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!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hit and Run OCD Wins One

Today, I battled against my arch-enemy, Hit and Run OCD. Unfortunately, Hit and Run OCD won this little skirmish.

I had to drive downtown to take care of some business. As I parked my car, I scraped both passenger side tires against the curb. (Please, no jokes about female drivers!)

Mistake #1: After I parked my car, I told myself that I would check the curb for dead or injured pedestrians when I came back to my car after I completed my business. Uh, big no-no. I should never have reassured myself by making plans to check the curb later.

Mistake #2: After I returned to my car and drove away, I suddenly remembered that I had never checked the curb. For some strange reason, I decided that I needed to keep my "promise" to myself to check the curb. If I had not made that promise to myself, I probably would not have felt the need to return to the curb.

Mistake #3: I actually drove around the block and went back to check the curb. Another big no-no. Every time I complete a compulsion, I am actually reinforcing it in my brain, making it harder to resist future compulsions. Grrrrr. I KNOW better. Oh, and do you think there was a dead or injured pedestrian laying by the curb? Should I even bother to answer this question?

Mistake #4: This actually has nothing to do with Hit and Run OCD. It is a contamination issue, however. As I was walking into City Hall this morning, I noticed a gentleman (I assume he was an employee) pushing a large garbage can through the entry doors. Of course, the garbage can rubbed up against the door and the door handle. This happened right in front of me, so I got a really good view of it. I should have purposely grabbed the door handle. I didn't. In fact, when I later left the building, I made sure to avoid touching any spots that may have hit the garbage can. Again, every time I perform a compulsion (including avoidance), I make it harder for my long term recovery.

Some days you win, some days you lose. Thankfully, God's mercies (and His care, comfort and strength) are new every day. He reminded me of that by blessing me with a beautiful rainbow this evening.

Lamentations 3:22-23

13 comments:

  1. You had a rough day with OCD, but you have a wonderful attitude about it that God is still there with his love and mercy and grace. You were very aware of what you were doing, and that is important--even when we give in to the compulsion, if we're aware that's it's the OCD, then that helps.

    You are doing great! You handled this the best you could. Thank you for sharing. It will help the rest of us when we give in, too, which is pretty inevitable.

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    1. That's a good point, Tina. I was aware of it. In the past I would have just reacted to the anxiety and fear without giving it much thought. I feel like I've worked through a lot of the cognitive distortions, which is probably why I'm able to recognize stuff now.

      Second good point - it IS pretty inevitable that we will slip and give in at times. Just gotta get back up on the bicycle and keep peddling. (I was going to say get back up on the horse, but I chose a bicycle for obvious reasons! ha ha)

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  2. I agree- giving in totally reinforces it. And some days we have the strength to fight and sometimes we just don't. And it's okay. We're all works in progress. I'm glad God loves us anyway. :)

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    1. Oh, it's so true, Shana! Some days we have the strength to fight, fight, fight and make tons of progress. Other days, well, not so much. Honestly, I was just being a bit lazy yesterday. Oh well. I'm sure glad God loves us anyway too!

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  3. You know, I had a dream about hit and run OCD. I was driving and thought I hit someone and drove all over trying to find the body. Can you believe that?

    It is so hard to resist compulsions.

    I would not have touched the door knob either!

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  4. I meant to say, I had a dream about hit and run OCD last night! It really stressed me out!

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    1. Oh Elizabeth, that is so HORRIBLE!!! Yes, I can totally believe that. I've had terrible OCD dreams at times. I'm sure it stressed you out. Sometimes I wake up completely exhausted if I dream like that. Here's to sleeping a lot more peacefully tonight. : )

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  5. Man, when you give OCD an inch, it takes a mile doesn't it? That is what I find, I give in to OCD just a teeny bit and all of a sudden I am giving in twice or three times. BUT just like we say we should live with uncertainty and we don't have to be perfect, it sounds like you swiftly recovered from the experience in a positive way. I think I am most successful in the long run when I don't beat myself up too much for that slip up of giving in to OCD once in awhile and considering myself a total failure. Attitude is everything and yours is awesome.

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    1. Aw, thanks Krystal Lynn! Attitude is something that my psychologist and I worked on pretty much the whole time. It took the whole time for me to understand how not to beat myself up anymore. It's a useless activity. I think I'll have to write about that next. I'm glad you find that being kind to yourself is helpful. I really believe it is too.

      You're so right about OCD taking a mile when we give in. It is really relentless, which can certainly lead to some frustration. But it's just the nature of the illness, so I guess I better learn to deal with it.

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  6. Don't be hard on yourself. It was one bad day. :) love the rainbow pic.

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    1. Thanks - I had to really enhance that picture to get the rainbow to show up. It was actually a double rainbow but the one on top was so much lighter there was no way it would show up on my camera.

      I try very hard not to be mean to myself anymore. It's useless. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  7. Your attitude toward the inevitable "slip-ups" is impressive and inspiring. For that you should be very proud of yourself!

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    1. Janet, let's just say I have a lot of those "slip-ups!" ha ha If I beat myself up every single time I had one, well I'd be pretty black and blue. : )

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