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, January 2, 2012

Trying Not To Panic

Happy New Year! Tomorrow my husband returns to work from Christmas break and life will return to some type of normal schedule. This is good even though I have had a wonderful time with my family. I love my normal schedule. What person with OCD doesn't?

My normal schedule also includes some new things this year. As my mental illness has improved I've begun taking on more tasks because I feel ready. My husband and I both do a lot of volunteer work at our church. I've been singing on the worship team and acting on the theater team for years. I've also recently begun working on the audio team to run the sound system for the worship team when I'm not scheduled to sing. In addition, because my theater director moved away, I've also been given the director's position. Yikes. That is a scary one. There is a lot more to it than I thought. I have to cast the dramas (easier said than done when everyone else's schedule is crazy), find all the props, assemble musical cues if needed, and lastly, run the rehearsals. I also agreed to sing at a special service this coming Friday night. Oh, and I almost forgot that I have a theater team meeting (that I scheduled and now need to prepare for) in less than two weeks. Lastly, and this is the real kicker, my psychologist and I are going to start working on an item that is a 100 on my hierarchy scale. I'm starting to wonder if I'm totally crazy for taking these things on. Usually all of these events do not tend to take place around the same time but right now it's like a perfect storm of conflicting events.

Here is where the panic starts. I'm starting to have trouble sleeping. I even had a nightmare about this the other night! I know, deep down, that the panic stems from a fear of not doing each item perfectly. I am desperately afraid of failure. I think that people will judge my competence, thereby judging my worth as a human being. I've always been the type of person whose self identity is wrapped around achievement. I've been though enough Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to know that these are all just feelings. They are not facts. Feelings cannot be trusted as they are riddled with cognitive distortions.

Fact: My self worth is not based on my achievements, but on the fact that I am a beloved creation of my Heavenly Father.
Fact: My friends at church will not like me less if I make mistakes.
Fact: Making a mistake does not mean I am an incompetent person.
Fact: Others will probably never judge me as harshly as I judge myself.
Fact: My husband and family will still love me regardless of how I perform.

I will take each task one at a time. I will be mindful and think only about what is going on right now. I will pray. I will ask for help if I need it.

Phew! I actually feel a little better already just writing this out. Thanks for reading, you've helped me a lot today!


  1. You have a long list of responsibilities, but it sounds like they are things you enjoy doing. There's a lot going on, but it looks to me like you are well-prepared--one task at a time, being mindful, praying, asking for help. Congrats!
    You even sounded calmer at the end of the post. If writing helps you feel better, write on! You can do it!

  2. Hi Tina. How funny, I happened to be on the blog site just as you posted! It's curious - I've never really been much of a writer, but I am finding it helpful to do so. It kind of helps me clarify my thoughts I guess. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. You are so right that "Feelings cannot be trusted as they are riddled with cognitive distortions."

    I also struggle with fears of making mistakes and failure and have to remind myself over and over that my worth is NOT determined by silly little things like whether or not I make a mistake.

  4. Hi Elizabeth. I have to remind myself over and over too, now if I could only believe it! But I'm working on it. We can keep reminding each other. :)

  5. I can tell by the tone of your post how helpful writing is for you. In addition, you are helping so many others with your writing...... so it is a "win win" situation!

  6. hey sis, 
    I would love to follow your blog. I am an OCD sufferer, have been since I was a kid. I really need all the help I can get. I found myself saying outloud today "if there was just one person I had that could understand what I was dealing with." I also have started a blog, a little bit hesitantly as a fellow OCD sufferer you can imagine why, for this specific purpose of getting help and helping. Let me know man and I hope to hear from you soon...
    pray for Taiwan
    Chris and Samantha Sanford 

  7. Hi Chris and Samantha. I certainly get the hesitancy in blogging. I'm happy I did it though, because I was just remarking to my husband yesterday that there is an AMAZING amount of support in the blogging community and I am very grateful for that. Hopefully you will find that is true for you as well. I'm glad you found my blog and I pray we can be an encouragement to each other. I think we can all use all the help we can get! God Bless!