. And if you found a case, I doubt it would be inside an average person’s home, which is whom my advice was aimed.

The Plastic Footprint of buying produce online from WoolworthsWT ACTUAL F*** WOOLWORTHS!

I always buy my groceries in store and choose #PlasticFreeProduce and take my own re-usable carry bags. But I decided to try online as a one off experiement to see how much plastic they use. I was shocked.

Dear supporters, if you ever wanted to help me, now is your chance. Please s.h.a.r.e this video on your page and in your groups.

Tomorrow I will tell you the total number.

Let’s demand #PlasticFreeProduce

Posted by Anita Horan on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Our oceans are filling with plastic, plastic has already entered our food and drinking water, we are having year after year of extreme climate events in our lifetime, yet people are defending their right to wrap food in plastic and angrily resist using less energy in their homes. They seem to disregard climate change in lieu of a terror of death by clothing. We are worrying about the wrong things.

So, going back to my original confession, I am a hypochondriac, I suffer from an extreme fear of ill health, yet I can toss my food in a trolley, I can buy food without single use plastic, I even licked an apple straight from my trolley to prove a point to my child that our fear is exaggerated, and I didn’t even catch a cold. I also suffer from obsessiveness, where I find it hard to let go of concerns, yet me, with a heightened level of over-analysis and fear, can wash in cold water, not use a dryer, not put toxic chemicals in every load, and not use a full cycle each time. I take all this in my stride, yet ‘average’ people are totally freaking out.

Reducing waste in the laundry.***** CLOTHES WASHING *****

My ‘Don’t’ LIST when it comes to washing clothes.

* Don’t use hot or warm water (they’re clothes, not people)
* Don’t use the full amount suggested on the packet.
* Don’t use softener or at least don’t use as much as they recommend.
* Don’t set your machine to a full cycle unless your clothes are excessively dirty.
* Don’t use the dryer (unless an emergency)
* Don’t leave dark colours too long in the sun.

My ‘Do’ list

* Try just half or even better, 1/4 of the amount of detergent recommended on the bottle/packet.
* As a standard, only use the rinse cycle (thus the small amount of detergent will be plenty.)
* Have some soapy water in your sink or a bucket and hand spot the stains out (make time for it, I know we’re all busy)
* See if you can get away with hand washing only, for as many clothes as possible. Use a tiny bit of detergent in a bucket, swish around pump clothes in water, then only rinse or even better, just the spin cycle.
* If using softener or eucalyptus oil, only add a tiny bit right at the end so it doesn’t just all wash straight down the sink.
* If you have bathwater leftover, add some some soap and essential oils and dirty clothes and swish. You can even let it sit overnight and swish them for a few minutes in the morning then just spin in machine.
* If you only use soapy water, pour on the grass outside. I have a special hose if I am particularly diligent.
* Hang shirts on coat hangers on the line to prevent peg marks.
*Hang towels outside to dry after use, they don’t need to be washed each time you use them.
* Lay clothes lightly on basket when bringing them in to avoid excessive ironing.

* This is for general household clothes, this advice is not for babies nappies.

I am adding this comment after reading responses to this post: “Wow, some people are so germ phobic. I posted this in some other countries and people there are freaked out about using cold water. They are almost breaking out in a cold sweat at the thought of catching something deadly from their clothes if they don’t use hot water. This is absurd to me. Most germs will die simply from being dry and heated by the sun. How many cultures have simply washed their clothes in the local river? I wonder if this fear is a cultural issue? And these are people on waste reduction sites. I think we need to really question ourselves about what is normal behaviour and what is ‘accepted extreme behaviour’ based on what our consumer driven society is telling us. We are facing the hottest years ever on record, our use of electricity may be contributing, yet people are freaked about switching to cold on their washing machines, is there a shaking head emoji???”

Do you have any other suggestions?

Posted by Anita Horan on Saturday, January 20, 2018

While I scratch my head (which is more likely a reaction from chemicals from years of washing my hair with bottled shampoo and less likely to be dust mites because I used cold water to wash my bedding), I am wondering what’s going on? Why are we so scared to live a normal life, why is behaviour that humans have been engaged in for thousands of years, like washing in cold water and buying food without plastic, suddenly viewed as behaviour that is going to threaten our health and why is ‘Germ Phobia’ the new black?

6 Replies to “Confessions of a Hypochondriac”

  1. All the points you make are absolutely spot on…not only have we lost our way, we are a bit lost…what we value doesn’t seem to feature in the daily grind of life. I saw a bit of Saturday Night Fever – the movie- John Travolta went to the hamburger joint & came out with disposable cups with plastic lids..now that’s a whopping 40 years ago! My point is It seems it takes us humans a long time to reflect on our behaviour. And sadly it wasn’t my parents’ generation & mine is kind of hit some, miss others.
    I’m happy to share your posts.
    Was wondering if you’d do another stupid plastic competition for the Boomerang Alliance?

  2. I totally agree and am going crazy everyday when I see the amount of single use plastic waste everywhere!! I’m just doing my best to share and educate people one conversation at a time. Great videos sending you CocoLove 🌴❤️🤙🏼

  3. I love this Anita!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I always wonder why people are so afraid of these cross contaminations. I buy all my produce plastic free and no bags since so many years and haven’t got any diseases. The only time I had food poisoning, throwing up all night has been after eating in a good german restaurant. (and all the people who are afraid about cross contamination of fresh produce are most likely eating out without having panic attacks 😉
    Great topic! I will share on FB.
    Jule (thehappychoices.com)

  4. Comments from folks who get excited about “germs” on food puzzle me.
    Often I have heard ” I will only buy wrapped produce because someone may touch , sneeze or breath over unwrapped items”. Well, how do they think the items got into the wrapping?… did that cucumber jump off the vine and into the wrapper in its own? Did the chopped carrot in a horrid plastic bag jump from the soil, get washed , sliced and packed all without getting near a human..and what about the “germs in the soil “soil it grew in !
    Our continued obsession with totally unnecessary plastic packages that are the scourge of our environment is just plain stupid and very wrong.

  5. I totally agree with that. As a parent I didn’t teach germ phobia and I don’t live germ phobia. If we look at the world differently we will know that our bodies can protect us. Food covered in plastic is more “contaminated” than food not covered in plastic imho 🙂

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