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, August 9, 2012

Good For Us, Good For Them

Recently, my husband and I went back to Boston for our occasional meetings with the CBT marriage counselor. Probably the biggest lesson I learned from this latest session is that I need to be very careful about letting myself slide backwards with the OCD.  It’s really tempting to think, “Oh, well if I give in to this compulsion, it’s no big deal. It will only hurt me and no one else.” I'm discovering that’s really not true. Every time I give in, I allow my anxiety to get a further foothold on my mind. When this happens, according to this new psychologist of mine, it takes away energy that I could be putting towards my marriage. Not only that, when I give in to OCD, my world tends to shrink. Meaning, that I tend to spend less time doing “normal” things, and it snowballs and I start doing more OCD things. This of course, strongly impacts my husband. Unfortunately, it is really easy to think that much of what we do has no bearing on others around us. 

Apparently, my husband loves it when I participate in healthy activities. This year, I planted a lot of flowers in front of our house. I didn’t know it until my husband admitted this in our session, but he likes it when I'm outside playing with the flowers. It makes him feel good to see me digging in the dirt and just “living.” He knows that when I’m really living, that I will be healthier, and that our relationship will be healthier. This also takes some of the burden off of him, because when I’m living more normally, I am much less dependent upon him. I know he feels a lot of responsibility for my mental health, and anything I can do to lessen that concern for him is a win-win for both of us. Who would have thought that just playing with some flowers could help my marriage?

What little healthy thing can you do that is good (and hopefully fun) for you, and thereby good for everyone who loves you?


10 comments:

  1. Pretty flowers!

    My husband likes me to take little road trips with him. It makes him happy. So sometimes even when I want to stay home, I "go" with him.

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  2. Thanks, Tina!

    I think it's great that you go with your husband on those road trips. Sometimes, when I force myself to do stuff that I didn't really want to, I end up having a great time and then I wonder why I didn't want to go in the first place!

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  3. This is a great post, Sunny. I think when we do things we enjoy (like you planting flowers)then it makes not only us happy, but those around us as well. I also enjoy anything active, especially outside. I'm sure the opposite is also true.......when your OCD takes hold,it not only hurts you, it hurts your husband as well. Really "simple" stuff that we (at least I) don't pay enough attention to. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Janet. It's true, isn't it, sometimes the simple things (when all added up together) can make a big difference. I think they are often the easiest things to forget, though.

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  4. Pretty pretty flowers!

    You are right, when we give into compulsions, our worlds shrink.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth.

      I never want my world to shrink again. Not a fun way to live.

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  5. It must be very difficult to watch a loved one suffer with OCD or anything for that matter. It is endearing, and I just smiled hugely to read that he brought up in your session that he enjoyed seeing you plant the flowers .. that you are enjoying "doing things." My husband loves it when I am baking because I sing when I bake..it makes me so happy and then he gets to eat my bakery goods so he likes that too. I think when I get out and walk it makes me feel good and I'm sure when I am happy and content it makes my whole family feel good because they know the struggle OCD has been for me. Nice post Sunny and thanks for sharing that with us.

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    1. I agree, Kyrstal Lynn. I imagine it's very difficult to watch a loved one struggle with something as confusing as OCD.

      Sounds like baking is definitely a win-win for you both - you get to sing and he gets to eat. I'm coming to your house on baking day! ha ha I'll sing AND eat with you.

      I'm sure your whole family does like to see you happy. I think women really help to set the tone for their house. Something tells me you set a laughing tone for your house. : )

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  6. Bless you, Sunny...I really needed this post today. I'm very convicted by it because, with my eating problem so bad lately, Shep and I have had some...I'll call it "distance" between us. I've been sullen and resentful about it because I don't like to admit that my eating disorder affects him. If I admit that, then I have to assume the added responsibility of fighting it for his sake! But your post reminded me of what I already knew in my heart...that he is affected and I am doubly responsible. God must have nudged you to write this in part for me - thank you so much!

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    1. Jean, I can really empathize with how you are feeling. Sometimes I do think it is unfair to live with the heavy burden of a disorder and then the additional weight of knowing how it impacts our loved ones. Sigh. I do think there is a fine line though. We have to be careful not to take on all the responsibility because we can only control so much and that includes our disorders.

      I share your frustrations. Hang in there!

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