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 26, 2012

Just A Thought

Yesterday afternoon, I was watching a football game with my family. The tv network showed clips of some people joyfully shaving their heads in support of a coach who is fighting cancer. This was a wonderful display of encouragement, compassion, and solidarity, for a man who is facing what is probably the fight of his life.

After seeing this scene, I had a thought. Someone gets cancer, and people shave their heads, raise money, and rally around the sufferer. Someone has a mental illness, and people get mad and frustrated with them.

Please understand, I want to make it clear: I think it is important that people who struggle with cancer get as much support as they can get. I know cancer is a terribly frightening disease and I'm happy to see cancer patients get showered with love and concern, as they should be. It's just that I wish I would also see the same response for those who suffer with a terribly frightening disease of the mind.

I know those of us with mental illness can at times be very, or even extremely, difficult to live with. We don't mean for that to happen. Really, we don't. And just like a cancer patient is responsible for following through with his or her treatments, we need to follow through with ours as well, and do what we can to minimize our symptoms. However, beyond that, well, it's not our fault. Really. It's doubly painful to have to live with an illness and then have people be angry with you because of it. It sure can be lonely sometimes. That makes me sad.

25 comments:

  1. I agree. That kind of support would be nice for a lot of things in life! We all have issues sometimes and need support.

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    1. Oh you're right, Kristina - everyone has issues sometimes, not just those of us with mental illness. Thanks for that reminder. Sometimes, it's easy to get so self involved that I think I'm the only one with problems.

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  2. Wow, that is a great observation! You are so right. Many times it is just people do not understand that particular illness and become scared. Support is certainly needed! Blessings.

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    1. Here's the crazy thing, JBR. Just the other day I was walking by someone in Boston who was very obviously psychotic and I got scared and wanted to get away as fast as I could. I had to remind myself that this person was suffering and needed compassion. The worst part is that I do understand, and my response was not what i hoped it would be. Ugh.

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    2. http://obviouslycompletelyderanged.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/day-trip.html

      I've talked about this before - never fails to make me feel guilty!

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    3. Just read your great post on that, Kate. You make excellent points and I'm right there with you.

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    4. Thank you Monique for your honesty. Kate, appreciate the link, thank you. Blessings.

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  3. You make such a good point. I, too, wish there was more vocal support for people with mental disorders. There's still so much stigma surrounding it.

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    1. Thanks, Tina. Yep - we sure have a lot more work to do to end the stigma, don't we?

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  4. thank you for sharing your posts on this matter, Sunny.
    I surely know that I can become very difficult for my husband at times. So I must do my part, *don't doubt the aid of my medicines- no matter how invisible this disease appears, don't neglect my therapy sessions mo matter how much I grow tired of the unending appointments, and to always follow through on my personal therapies at home such as gardening, and to remember along side with my Savior that this too shall pass.

    (I sort of just 'preached' to myself here, lol)
    Blessings to you, Deanna

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    1. Well, thanks for preaching, Deanna, because they were all good points. Yes, the disease does appear invisible - even to myself sometimes. It's very easy to give up on our treatments because it's not like you can actually physically see the changes. Thanks for sharing that. Blessings back at ya!

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  5. You hit the nail on the head Sunny. I am so grateful for the support of my family because they know how hard I have fought depression and fight OCD every single day but I have heard comments from people out in public..kind of insinuating that mental illness is just a weakness and so and so is not trying to get better..and it makes me sad. I am speaking up now, I am just one person and I may not change the world or even someone's mind but at least I walk away and know I tried.

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    1. Krystal Lynn, I bet you make more of a difference than you know! I try to speak up too (though it sure can be awkward at times!). Oh, I HATE when people say that mental illness is a weakness. So, does that mean that everyone that has heart disease is weak too? What a stupid comment.

      I am also incredibly grateful for the love and support of my family and friends. It really makes all the difference in my life.

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  6. I agree entirely. I think that one of the 'problems' is that people see deaths from cancer as an absolute tragedy - which, of course, they are - but suicides are still something which is viewed as dirty and hidden under the carpet.

    Both of these causes of death are tragic ends to horrible illnesses.

    So why do we view them so differently? (And I say 'we' because I know I'm guilty of this, too.)

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    1. That's a good question, Kate. I really don't have the answer to that one. I've been guilty of that kind of thinking too, which makes me mad because really, I know better. So I have no excuse.

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  7. I think if people can't "see" what's hurting us (i.e. hair loss, fever, cough, whatever), they don't believe in it. Plus, they think that it's like feeling in a bad mood or something, and that we can control it if we really try.

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    1. I agree Jean, I do think there is this misperception that we really can control this stuff, but that we just don't care or aren't trying hard enough. Plus, a lot of the time we try to hide our issues, so that makes it even harder for people to realize the depth of the pain.

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  8. Oh my goodness. This post is so needed. Thank you for your wise words. Those of us with mental illness already beat ourselves up enough without having a societal stigma!

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    1. I'm so glad it really spoke to you, Anna. You are very welcome. Yes, we beat ourselves up, don't we! I'm trying so incredibly hard not to do that anymore - it really doesn't get me anywhere.

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  9. Excellent post, Sunny! I do think many people believe (even though they might not admit it) that those with mental illness should just be able to "snap out of it" (which is as ridiculous as being able to "snap out" of cancer, of course) or that those with mental illness are being overly dramatic because they don't really look sick.

    In regards to how those of us who are familiar with mental illness react to others who are suffering, I think we all do the best we can, really. We're human and make mistakes also...we may cross the street, or we may not speak up when we should....but we do know the right thing to do and usually follow through...we are all works in progress!

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    1. You are very kind, Janet, thank you. You could definitely call me a work in progress! And I guess that is ok.

      You know, the truth is, sometimes I think that I'M being overly dramatic! So I guess I can't be too upset if other people think I am too. If only we could snap out of it. That sure would beat having to go through all that therapy. ha ha Sign me up for that.

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  10. Very, very well said. Sometimes I think no one in the world understands me... and then I read this blog. :) THANK YOU.

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    1. Aw, you are SO welcome. I'm sorry you feel that way sometimes. Been there. It's not a good place. What a difference it makes to feel understood, isn't it? Hugs.

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  11. I understand what you are saying Sunny. I agree with you because many people especially those with a chronic illness or mental health issues are treated as if they choose to be that way. There is little understanding and indeed little capacity in a lot of people to want to understand. Some illness seems to be more acceptable than others as if you are really ill and not really ill. I noticed the difference in the way people treated me when I had my tonsils out-cards, flowers, visits but when I am now and had been before my tonsils out much more ill and housebound-no cards, no visits, no flowers. The message was and is tonsil operation is understood and viewed as an acceptable condition M.E, chronic fatigue Syndrome is not. It makes me sad not only for myself but for many people who have to struggle with illness and also with peoples views of their illness.

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    1. That is a really great point and one I missed. Yes, people are often treated as if they chose to be that way. Really, who in the world would want to have a mental illness?? You know, I think the "acceptable illnesses" are the ones that are easily understood, and probably quick to recover from. When illnesses linger, I don't think people know what to do about it.

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