|Yep, I like a lot of bling!|
An area of great anxiety for me is the safety of children. I’m always worried that I will drop something that a small child can choke on.
As I was scheduled for sound mixing duty yesterday, I arrived at church around 6:45 a.m., shortly before rehearsal was to begin. At that time of the morning there are no kids in the building yet, so we early arrivers usually enter through the conveniently located back door, which leads to the elementary Sunday School wing. When I arrived at the sound booth, I looked down at my Kindle cover, and realized that I had lost a rhinestone. My first thought was that it fell off in the kids’ area, and that a child would eat it and suffocate on it. I was immediately sick with anxiety. I ran to the kids’ area and looked everywhere I had previously been to see if I could find it. I also compulsively searched the back parking lot, and even my car. Nothing. I could not find that rhinestone anywhere. I was fairly certain it was there when I left the house, so I was sure I lost it at church. Unfortunately, I was supposed to be manning the audio board, so I had to rush back to the sound booth, in spite of not being able to find my missing rhinestone.
A little later, I was able to sneak out back again. It was there that the worship minister’s wife (thankfully, a good friend of mine) found me searching outside. She asked me what was wrong. I admitted that I was having an OCD moment, and I told her what I was looking for. Though she knows all about the OCD and some of my basic symptoms, it is quite another thing to be in the middle of a trigger and show my panic to her. She was so sweet though, and helped me search as we walked back into the worship hall. At that point, it was time for rehearsal, so I had to stop searching. It was so hard not to cry and to keep my mind on business.
After a few minutes, I was able to go out back one more time. Luckily, I found the children's pastor. She also already knew about my OCD. I explained to her what happened, and that I was worried. She too was incredibly kind. She assured me that where I walked was a common area, and that tons of stuff falls on the floor there, and that it was not a concern. I then asked her if it would be an OCD thing if I decided not to bring my Kindle back to church again (in order to protect the kids). She told me it would be an OCD thing. I was so relieved that I hugged her and thanked her.
I was very emotional for the rest of the day. Honestly, I was just so humiliated about admitting to my struggles while they were still happening. During an OCD event, I am in an extremely vulnerable state. When I reveal this state to others, it's almost like I'm saying, "Here, look inside my heart and see all the pain and (crazy, irrational, nonsensical, shallow, and yes, even petty) fears I live with. I suspect you are secretly thinking I'm insane and I'm desperately hoping you will still like me after this and not think I'm weird. Please, please don't reject me."
I am so blessed. Days like yesterday used to be typical days for me. Now, they are the exception. You might really think I'm crazy when I tell you that in some weird way, I don't mind having an occasional bad OCD day. It reminds me of how far I've come. It reminds me of how much others with OCD suffer. It reminds me to take a risk, open myself up to people, and let them see who I really am. It reminds me that sometimes, I need to allow other people (outside of my family) to help and support me, even though I am most uncomfortable with that.
Oh, I found the rhinestone about 8 hours later. Guess where it was the whole time? Stuck to my inner left arm. For 8 entire hours. Sigh.