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!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Bit Out Of Control

I am feeling out of control today. My Compulsive Skin Picking (CSP) has really gone crazy. I'm overeating to a ridiculous amount. The overeating has activated a severe reaction from the gastroesophageal reflux that I also struggle with. In fact, I was sitting up on my couch until about 4:30 this morning because every time I tried to lay down, the reflux would cause me to cough uncontrollably and the burning in my throat would become painful. Which leads me to another problem. Sleep. Sigh. My sleep schedule is a complete mess as well. When I do actually finally fall asleep, it's usually in fitful starts and stops.

I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I am not overly discouraged. Considering what my husband and I have gone through over the last few years with his illness and mine, well, it would take a lot more than this to really discourage me. I am, however, very frustrated and disappointed with myself. I seem to be the creator of a lot of my own problems. I could fight the CSP, if I actively pursued the tenets of HRT, but when I'm in the middle of it, frankly, I just don't want to stop. The same thing for eating. If I stop overeating, my reflux would improve and so would my sleep. If I forced myself to get up at the same time every day, regardless of how I slept the night before, that would also help my sleep schedule.

It's quite strange. In some ways, I feel increasing control over the OCD. In other ways, well, I guess you can tell. It's like I only have a limited store of discipline and I've used it all up! Anyway, this is mostly just a post for complaining. If you wanted to send a few prayers over my way, I sure wouldn't mind. What do you do to get control over yourself? How do you stop yourself from doing something that you really, really don't want to stop?


  1. I'm sorry you're feeling so frustrated. Please don't feel disappointed with yourself. We all have times like this. We can't be on top of things all the time.

    I have a real problem with self-discipline. I can't usually make huge changes at one time. It's a little at a time.

    I have been trying to get up at the same time, or an earlier time, for so long and I seem to keep falling short. I set the alarm, but I keep hitting that snooze button. But on days that I HAVE to get up, to cover a court case or an early interview, I manage to do it. So perhaps my success is related to what I want to do, and what I don't want to do, or what I feel like I MUST do, and what I feel like I don't have to do.

    With something like CSP, you have tools you can use to help combat it, but I think it's OK if you occasionally don't want to use them. Maybe it's just one of those days that you need to just let things go--just temporarily.

    I say that only because I know you won't always feel like this--we never do. Tomorrow, or the next day, you will feel better and pull out that toolbox and go at it.

    I say that also because you recognize what you're doing. You're not in denial.

    I wish I had an answer for you on self-discipline.

    I'll be praying for you, Sunny, and look forward to hearing from you. Take care of yourself!

    1. Thanks for the prayers, Tina. I can use them. Yeah, I'm the same way too. If I really have to get up for something I can do it. So you're right, I'm more in control of that than I think. It is hard to be on top of stuff all the time (it just seems like there's a lot of stuff to be on top of!). I'm just going to start over again tomorrow. Thanks, and you take care of yourself too.

  2. Oh, Sunny... don't feel mad at yourself. I understand feeling frustrated but please don't blame yourself or feel mad at yourself.

    All these things you are battling are incredibly strong and honestly, when life overwhelms, I don't know how you can NOT do the things that your brain thinks will comfort you.

    This is a hard road and none of us are perfect and I don't think we should expect perfection from ourselves.

    Hugs and prayers,

    1. Oh, thank you Elizabeth! It is really hard not to expect perfection from ourselves. The truth is that I do blame myself. I look at other people and think well, they've got it all together, what's the matter with me? If there's one thing I've learned though, it's that comparisons are bad for my mind. Thanks, I'll take the hugs and prayers!

  3. Hi Sunny, I just have to comment on your comment saying that you look at other people and they have it all together. I often laugh with a close friend of mine who, about a month before my son and our family hit bottom, said to me, "You have the most normal family I know." Lesson here is that we never know what is really going on in other people's lives, so comparisons are not even usually real. At least that is my experience.
    And whether we have OCD or not, I think we all have moments where we lose control or are disappointed in ourselves (I know I do!). I think it's part of being human and we need to work on being more accepting of ourselves, letting our disappointments go, and focus on starting all over the next day.

    1. Hi Janet. You make an excellent point - sometimes it's easy to think that only people w/anxiety disorders struggle with some of these things. The reality is that everyone has issues and getting rid of OCD only means getting rid of OCD!

      That's very ironic what your friend said to you. It is impossible to know what other people are really going through. But, oh is it easy to fall in the trap of thinking that someone else has it all! I've even had a few people insinuate to me that I have no reason for any problems in life. They had no idea of the OCD and I remember just cringing inside.

  4. When we first moved into this house we spent a lot of time cleaning & painting. (and throwing out the kitchen cupboards :)]
    Then the carpet cleaners came. The guys needed some rags to protect the walls aaround corners, so what do they do? they go to the garbage piles, 1 downstairs and one outside where i threw all the mouse crud, find 2 old dirty rugs, bring them in and use them. when i found that out i almost cried. i had been up all night cleaning and this was my 'last straw'. I told this to my counselor and she also told me to let my husband do the cleaning as he would do a 'goood enuf' job without going ocd on it. Knowing how bruce cleans, i said ok, and did let him do it. Maybe it was the clean 'smell', or just everything looking pristine, i accepted what he did and only asked a couple of questions for reassurance. i was not there at all for it either.

    As for how do i do stuff i don't want to? I spend some time imagining how my life will be great being able to do what ever it is that i cant. For example when i was too afraid to use the mailbox, my husband had to get the mail and keep it at the office, which then rendered the office 'unclean.' but that's a side issue. I then had to call him for the bills' amounts so i could pay them. I wanted to feel more like i was doing my fair share of the work, and doing the accounts again was a 'clean' activity that didn't take too much energy.

    So i spent some time figuring out why i wanted the mailbox 'clean'-stamped. And then i imagined all the stuff i could do if i could handle the mail. I also imagined me touching it, and let the feelings flood over me, so i'd get used to them (not both things at the same time- the first one lets good feelings flood over me)

    So for you, you could imagine watching a movie cuddled on the couch with dh, or throwing a party downstairs or whatever events you'd like to do in that room and feel all the emotions of fun, love, excitement, thrill as your friends compliment you on the wonderful room, or as you find some great accents that would just GO perfectly down there. Once you have that down, start doing the other thot thread, of where you walk into the cleaned-by-husband room and feel the dread. Imagine looking at the places where the mouse dirt used to be and get all yucky inside. Sit with the feeling AS IF it was real until it goes away- or until you make it go away because it's not real. Do this until you realize that the bad feelings aren't so bad or so overpowering. This is so you won't FREAK when you actually go into the room and thus put it even more on your
    'coontaminated' list.

    I hope this works...

    As for being frustrated, people are frustrated for all sorts of reasons in 'normal' life too: blowing their diet, yelling at the kids, smashing the car into the lamp post. It's just so hard when you want to be well and it's not working as quickly as you want it to. Unfortunately this stuff usually goes 2 steps forward, 1 step back until one day it seems to work for the whole day, and then for 2 or 3 until it blows up again. Hang in there and remind yourself of what things ARE going better now than before. As perfectionists, we tend to minimize stuff we have 'gotten' and maximize the stuff we're working on. Or at least i know i do! If you have a journal from a few years back read how you were doing then. And then admit to yourself that it is working, one day at a time, one step at a time.