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, November 8, 2012

There's Always Time For Hit and Run OCD

I've had a couple of really (good) crazy busy days this week. Of course, I still made time for Hit and Run OCD. Ugh.

It wasn't a big or time consuming incident. But, still, I gave in, even though I knew I shouldn't have. There is always guilt after I give in to an OCD urge. I hate that part too. Sometimes you just feel pulled in both directions and it can get tiring.

Last night I was driving to a lecture that was going to be given by a gentleman who is an expert in mastering albums for really big music artists. I was hoping to learn a little something that might help me with mixing sound for the worship band at my church. The lecture was scheduled to take place at a university in Massachusetts, in a city that I am not too familiar with. At one point I was looking at my windshield-mounted GPS when I hit a bump. I instantly felt that old familiar spike of anxiety. Rather than resist the anxiety, I decided to drive back and take a quick peek at the potential accident site. There was nothing there (surprise, surprise!). I even pulled over for a few seconds just to stare at the spot and make sure I was seeing everything clearly.

The whole thing took maybe two minutes out of my night. Not a major issue in the big scheme of things, but, I know that anytime I give in to OCD it can lead down a slippery slope. As I continued my drive to the university, the episode continued to weigh on my mind. I wondered why it was that certain bumps on the road bother me and why others do not. It then hit me. I had not been driving perfectly. Meaning, I was looking at the GPS, instead of looking at the road. And that makes me a bad person. Well, at least in my OCD mind it does. You really have to love those cognitive distortions.

A perfect driver never takes their eyes off of the road. If a perfect driver gets into a car accident, or causes one, well, it's a true accident. However, if I am not driving perfectly, and doing something that is distracting and then I cause an accident, well, I deserved it. It's all my fault and I should go to jail and suffer all of the consequences that come with it. Not only that, everyone I know will hate me because I negligently caused an accident.

I've come to realize that I am only stressed about driving if I've done something "imperfect" at the same time. The truth is, I think every driver is probably guilty of distraction at one time or another.  Of course, some drivers are more distracted than others! I think the important thing to take from this is that I'm not perfect. And I guess that will have to be ok.


I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of Southern NH's first snowfall of the winter. We haven't even picked up all of the leaves yet!

21 comments:

  1. Sunny, your experience with hit-and-run OCD, with the spike in anxiety, sounds soooooo familiar to me. I have the same experiences with that anxiety, and it's awful.

    Please don't feel guilty for "giving in" to the OCD. That's just normal and human and none of us withstands OCD's pull all the time. You are an inspiration to me with all that you've accomplished with ERP, and I hope you know that! :-)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Tina. I really appreciate that. I know you are right - we can't always fight OCD the way we want. I would like to get rid of the guilt associated with it though. But, I think guilt is just part of the package, to some degree.

      I'm so sorry that you struggle with this too. It's definitely one of my scarier fears.

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  2. I guess you will just have to live with being imperfect. ;) I guess we all do! The snow is pretty with the leaves and it's my mom's favorite kind of snow--only on the grass.

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    1. Yes, that's my favorite kind of snow too, Kristina! No shoveling. The best part is that it's already melted and completely gone already.

      Yep - trying to live with imperfection. Boy that sure is a hard one to learn to live with! It's funny, I don't expect anyone around me to be perfect. Why do I expect it of myself?

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  3. glad all is well. i thought with the title that there may have been an accident. ... these days i find it more and i more beacuse that you I'd. rather not drive. but that is something i just half to keep doing. I'm so thankful for my hubby -he came home from work to pick me and the kids up. our son had a doctor appointment an hour away. he's so sweet niece to me because i don't have like the highways ... or being alone when i take one of the kids for a 'big'nap doctor visit. ... thanks for letting me ramble oñ. Blessings to you, and hope you are enjoy helping with music. at the church.

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  4. ugh... sorry for the mishaps in the first comment -i'm on a phone using the web for the first time!! :),

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    1. Ha ha ha - I get it Deanna! It's really hard to type well on a phone, especially with the stupid autocorrect feature.

      You are right in that you have to keep driving even though it is hard. If you stop driving your fears will only get worse.

      How sweet that your husband knew you were struggling and he came home to drive you and the kids to the doctors.

