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!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Only By The Grace Of God

I'd like to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone that commented on the post about my mouse problem. You really did comfort me and provide some much needed evidence to counteract the cognitive distortions swimming around in my brain. I'm grateful and blessed that you cared enough to write.

This is it. After almost 11 months of avoidance, tears, fear, anguish, and frustration, I have agreed to let my husband clean the basement. At this point, we believe it would be too much for me to attempt it with him. Even letting my husband do the cleaning alone is extremely anxiety producing. However, I feel that I have no choice. I met with my doctor today to finalize the plan for tackling this issue. I would just as soon throw all the furniture out and never set foot in that room again. Of course, my husband feels slightly different about this situation. We have a lot of furniture that we bought specifically for that room. There are two shelves of books down there. There is a rack of CDs. My barely one-year-old college diploma is proudly displayed in that room. There are mementos from my child's youth. Yes, I am ashamed to say, if I let the OCD take control, I might even consider tossing some of my now grown-up child's items. It breaks my heart when I think about that.

This afternoon, my psychologist stated that if I don't deal with the basement, then OCD wins. So much of my life has been taken by this cruel illness. So many years. So many moments that could have been joyful. Oh, I simply cannot let that happen anymore!!

I do believe that God has given me the strength to come this far, and He will give me what I need to continue. It is hard. So incredibly hard to give up control and surrender to uncertainty. Will my husband get sick from cleaning the basement? Will we spread contamination to others if we use the items that remain down there?

I am going out of town next week and my husband, wonderful man that he is, will stay behind and clean. He and I have had a discussion about almost every item in that room and what to do with it. As part of the ERP, I am no longer allowed to question my husband about the clean up. Next week, I cannot call and ask him about the process, nor can I question him when I return from my trip. And then, somehow, someway, by the grace of God, I will have to step foot in that room and sit on the couch and begin to use everything like normal again. I have no idea how I will do that. Well, actually, yes I do. One step at a time. Just like everything else.

This is my prayer: "God, I am giving you this ERP. When obsessions strike I feel like a lost, little girl with nowhere to turn. I know that is not true. I'm asking you to give me the strength to move forward. I'm asking you to help me put my family's needs above my anxiety. I also want to serve you better and I can't do that with this weight hanging around my neck. Lord, I also ask that you comfort each person who reads this post. Please Father, give them the support and strength they need too. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2 ESV

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I have tears in my eyes. I am so proud of you and impressed with your courage. I know that soon you will be sitting on that couch in the basement.

    The grace of God. So often I forget about it. But it's there, even when we don't realize it.

    It's so great that you have a plan and know what to do and not to do. I can learn from that.

    Your husband sounds wonderful! He is a blessing to you, I'm sure, and a true partner in this endeavor.

    You have a lot of strength to be at the point where you can deal with this #10, and a lot of unselfishness to not want to hurt others with your obsessions. Please pat yourself on the back. You should feel good about what you've done so far and for what you are preparing to do. And remember that you are touching others through your writing and reaching out to others to help.

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    1. I sat in my doc's office yesterday and started crying when I realized I was finally ready and able to deal w/this issue. I told her that I remembered some of my early sessions w/her when I was just sure that none of this would work, and that I would be that sick forever. I never believed that any significant recovery would happen for me. I still have a hard time believing it. But it's true. I know it will be true for you too. Thank you so much for your kind words Tina. Your writing has been a blessing to me, more than you will ever know.

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  2. I second everything Tina said.

    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you so much Jackie. As the day draws closer for me to leave I'm definitely getting more nervous, but I'm trying to be mindful. Thankfully the Lord worked it out so I'm massively busy before I leave. It's good distraction!

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  4. When you do get into the room at first, you may want to have a mock pillow fight or something, that gets you NOT thinking of the room, but running around instead, doing something fun. Just a thot. :)

    you WILL be able to do it.

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    1. Hey Karin! I'm TOTALLY bummed! The second comment you wrote will not publish no matter what I do. I'm really mad about that 'cause you gave some great advice and I'd really like for others to see it. I'm gonna keep trying to publish it. The advice about imagining all the great things I can do when I conquer my fear is really good. I will try to do just that.

      I really like the pillow fight idea. : ) ha ha Too funny and it's a good idea. I think I will try just that. Thanks for your insights. I appreciate it.

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    2. Hey Karin - I'm thinking - could it be that there is a limit on length of comment? Maybe next time you could break it up into a couple of comments so it will post? Although, now that I think about it I guess you DID break it into two comments. Maybe three next time? ha ha Seriously though, I really do appreciate what you have to say. I sure wish others could see what you wrote to benefit from it. Thanks again!

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    3. Hi Karin. I tried to copy and paste your comment so I could e-mail it, but unfortunately, I am unable to do anything with it. Sorry! Maybe some time you could write a post about all that. It would be good info for everyone!

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  5. Hey, Sunny--Just wanted to wish you a good trip! Hope you enjoy yourself and get some rest.

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    1. Thanks Tina. I appreciate it. I'm actually headed down to your lovely state. : ) The cab picks me up in a little more than 4 hours and I still haven't gotten to bed yet. Looks like I'll be sleeping on the plane.

      I've had a bit of free-floating anxiety - I'm sure it's because I'm not traveling w/my husband and also just thinking about what's going to be going on here at home while I'm gone. Oh well. It's just a feeling . . . or so I keep telling myself!

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  6. Actually, I guess I need to clarify that. For some reason I thought you were from Florida. So anyway, never mind about that! Oh, well, I'll be sort of near your state. : )

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  7. Well, I'm in Florida......the weather has been great. Hope you can relax and enjoy yourself and congrats on this huge step!

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    1. Hi Janet. I'm having a great time, and have actually been able to put a lot of the OCD aside (though not all of it, of course ha ha). But I'm doing much, much better than I thought possible.

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    1. Thanks Karin, I am! I'll update about the basement situation in a few days when I get back. Talk (write) to you soon!

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