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, November 12, 2012

Here An Obsession, There An Obsession . . .

As stated in my last post, it's been a really busy time for me recently. The last few days have continued to stay hectic (but in a good way). Sometimes, being very active is a great thing for my OCD because it doesn't give me much time to focus on it, or on the crazy thoughts (obsessions) that swim through my mind. Other times though, taking on additional activities introduces more obsessions into the mix because it takes me face to face with things that I might have avoided in the past.

On Saturday morning, I led a meeting for the Theater Team at my church. Because it was my meeting, I was responsible for opening up the building and then locking all the doors after we were done. I hate taking on this kind of reponsbility. It's a very scary proposition to me, because if something goes wrong, then it's all my fault. The funny thing though, is that I didn't even give much thought to the locking up part until the end of the meeting. That was a victory in and of itself, simply because in the past I would have been consumed with anticipatory anxiety for hours beforehand.

After everyone left, I stayed behind to use the restroom. I was a little anxious leaving the bathroom, knowing that I was the last one in there and that I was responsible for making sure that the faucets were off (I always worry I will leave them on and flood the church - weird, I know) and that the lights were off. Next, I had to make sure that the sound and lights were off in the sanctuary. This was not too stressful, as I'm often responsible for lights and sound on other occasions, so I've gotten pretty used to it. The side door though - that was a tough one as it can be a little tricky to close properly. I did re-check it once. However, once I reached my car, I really wanted to drive around to the side to check it again, only from the outside instead. I forced myself to drive away. That was hard. However, a few minutes later, I pretty much completely forgot about it!

Code Red - a dumpster is nearby!

On Sunday afternoon, after church services were over, there were only a few of us left in the building, including one of the women who was cleaning up all of the trash. Red alert. I generally stay far away from people wielding garbage bags. As I was walking to my car, I noticed her trying to put the trash into the dumpster. Unfortunately, the dumpster is really tall, and as she tried to lift the dumpster cover and toss the trash in, the cover fell down and knocked the bag over onto the ground, spilling a bunch of its contents. I really, really wanted to get into my car and drive away. I know, that would have been a jerky thing to do. I'm going to be honest with you - if she had not seen me, I probably would have driven away. However, she saw me, and I would have looked like a total loser (and very un-Christ like) if I hadn't walked over to help her. So, I sucked up my courage, walked over there, and held the cover for her (which was above my head because the dumpster is so tall) while she dumped the garbage in. Some of the garbage came out of the bag and flew into the air above us. I *think* some of it grazed my head, and I know that some of it hit my leg and shoe.

So I did the only thing I could - I cried all the way home and then washed everything in sight. Um, no, not really. That's what I wanted to do. Instead, I went back into the building, washed my hands, and went on with my day. Sure, my stomach was in knots as I drove away, but you know what? After a few minutes I was just fine. The obsessive thoughts bothered me a little throughout the afternoon and evening, but I checked with my husband and he told me to just go about my business like normal. Later, I went home and slept in my freshly cleaned and changed bed sheets, without having taken a shower first. Yep, progress. Praise God!

16 comments:

  1. Wow! That's wonderful. Good for you! I really believed you when you said you cried all the way home but then when you said you didn't...wow!

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    1. Thank you, Kristina! I'm as surprised as anyone that I was able to walk away from that without a complete meltdown.

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  2. Hallelujah! I am doing the happy dance for you! Yes progress indeed. Gentle hugs to you my dear.....

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    1. I'll join you in the happy dance, JBR!! Thanks for caring. Hugs back at ya!

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  3. I'm impressed! I'm still in full-on panic mode... a trip to the dumpster still has me putting on latex gloves to unload the trash,discarding the gloves in medical-like fashion after the trash is thrown, then going home and showering and changing clothes afterward! I laughed when you said, "I *think* some of it grazed my head, and I KNOW that some of it hit my leg and shoe." I laugh only because I can empathize! I take mental note of everything, then proceed to clean those things profusely. Ahhh, someday I hope to make the progress you have made. Good for you, and thanks for sharing!! I love this blog.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for commenting and visiting. Ah yes, full-on panic mode - VERY familiar with that! Your method for dealing with trash sounds like what I would have done in the past. In fact, lots of times I would just wait until the end of the day to take my shower, so that in case I got dirty during the day, I would only have to take one shower instead of multiple ones throughout the day.

      Laugh away!! Let's face it, a lot of the stuff we do is quite funny. I have found that a sense of humor has helped me tremendously. If I take myself too seriously it is definitely not good.

      Keep doing ERPs and you WILL make progress. Just a matter of when, not if.

      By the way, I visited your blog - it's really, really cool!! (Hence, why I now know your name!)

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  4. Sunny, you are an inspiration!! Good for you. So happy to hear how well you handled that "RED ALERT." Love your sense of humor too :)

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    1. Ha ha ha, thanks Janet! Hey, you've got to laugh about this stuff or else you cry - and laughing is a lot more fun!

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  5. Sunny, I loved this post. It's full of your triumphs and your honesty, and it really helped me. You are such an inspiration to me as I go through my own struggles.

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    1. Back at ya, Tina!! You're working so hard on fighting your OCD that I often feel like such a slacker ha ha! Thanks for your support, as always! : )

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  6. I have this horrible fear that someday one of the ladies are going to ask me to take out the church trash..I just pray my husband will be there in the building with me so I can ask him to do it. I know that would be bad of me to do but I guarantee you I will try to pass it off to him. Now if they spilled it or needed help, I would feel the same as you did. And afterwards (maybe not right away, but you know what I mean) didn't it feel really good to have helped and not gone through the showering and everything? I try to keep that in mind when I encounter these "red flag" situations; that I always feel better countering my OCD instincts rather than giving into them.
    Good for you Sunny..so proud of you.

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    1. Krystal Lynn, when I was out there with her at the dumpster, your story about the squirting orange juice kept running through my mind! I kept telling myself that if you could get through that, then I could get through this.

      I usually avoid the "work days" we have around the church building for fear of contamination. I'm sure some people just think I'm lazy or just a diva or something, but really, I'm just scared to death of what I might have to touch!

      I know what you mean about those secret horrible fears that you think someone might ask you to do something. Ugh!!

      Yes, you are right - I did feel good afterwards that I did not give in to the OCD. I even felt good that I helped her, even though I secretly tried to get out of it!

      I'm proud of all you have done too. : )

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  7. Well done you...It must have taken a lot of guts to go help with the garbage. I think you are amazing with what you do and how you are dealing with the effects of your OCD.

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    1. Aw, thanks. God sure has been gracious and kind to me in helping me fight it, that's for sure!

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  8. Congratulations! You're braver than i be, that's for sure. TAking out the garbage to me means a shower afterwards. I guess i could do it if it were just 'new' garbage, meaning not sitting around for days but right after an event and i definately would have been holding the bin open from as far behind it as i could get! And then i'd be following the lady tom make sure SHE also washed her hands.

    Good for you!

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    1. Thanks, Karin!! I surprised myself with how quickly I got over it.

      I'm sure she didn't wash her hands cause I made a beeline straight for the bathroom after and I saw her handling other things before I made it to the bathroom. But, I guess that's pretty normal from what I have seen when other people have taken care of the trash and stuff. It's still hard for me to watch it, though.

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