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!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

$11,922.95!

That was the number that greeted me when I opened the bill from the hospital where my husband gets infusions for his Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I'll admit, my heart lurched a little when I first saw that large number. However, I quickly understood that the bill was sent to us in error. In the past, though, that realization would not have calmed me down. I would have become sick with anxiety. I would have called my husband in a panic, causing him to stress out as well. What I've discovered is that panic is pretty useless to me. In fact, it's quite damaging. All it does is upset me and everyone else around me.

Thanks to CBT, I have learned to have much better control over my anxiety. I feel like I have retrained my body to deal with the adrenaline surge that accompanies panic. CBT has also taught me to have greater awareness of my cognitive distortions. It is easier now for me to counteract the thoughts of, "We'll run out of money, and we'll never be able to eat again, or we're going to lose our house, or, or, or, or . . ."

In addition, I'm learning to live with uncertainty, hard as that is. When I called the hospital to straighten out the bill, to my disappointment, I did not get a definitive answer about why the bill was messed up. I will have to wait to see if the bill is properly taken care of. In retrospect, I'm glad I will have to wait. This is a further exercise in uncertainty. It is another opportunity to trust God and to know that He is in control. In the past, this waiting would have been agonizing for me. I now see this as a training ground for better mental health.

I have no reassurance that this particular bill will be worked out. I could end up owing all of it to the hospital. I may end up having to make payments to the hospital for the rest of my life to cover all of my husband's future medical bills! Then again, I may not. The thing is, I just don't know. I don't know about the bad things that may happen, and I sure don't know about the good things that may happen either. I'm choosing to concentrate on the things I am certain of. Today, I have the tools to fight my anxiety. Today, I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clothes on my back, a cat I can cuddle, a family who loves me, and a God who's crazy about me (and you!). I guess you could say that today, I have everything.

11 comments:

  1. Ah, wonderful post, Sunny! I love how you can respond to stress and anxiety now. You're truly an inspiration to me! I hope to be there someday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. P.S. I thought I had joined your site already, but noticed I hadn't--so I did tonight. I guess I'm signed up to get emails, because I do get those when you put up a new post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thanks for being a follower! ha ha Thanks for your support, Tina. Let's just say I can't respond to stress like that all the time, but it sure is improving and it sure makes life a lot more pleasant. I mean, really, what else can I do? Flipping out definitely wasn't going to help anything, and it only would have been aggravating to the woman I spoke with at the hospital. Instead, I'm sure she was much more inclined to be cooperative because I was not ready to jump all over her!

      Delete
  3. That is a shocking and frightening number. Take it one day at a time just like you are. Hopefully, it will all get sorted and you won't actually owe all of it or any of it.

    I love how you said: "panic is pretty useless to me. In fact, it's quite damaging. All it does is upset me and everyone else around me." I need to think about that.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Elizabeth, it was quite a shock! I first had to process just how many digits there were. ha ha

      It took me a few years of therapy to figure that out about panic. And believe me, there are still plenty of times when I do panic, but generally it is shorter lived than it used to be, which I am very thankful for. I think this will be a lifetime project.

      Delete
  4. Don't feel badly, I would be freaked seeing that, too! Good for you for handling it as you are. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jean! The best part is that while I'm waiting for an answer, I'm not feeling awful. What a relief.

      Delete
  5. Oh Boy that is a big amount to see on the bill!! But you know what by the end of reading your post you had me smiling!!!

    Yes, Yes we do have everything we need in Christ! And when we surrender our frazzled minds to HIM how much easier it is to belive in and believe that He will make provision for all things we need.

    One day at a time, right:)

    Blessings!
    PS- not to sound so childish, but I too regularly see a theripst for CBT..... so, I just want to say "YEAH! good job!!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is a big number, Deanna! Learning how to surrender my anxieties to Christ has been a steep learning curve for me. My physical reactions to stress were so out of control. Thankfully, God used CBT to help me get my physical reactions more contained, so that I could actually think calmly enough so I then could learn to hand Him my worries.

      I hope CBT has been as helpful for you as it has/is for me.

      Delete
  6. I kinda freak out over stuff like that and I am so proud of you Sunny for not letting it take away from a minute of your precious day. I had my identity stolen a few years back and till I had the full scope of how much that entailed and I got it resolved, I was a mess. Me being a mess did not in any way help get the situation resolved..and it took a couple of months to clear it all up. What a waste of my time and energy to let myself be burdened. In the end it all worked out, she was even caught and sent to jail but the worst of it was that I let her take 2 months of sleep from me.
    I am going to keep you as a role model!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Krystal Lynn, that is HORRIBLE. That must have felt like such a personal violation. I've had a credit card number stolen, but it was just the one card, and it was easily taken care of by the credit card company. Having your entire identity stolen is quite another thing. Oh wow, two months of sleep lost. I totally believe it. Boy, I'm not too sure I am a great role model, but you are very sweet and kind for saying so!

      Delete