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, June 11, 2012

I'm Really Not Addicted to Therapy

But . . . I do find therapy very helpful for my life. Though I have completed CBT with my therapist, my husband and I have started seeing another psychologist who specializes in working with couples with anxiety disorder issues. This psychologist is also located in Boston and she was recommended by my therapist.

Boston: Lots of History & Cutting Edge Treatment
We decided to start seeing her as there is a lot of "collateral damage" so to speak, caused by our having to live with my OCD for so many years. Next month, we will officially celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It is important to note, though, that the last 16 years of our marriage have been significantly impacted by my struggles with anxiety. Though I'm greatly improved now, my husband and I currently have a way of relating to each other that still caters to the demands of anxiety. This psychologist is helping my husband to stand his ground with me when it comes to compulsions, and to learn how to be a more effective ERP coach for me. Moreover, I think this therapy has helped my husband to feel less guilt about having some "normal" expectations of me. He has always treated me very gently, which is great, but it has made it easier for me to give in and avoid my issues. I have also found this therapy to be a great step-down from my previous therapy. We only see this psychologist every 2 or 3 weeks, and this will not be a long term therapy.

I have to admit that I feel a little weird about doing therapy once more. Lots of people live their lives without ever having to visit a psychologist. I was also a bit worried what people would think about me seeking therapy again. I've come to realize however, that it really doesn't matter what other people think. The reality is that when a person has a serious mental illness, it becomes a problem for both people in the marriage. It takes a great toll on the relationship. I would rather admit that I have an issue and deal with it, than continue to limp along and just survive.

We are already seeing some of the benefits of this therapy. Working together to fight the OCD and to improve our marriage is probably the best gift we could give each other for our anniversary.

8 comments:

  1. I think it's great that you're both doing therapy that you both want to do. You're right--mental illness in one affects both of you.

    Over the years, I've gotten a lot of therapy, too. Right now I'm seeing my therapist every week and my psychiatrist every few weeks, so it's a lot. But I need it. If you need it and want it, I see no problem with it.

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    1. I do try to remember that my illness affects my husband too. It's been very hard on him and I want to do whatever I can to support and encourage him as well.

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  2. Good for you guys -seeking therapy together. A lot of times, the spouse of the OCDer needs help just as much as the OCDer. I like how you called it collateral damage. :) So true.
    And don't feel guilty for needing therapy. If you had cancer, no one would begrudge you chemo treatments. I think it shows great courage, not weakness, that you seek out therapy to face your illness. Good for you. :)

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    1. Shana - you're right and I always have to keep reminding myself of this - it is not a sign of weakness! I guess I still struggle with some stigma against myself. Thanks for that reminder.

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  3. That's great that your husband is willing to work with you, Sunny. It means he sees your OCD as both your challenge, not just yours. You're not alone in your fight! I wish you good grace from the therapy. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Jean, for the good wishes. I'll take them! Yes, he does realize this is our struggle. I am very, very grateful for that and for your support.

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  4. I think there is great strength in knowing when you need extra help- aka therapy - and then getting it. And your working together as a couple to seek it. Love that.

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    1. Yes, I love that we are doing it together too. Living with OCD (as you know) can be very lonely. Knowing that someone else really has my back helps me to feel less lonely in fighting this. Thank you for your positive words, Krystal Lynn.

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