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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Anxious and Emotional Tonight

The problem of living with an anxiety disorder is that, well, you get stuck with a lot of anxiety. Many times for no apparent reason. I had a pleasant enough day. Nothing especially bad or especially good happened. It was just a typical Saturday at home with my husband. Yet, tonight my stomach is in knots and I feel like crying. My first instinct is to ask myself why. What's causing this anxiety? What's wrong? Oh, I hate feeling this way, why do I feel this way?

I've been through this enough times now to know that asking why is only somewhat useful. If it can help me identify a problem, like lack of sleep, or too much sugar in my diet, or too many appointments in my schedule, then it's helpful. Sometimes, though, there does not appear to be anything in particular that is causing my anxiety. I could sit here and beat my head against the wall, or I could just accept it. That's hard to do. Anxiety is so painful. However, it's a part of my life. I believe it always will be, to some extent. So tonight, I've chosen to accept it and to turn to the One who can see me through it.

Some time ago, I read a book by Jennifer Rothschild entitled, "Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight." In this book, Jennifer shared her experiences of following Christ, both before and after losing her eyesight. It's been a while since I read the book and though I no longer have it, there was something she wrote that has stayed with me ever since. Please forgive me if I'm not completely accurate, as I am very roughly paraphrasing her words from memory. If I remember correctly, she stated that if what makes her different from the rest of the world is what also keeps her close to Christ, then she would rather be different. Jennifer, I'm with you on this one.

10 comments:

  1. Sunny, I'm sorry this is an anxious time for you. It drives me crazy, too, to try to figure out why I'm feeling anxious. Like you, I can't always put my finger on why.

    I've been waking up in the morning lately with anxiety. It's not just when I've got a stressful day ahead, so I'm not sure what's going on. But I try to remind myself, too, that I've got to learn to tolerate a certain amount. That's just the way I am.

    I love the end of your post. You are a fine example of a person who leans on and celebrates her faith.

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    1. Tina, your comments are always comforting. I wish I could sit down and have a cup of tea with you someday. : )

      I did remember reading a comment of yours somewhere in the last few days that you were waking up with anxiety. It got me to thinking and I could be totally off here, but it could have to do with starting CBT in the last few months. My anxiety increased tremendously for the first few months of CBT. My body just wasn't familiar with my challenging the OCD and so when I finally started doing it, well, my anxiety went on overdrive. Once I started getting some real successes under my belt, the anxiety started to settle down some.

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    2. Sunny, I don't think you're off base. My psychiatrist suggested that therapy might be causing an increase in anxiety, but he encouraged me not to quit--you're going to feel bad first, he said. I guess it is hard for me to make the connection, because I'm not usually consciously thinking about therapy when I feel the anxiety. The whole anxiety thing is much more complicated and affects much more than I once thought.

      We'll have a cup of tea together someday. I know we will! :-)

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    3. Yep, anxiety sure does affect everything. But your doc's right - keep on working at it and eventually it will get better.

      Looking forward to that tea.

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  2. Beautiful post. I love that quote at the end, for I feel the same way.

    I hate free floating anxiety... no apparent triggers but the anxiety is just as intense as if there were a trigger.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth.

      Yes, the free floating anxiety is intense, and the fact that there is no trigger is what throws me off. When I'm triggered and I get anxiety, it is no surprise. When it's free floating, well, it just always catches me off guard. I had a few more bouts of this anxiety again today already. Oh well. I guess I'm just getting lots of opportunities to learn how to deal with it!

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  3. I hate anxiety for no reason too and kudos to you for working on accepting it and trying not to have the answer as to why you're feeling that way. I'm working on that too and it's hard!!! I hope you're feeling better in these moments.

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    1. I am feeling better, thank you Pure O. Oh, it sure is hard. Sounds like maybe you're just like me - wanting the explanation for everything. There's even uncertainty in having anxiety. We just can't get away from uncertainty, can we? We should be experts on it by this point. We should write a book and call it "Being Certain About Uncertainty!"

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  4. That is so beautiful, that which has us different,keeps us close to God. It is away of turning anxiety on its head to be purposeful, instead of just painful. SOme of the whys about anxiety feel like judgment and could be making it worse. What are you afraid of is better, but anxiety never comes out of the blue. Those questions, like oh no I don't want to feel this was is the only trigger you need. This is the context. The reason. Check out my anxiety blog www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety

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    1. Yes, it really is beautiful. I so appreciated Jennifer's outlook on life despite her challenges, and her words resonate in my mind quite often. I do believe there is a purpose for everything, but sometimes I just have to look a little harder for it!

      My questions are the only trigger I need. That is a really, really good point. Never thought of it that way before.

      I will check out your blog. Thank you for your comment!

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