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, May 28, 2012

Time To Dream

What would you be able to do if your OCD or anxiety improved? Is there something that you've wanted to do, but anxiety is holding you back? Are there any dreams or goals that you've abandoned?

Since starting (and recently completing) CBT therapy, my life has changed drastically for the better. I can use public bathrooms again. Believe it or not, this has really changed my life. When I go out to a restaurant with friends or family, I no longer worry about how much liquid I consume. I can leave the house for an entire day and enjoy my time with loved ones, without feeling the physical discomfort of not being able to use the restroom. I can go places and not worry about having to take another shower when I get home.

I've been able to go swimming in a pool. I'm really looking forward to doing lots of swimming this summer, especially because my gym is building a new outdoor pool. I've been able to bike ride again. I can even do silly things I used to be afraid of, like going on a roller coaster. I've pushed beyond my anxiety to socialize more and be more open about who I really am. I'm enjoying lots of time with great friends. I've been able to take on some new ministries at my church. Perhaps I would have taken on those ministries before anyway, but it sure would have been a lot more stressful and anxiety producing. I rarely re-drive by places anymore, and overall, driving has become a lot less stressful. Though I was previously always afraid to write anything online, I'm even writing a blog now (obviously!). I spend much less time trying to control everything around me, and instead, I try to enjoy everything (and every one) around me.

Essentially, life looks different. Life seems do-able now, where before it just seemed hard and impossible. I just had a great weekend. I biked (and didn't fall!), worked in the yard, hung out with family, attended church services, and went to dinner and a movie with friends. Basically, I did what I wanted to do, not what my anxiety wanted me to do (or not do). What would your life look like with less anxiety? Dream a little. You can use those dreams to motivate you to fight the anxiety.

13 comments:

  1. This very thing is what's pushing me forward, even as I feel really anxious. While sometimes I think my life is okay as it is, it's not really true. I want to be able to go on vacation, to invite others into my home, to date, to truly relax. All of these things are either impossible to me right now, or just cause SO MUCH STRESS. If I'm going to be stressed anyway, might as well do exposures and hopefully come out the other side!

    Congrats to you on all the great things you're doing!!!

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    1. Thank you, Ann. I can hardly believe it myself, that life is so different now. If I keep fighting, it could be even better. I still can't have people into my home and there are other things, but if I keep working at it, that stuff will get better too. One thing at a time.

      You make a GREAT point - and my doc used to say this to me all the time - you're going to be stressed anyway so you might as well do the exposures and have something wonderful waiting for you on the other side. Hang in there - I know you (and I) will get there!

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  2. Sunny, I love this post so much. You sound so relaxed and content and hopeful. It's really wonderful how far you have come through your hard work!

    With less anxiety, I would be able to better live my life according to my priorities--my husband, cats, spiritual life, and writing. I wouldn't waste so much time sleeping or flitting from one thing to another. I would be more focused.

    I am getting there slowly. I see you as an example and an inspiration. Thank you.

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    1. You're definitely an inspiration for me too, Tina! I know you are working so hard and I know that it is not easy. Yes, you ARE getting there.

      It's so awesome when we can set the priorities instead of letting our anxiety do it for us. What freedom!

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  3. This is such an inspiring post! OCD holds me back from so much. One day, I'd like to be able to travel to England.

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    1. Oh, I love to travel too! OCD does make travel difficult. I especially worry about bed bugs. I try to not let that stop me though. You can make it to England. I do really believe that. Just keep pushing through your exposures, one little ERP at a time.

      By the way, I think that's a great goal. I visited England once and it was spectacular. Many of the houses in the countryside still have thatched roofs. There were roses everywhere. The architecture was amazing. Fun little pubs where you could grab a great lunch. Yep, keep dreaming. You can do it!

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  4. I love this upbeat post. Good for you for doing all those wonderful things........I'm just not sure about the roller coaster....I'm afraid of them.

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  5. I meant to put a smiley face after that.:) :)

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    1. Ha ha ha - I'm still afraid of roller coasters too! I'm very picky about which ones I will ride. No crazy upside down stuff for me.

      Thanks for being so supportive, Janet. I do feel very upbeat right now. I had so much fun this weekend just doing "normal" stuff. This is what I've been working for. Happy sigh.

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  6. I am so happy for you Sunny. This post made me smile, and kinda brought a tear to my eye.
    I would just love to feel relaxed in my own home. I think I would smile more without OCD and be more social.

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    1. Aw, thanks Krystal Lynn. Being more relaxed in your own home is a great goal. It's very hard when your own house feels uncomfortable. Here's to you reaching that goal!

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  7. What a lovely post. It can hurt to dream, and I so admire your courage in using your dreams to create a more peaceful life. :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments! The only thing that gets me through ERPs is remembering what it is I really want out of getting better.

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