Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Here and Now

I joke with my psychologist all the time that I consider myself to have the lazy person's version of OCD, a/k/a avoidance. Ha ha! Several years back I used to be the type of person whose OCD drove them to spend hours performing cleaning compulsions and checking compulsions. Yes, my house would be pretty spotless, but I was extremely exhausted all the time. Some years ago, I got so tired and overwhelmed by all of it that I started to avoid compulsions. Avoiding compulsions also means needing to avoid the stuff that will bring on an obsession. So you basically start stepping back from living a normal life. I don't want to give the impression that my house is filthy or anything - I do try to keep up with some basic stuff, plus my husband is an especially neat person, so thankfully he helps with a lot of stuff too. But, in my OCD opinion, nothing in my house is really ever clean enough. In fact, nothing is ever "anything" enough, if that makes any sense. Nothing is clean enough, safe enough, completed enough, understood well enough, explained well enough, etc. It is actually quite psychologically painful to live that way. It is like you are constantly unsettled and like there is always some unfinished business hanging over your head. It is very hard to truly relax and enjoy life like that.

That is why mindfulness has been very helpful to me. To be completely honest, I was afraid of mindfulness at first. I was worried that it was something that contradicted my faith as a Christ follower. The funny thing is, I think Jesus was describing a type of mindfulness when he stated that we should not worry about the future, as today has enough trouble of its own. Now I think I actually understand what He meant by that. I really do try to focus on today: right now, this hour, this minute. I try to think on the gifts that the Lord has given to me just for today. Because let's face it, no one is assured any type of future. I think in some strange way, people with anxiety disorders are maybe just more aware of the fact that there is no assured future. So we are in an even better position to really appreciate the here and now.

So when I'm struggling with anxiety, I will try to deep breathe. I try to focus on what is going on around me at that moment, not what might happen a few hours, days, or months from now. I will pray. I'm not always successful with this. But after a few years of CBT, the addition of a low dose of medication (though I'm certainly not advocating medication - it just works for me) and with the support of my husband, by the grace of God my ability to be in the here and now is increasing.

No comments:

Post a Comment