At my last therapy appointment I told the therapist that when I came back this week I would be ready to start something new. We'd been going sort of easy during all my transitioning back to work from disability and then from the old job to the new. The transition went incredibly smoothly but it still was a risky period for me.
The thing I'm ready to address is paranoia. Paranoia is a symptom I don't handle well. I guess that's probably because it is intrinsically hard to handle. Regardless, I've hurt people I care about one too many times because I let myself be paranoid and talk myself into believing that people who truly care about me don't, even when I have plently of evidence to the contrary. I've lost friends this way and hurt too many people.
My paranoia is actually much better now than it used to be. When I was first diagnosed there was a period of about 2 years where I was terrified to even take a shower because I couldn't hear if someone broke into my apartment. This was triggered by maintenance coming in while I was drying my hair one day and not having the sense to leave or make noise, and it was not helped by someone barging into the apartment one day thinking it was the model one next door to me, waking me from a sound sleep. Ultimately I wound up showering every other day very briefly and taking sponge baths on the other days. I had to shower to wash my thick hair thoroughly, but even then sometimes I had to stick to sponge baths several days running. I also was paranoid about the public laundry facilities in my apartment complex and actually would drive my laundry 60 miles to my mom's to wash it "safely". That at least had some substantiation as someone did throw away half a load of my clothes and stole the other half, including my favorite shirt.
When I bought this house, 5 years ago, I put up a clear shower curtain. I use a cloth one over it when I can tolerate it, but clear is an option. Even then I worked really hard to get into the shower every day. A messed up faucet helps motivate me; it's hard to wash my hair in the tub. I knew there was dry rot in the bathroom floor and it took a lot of work to believe the tub would not fall through if I stood in it. Ultimately I jumped up and down until I believed it was ok.
I also had a lot of trouble initially with the house-garage connecting door. It has a deadbolt with a key to lock it. It's pretty inconvenient to keep it locked since the key is on my keychain I carry around and I need to frequently open the garage to throw trash bags in there until trash day. The garage has a locked exterior door and I don't use the garage door.
I remember getting really scared one night early on because I heard a noise in the garage. I was terrified and my mom had to calm me down.
Tonight I came home and the door to the garage was open. I have no clue how. My best guess is that it wasn't fully closed whenever the last bag of trash went out and the cat shoved it open today. This would also explain why it has felt chilly in here the last few days and why it was a bit smelly last night.
But the point is that I didn't freak out. I won't be up all night awaiting the murderer in a closet. I didn't even CHECK closets.
I really am improving.