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  5. Wonderful post Sunny. Love the brrrrrrr picture. Your insights to yourself are so healing despite the pain. As my therapist has told me on numerous occassions, to "be gentle" with myself. Beating up is so easy. Hugs to you my dear.

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    1. Glad you liked the picture, JBR!

      Ah yes, using ourselves for a punching bag does come rather naturally, doesn't it? Still learning to fight that one. Hugs back at ya!

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  6. I think all of us do hit-and-run-OCD. It's just so beautifully tempting. It took me ages to be able to drive anywhere without being consumed by guilt and anxiety that I was about to be arrested for all the 'terrible' things I'd done whilst driving.

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    1. Kate, not only do British people sound classier when they speak, they even write classier! Seriously - I love to read your writing and your usage of words! Sounds much more sophisticated. : )

      I'm sorry this has been a problem for you too. You know, that is the amazing thing about this illness - you and I live in different countries and grew up differently, and yet, here we both are with the exact same fear! I can't tell you how many times I've been convinced that I would be arrested. Ugh. So horrible. And yes - it IS "beautifully tempting." But oh where that temptation leads.

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  7. Sunny I think we would all like to be perfect but life sure shows us we are not. What a feeling guilt is...very powerful and niggles away, can be a constant companion and just ruins your day. I too have a companion called guilt who decides to follow me around sometimes and hard to get to go away.

    Snow! we have not had any snow in the UK yet...thank you for sharing I like pictures of the snow.

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    1. I'm sorry that guilt haunts you too. It can be very hard to forgive yourself.

      I did not realize that you were from the UK! The snow only lasted for less than a day. That's my kind of snow storm! Looks pretty for a little while but then we don't have any clean up work.

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  8. Hi,

    I´m from Portugal and I found out your blog because I googled skin picking.

    I´m aware that I have that, but I can´t stop...Here the problem it´s not well known.

    Did you were successful in stop piking?

    Mafalda (Portugal)

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    1. Hi Mafalda!

      Oh, I'm so sorry that skin picking has entered into your life. Ugh. It's a terrible thing, that is for sure. I have not been very successful with stopping it. I don't have a severe case of it and sometimes I think because I don't have such a bad case of it that I don't work too hard on fighting it. I do know that it is a difficult condition to fight, but not impossible.

      Have you heard of Habit Reversal Training (HRT)? If you look at my list under "Labels" over to the right of the screen, you will see that I wrote 5 posts related to HRT. Also, there is a website that I linked to under "Online Resources." The website is called the Trichotillomania Learning Center. Trich (compulsive hair pulling) is very similar to compulsive skin picking (CSP) and their website does talk about CSP as well.

      I'm sad to hear of your struggles, and I sure hope that some of this helps you. Please "visit" again any time to share your journey with us.

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  9. Great post, Sunny. I find your comment about only stressing about driving when you haven't driven "perfectly" so interesting. But of course none of us does everything "perfectly" because we are human. Still, overall, it sounds like you're doing such a great job fighting your OCD.You should be very proud of yourself!

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    1. Thanks for your support, Janet! Yes, overall, I am doing well. I still get frustrated at times though. But I guess that is human nature too.

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  10. OCD has never entered the arena of my "driving" , but I can still relate. It feels like I almost have a conversation with OCD sometimes because I will get this feeling, like: When I left the bathroom, did I really flush the toilet? OCD wants me to go check. It tells me that checking it will only take a few seconds. (which is also a lie because sometimes after I check, I have to check again so it can be time consuming) Of course the odds are that I did flush.. because in over 30 years of checking if I flushed, I always have. Like you, if I give in and check I feel really guilty for doing it but I am getting better now at brushing that guilt off because why cause myself one more minute of anguish since I can't really go back to not-check.

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    1. Thanks for that, Krystal Lynn. That is a really good point - I CAN'T go back and un-check - feeling guilty only makes me feel worse for no reason. I will definitely have to keep that in mind from now on.

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  11. I get this. I also get the guilt after giving in to a compulsion... especially when I didn't necessairly mean to.

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    1. Oh it's true, Elizabeth, sometimes we start giving in and we don't even realize it! I've caught myself tons of times in the middle of a compulsion before I had any idea what I was doing. But, I have to admit, this time, I KNEW what I was doing when I was doing it and I just felt I had to go through with it anyway.

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