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 24, 2012

NH NAMI Annual Conference

Today I had the privilege of attending the annual conference of the NH chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Concord, New Hampshire. One of the main reasons I attended was because I wanted to make connections with the larger mental health community in my area. As I contemplate my own possible role as a mental health advocate, I thought it would be helpful to meet other advocates and to hear more about NAMI. Of course, if I'm going to advocate, I have to be comfortable with sharing my own story. I admit, it was a little difficult telling perfect strangers about my OCD. By the end of the day though, I was more at ease with blurting out my diagnosis.

I am glad I attended as I met some truly wonderful people from all walks of life. Most touching were the presentations given by family members of those with mental illness. There were certainly some tears shed by all. Today's speakers relayed how they advocated for, cared for, and cried over their loved ones. Their pain was real and palpable.

In our own personal fight against mental illness it can be so easy to overlook the feelings and needs of those who stand with and by us. However their love and care is invaluable. Family and friends may not always do or say the "right" thing in trying to help us. That's ok. I don't always do or say the right thing either. To my friends and family, I say thank you for standing by me! Sometimes, just knowing that you were there was the only thing that kept me fighting.

Even if your loved one with mental illness has been unable to express appreciation to you, please remember that you are doing a wonderful thing supporting him or her. It may seem like what you do is not enough or that it does not matter. Truly, it does.


  1. Oh, Sunny, your compassion and your empathy just shine! You are going to be (you already are) a wonderful advocate! You have certainly helped me understand CBT and just the whole therapy "stuff." Thank you for your help.

    1. Tina, you are so sweet! You're always so encouraging. You are one of those people that I always feel better after talking (reading/writing?) to. : )

  2. I've considered attending the NAMI national conference since it's in a place I could imagine going to. Maybe I should keep considering...

    Thanks for the reminder to appreciate family and friends. I can get caught up in some hurtful things and forget all the support. But I've done hurtful things, too, and forgiveness is a good plan. You are right; support from family and friends has made a huge difference in helping me keep from drowning in the mental illness stuff.

    1. Hi Abigail. I really enjoy going to those types of conferences. I'm going to the OC Foundation annual conference in July as well. I like to meet others with similar struggles. Plus, it makes me feel good to know that there are all these people fighting to help people like me. It's also really great to be in a place where there is absolutely no mental illness stigma. It's really kind of freeing.

      Family is huge. It's so easy to forget that though, because, let's face it, we're in terrible pain at times. When my illness was at it's worse, honestly I could see nothing else. It just hurt too bad. I hope you have an awesome day!

  3. Hello, Sunny--

    I have nominated you for the HUG (Hope Unites Globally) Award. You can find out more about the award by going to http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/.

    Please also check out my blog post about the nomination!

    Congratulations! You deserve it!


    1. What an honor! Hope is such a meaningful word to me and it is what drives me to do many things these days. Thank you so much for thinking of me.