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, April 22, 2012

No Fairy Tale Ending?

I really hesitated writing this post. I'm always very concerned about discouraging anyone from pursuing CBT/ERP. I want to make sure that I have a happy ending to share with everyone, so it will encourage others to seek out treatment. Truthfully, my progress thus far really is a type of happy ending. It's just not a perfect happy ending. I decided to go ahead and write this post, because if my blog is going to help anyone, I have to be honest. Really honest. I have to be real. OCD is messy, and it sure is real.

My previous post talked about how I completed CBT, and that I was ready for the challenge, etc. Well, I guess it didn't take too long for reality to set in. Last night I started to panic about going forward without a therapist by my side. In fact, I started to feel quite overwhelmed and I was filled with that familiar stomach churning sick feeling.

Then I heard a noise coming from the walls. Oh no, not another mouse problem! So of course, the scary thoughts start racing through my mind. What are we going to do? How could this happen again because my husband sealed up all the holes? Aghhh! Oh no, I can't go through this again!!!

While trying to investigate the source of the noise, I grabbed my smartphone and used the flashlight feature on it to shine into some dark corners. I then accidentally flashed the light into my left eye. It was extremely bright and I saw spots for several minutes. At that point, I started to obsess that perhaps I was going to go blind in my left eye.

OK, so this night was going down hill very quickly. I realized that I was starting to spin out of control and I knew it was not going to end well. So instead of sitting up all night panicking, I decided I should probably go to bed. I tried a few different things to calm myself down, including praying. I even took that same stupid smartphone to bed and played a game on it to distract myself until I got drowsy enough to fall sleep. I did eventually fall asleep.

I'm pleased to say that today was a much better day. I made it through last night. I will make it through other rough nights. Now if I can just figure out what to do about that noise in the wall.

16 comments:

  1. Sorry you had a rough night. But at least you stopped it before it got totally out of control. I hope you don't have mice again. When I was still living with my parents about 10 years ago, I came home to find a hole in the wall. About 3 ft high and 2 feet wide. On the floor was about 10 dead mice. My Jack Russell Terrier must have heard them in the wall and decided to eat through the dry wall to get to them. Talking about traumatized. Then my Dad came home and needless to say he was pissed. lol Well ... at least we didn't have a mice problem anymore. Hopefully that's not what you're hearing. I freak out all the time because I hear noises in my attic. My house is only 3 years old so I'm hoping it's just the house settling. But I swear it sounds like something crawling around up there. =/

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    1. Oh, wow, I would have totally freaked out if I came home to that too! I can't believe a little Jack Russell could make a hole that big. Sometimes, it amazes me how strong (and persistent) little animals are.

      Well, we had a huge mouse problem (that I thought was totally taken care of) last year. So it's definitely possible that's what it is again. I guess I have to call the mouse guy again. NOT looking forward to that.

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  2. Sunny, I felt like it was me who wrote this post... investigating a noise, accidentally shining a light in my eyes, worried I'm going blind. Wow. You sound just like me.

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    1. Seriously, it was just like a comedy of errors. At least I was able to realize it in the midst of it so I could step in and stop before I went completely bonkers. So I guess that's the proof that the CBT helped, now that I think about it. In the past, oh man, I don't even want to think about how that night would have ended, and I would still be suffering the effects today, two days later. Thankfully, now, I'm not.

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  3. I appreciate your honesty Sunny. You wrote you have a happy ending and that is believable and it will encourage people - like me. I was on the internet the other day & on the search results was something to the effect of 'how I cured my OCD' in something like 3 steps and 10 minutes and my immediate thought was I hope to God no-one with OCD will click on that and feel defeated if it doesn't work for them. I've done some ERP and it was really, really hard work and I think it is admirable for you to admit that and not put false hopes out there. Also, I feel really fortunate to have come into blogging contact with you because you give me hope and always are so supportive,

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    1. You're so sweet, Krystal Lynn! I'm really glad I've come into contact with you too. OCD is sure hard stuff, and we really do need to be there for each other.

      Oh, I HATE reading stuff like that website you mentioned. It makes me so mad.

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  4. Sunny, I'm sorry it was a rough night. But you stopped yourself before going further into the anxiety, and that's great! I like how you differentiate between a happy ending and a perfect happy ending. You're right--happy endings don't have to be perfect. You were helped and continue to be helped by CBT/ERP, and that's the happy ending right there. That and the fact that you can share what you've learned and encourage others.

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    1. Kind Tina, thank you once again! It's always surprising to me that even after all this time, I'm still searching for perfect. The difference now, is that after some reflection, I'm at least able to see what is going on. Now that I think about it, that's pretty big for me. I can't believe how much blogging has helped. I've never been one to write in a journal, but in essence this is similar. It really does help to clarify my thoughts and emotions.

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  5. Sunny, thank you for your honesty. I think it's important that all sides of OCD recovery are out there, even if they're not nice and tidy. Personally, I think you did great - you managed to stop yourself before things got REALLY bad. I'm sure if you think back one, two or more years ago; would you be able to stop yourself back then? You've come a long way, and you should be proud of yourself. I know I am.

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    1. Ha ha - your comment made me think about that commercial, "You've come a long way baby!" It's funny, but I think it's true too.

      You are absolutely, positively correct. I totally would not have been able to stop myself in the past. I would have just kept spiraling down until I completely crumbled into pieces, shaking, pacing, and crying hysterically, and probably waking my poor husband up to ask for reassurance. It is a victory, and well, I'm going to claim it as such! Thanks for your kindness Alfonsia, it's much appreciated.

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  6. When I started reading your post, I thought, "Oh no, what's going on with Sunny?" When I finished it, I thought, "Oh, nothing's going on with Sunny." You handled a stressful situation just fine! As far as that "perfect happy ending," I just don't think it exists. That's not real life, and I'm not just talking about for those with OCD. Not only is OCD messy, but so is life. It's how we deal with what comes our way that matters, and I think you did great!

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    1. You make a great point, Janet. Yes, it's how we deal with the adversity that matters. For some reason, it's so easy to forget that everyone wants that perfect ending and that no one gets it (well, at least not while here on earth!). Your support is so valuable. Thank you.

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  7. It's the "rough" nights that get to us all. Hang in there. Sounds like you're doing well.
    Now, if I could only take the good advice of several of you out there...
    ~ BlackRabbit aka Elizabeth

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    1. Hi Elizabeth. Yes, I am doing well considering all the triggers I've had in the past week. Thank you.

      As far as making changes for yourself, well, it really is just one little step, one day at a time. You can do it. Maybe you could pick one thing you really want to work on, and just keep working it until you're comfortable with it? Best wishes.

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  8. Congradulations!! You had thots/ triggers and responded appropriately. You've learned well. If life were perfect, you'd just sail off into the sunset and all your therapy would be a memory. But here in the real world, your therapist has done a good job and you have learned well, to challenge the ocd as it comes using what you have learned and practised over the past while.

    Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks, Karin! Ah, yes, sailing off into the sunset sure would be nice, wouldn't it? You're definitely right - ERP takes lots of practice. I guess it's kind of like exercising. You just have to do it enough until you get a kind of muscle memory. Not that I would know anything about physical exercise and muscle memory - ha ha.

      I know you've been working hard too, and I think that's great. Thanks for caring!

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