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 15, 2012

Support From The Support Group

I'm very fortunate in that I have a great support group that meets locally. Our group is run on the G.O.A.L. (Giving Obsessive Compulsives Another Lifestyle) model. It is my understanding that the very wonderful Dr. Jonathan Grayson is the originator of the G.O.A.L. group. (I am a huge fan of Dr. Grayson as he has dedicated his life's work to those of us with OCD).  I love this group because it is such a relief to share my struggles with others and know that they completely understand not only how I feel, but also how I think. The best part is that my support group is not a whine session. Oh sure, we talk about the things that upset us, but we also talk about how to fight our compulsions and how to perform ERPs. Each time we meet we set goals to work on and then we report about our success or struggles when we meet again. (By the way, it was my support group that urged me to wear my jacket the other day.) I am also blessed because I have made great friendships that go beyond the group setting and that is helping to restore a certain normalcy to my life that has been missing for many, many years.

Another important aspect of being part of this group is the feeling that I am contributing to the recovery of other OCD sufferers. As a Christ follower, I look for meaning in everything in my life. Once I finally came to accept my illness and the chronic nature of it, I realized that there had to be a higher purpose. I believe that part of my mission is to strengthen and uplift others who fight mental illness. I'm thankful that God provided this group both for my encouragement and for the encouragement of others. I would highly recommend joining a support group. I do think it's worth mentioning, though, that you may not find the right group immediately. I did go through three other groups before I found the one that was right for me (maybe I'm just picky). The International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation is a great resource for finding support groups (see link under online resources).

Living with mental illness is difficult work and the burden is made lighter when we share the load together, don't you think? I hope you have someone you can share your burden with. I would be honored to be one of your burden sharers, even if it's just through the comments section of this blog. God Bless!

6 comments:

  1. That's great that you have found such a group. I know how important that kind of support is. Unfortunately there is nothing like that in my city. That's why i started a blog and also looked for other ocd bloggers. Thank you for your support to me.

    Is your group associated with any mental health people- who run it or let you use their building or is it completely run by volunteers who have ocd without any professional supports?

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  2. Hi Karin. I sure appreciate the mutual blogging support as well, so thank you to you too! I'm sorry there is nothing local for you. That frustrates me when I hear stuff like that.

    It's such a shame, there really are not enough support groups for everyone who needs it. I know just how lucky I was to find mine, especially so close to home. I used to travel over an hour one way to another meeting because I was so desperate. Our group is facilitated by a local counselor who is literally doing this out of pure kindness. The members of the group do, however, drive a lot of the discussion. I've even toyed with the idea of starting a group at my church (which is in another city) just to provide some access to a group for others who don't currently have it. It is a very big commitment though, and I don't want to rush into any decisions and then let people down if I can't follow through.

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  3. Sunny, You have been such a support to me in your comments. You are very discerning and very kind.

    I, too, look for meaning and how I can be Christ-like in my work. I want to help alleviate the pain of people who suffer, and help educate the public about mental illness.

    I tried a support group many years ago and did not have a good experience. I'm not sure if there's one in our area. I live in a small town, but a nearby city may have one. My doctor would probably know. Not sure if I want to go that route or not.

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    1. Tina, sounds like we have very similar life goals. I've always appreciated your support from the first day we started blogging. I think you may have even been my first comment (other than my mom ha ha)!

      I'm sorry about your bad experience. Out of the 4 groups I've been to, I did have one really bad experience - I drove all the way home crying! You also make a good point - support groups are not for everyone. I think the reason I like it so much is that it has brought me out of my isolationist (is that a word?) behavior which in turn has made it easier for me to relate to other non-OCD friends.

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  4. I'm so glad you are encouraging others to seek out support groups, though I do know they are not for everyone. In my experience, there is something so beneficial about connecting with others who truly understand what you are going through. I have sought out support groups two times in my life and both were positive experiences. The groups made me realize that I was not alone. It was also extremely helpful to go to these groups and talk with people who had gone through what I was going through (they were not OCD-related)and were now leading happy, productive lives. It was invaluable for me to see those "success stories." Thanks for a great post.

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    1. Hi Janet. I'm glad groups were helpful for you as well. You're right about the success stories. I've met a few people who really got their OCD under major control and when you spend time with people like that it helps you to believe that it's possible for you too.

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