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, October 8, 2012

OCD Awareness Week



October 8 - 14, 2012, has been designated OCD Awareness Week. I am grateful to the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation's attempt to bring attention to, and to reduce the stigma of, OCD. The IOCDF's mission to educate the public about the true nature of OCD, and its effective treatment, is critical to bringing relief and hope to so many who suffer in shameful secrecy. For several years, I was one of those who kept my pain private for fear of discrimination and rejection. Thankfully, because of great treatment, my life has changed dramatically.

However, every time I am tempted to think that I am really almost done with all of this "OCD stuff," I am reminded that it is a chronic mental illness that I will most likely have to manage for the rest of my days here on earth. For example, this weekend has been a challenge for me. I had the Friday evening purse incident, and I also had contamination difficulties when I checked into a hotel room on Sunday afternoon.

I get frustrated sometimes because I feel like OCD should be mostly background noise at this point in my recovery. I realize that I do need to keep up with my newly acquired anxiety fighting skills. I also must continue performing ERPs as a lifestyle. However, there are some things I can't change, and that includes how much anxiety I feel. Some things will always be hard for me. I accept that. I don't like it, but I accept it. And maybe that is part of OCD awareness. Helping others understand that some parts of life are just difficult to navigate for those of us with anxiety disorders. We certainly don't want to be viewed as less than capable, and yet there is the necessary acknowledgement that at times, a little compassion and patience can go a long way to ease the burden of those living with mental illness.

So here's to awareness of the need for education and proper treatment, for ownership of recovery by the OCD sufferer, and lastly, for the desire and hope of receiving empathy and sensitivity from society for those who live with the daily turmoil of mental illness.

10 comments:

  1. I'm thankful that I've become aware that it is Mental Illness Week Awareness!

    I am so thankful to know that though I will probably be treated for this disease all my life -like you said, that will just be for here on our eathly journey.

    Thanks, Deanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Deanna, it sure is good to know that the suffering is temporary when you consider all of eternity!

      Delete
  2. Sunny, you make such a good point when you say that some things will always be harder because of the OCD and accompanying anxiety. That's a hard pill to swallow sometimes, because like you, I want to be done with the OCD stuff. But it lingers in so many ways, doesn't it? I hope you are feeling better and the week is starting off well for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tina, I am feeling MUCH better. I've just spent an incredible day at an awesome worship and tech conference and I feel very rejuvenated.

      I like how you put that, "a bitter pill to swallow." But with time it does get easier.

      Delete
  3. Dear one thank you for sharing this important week with us all. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess "OCD Awareness" can take many forms, as you say Sunny. We need to keep working toward that empathy and understanding from society that you talk about. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Janet! I certainly have to increase my own awareness about OCD. As in, how do I view myself, how do I view other sufferers, how do I educate those who know very little about mental illness? All stuff I need to think about!

      Delete