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!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Exposures? Bah Humbug!

This can be filed under, "What in the world was I thinking?" Roughly a month and a half ago I volunteered to set up approximately 50 some-odd pillar candles on the stage at church for our Christmas Eve services. I offered to do this when my OCD was more under control and I was feeling great. Seriously, with my paranoia of fire, how insane was that? It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, not so much.

We have services tonight and tomorrow night, so a really good friend of mine, along with a couple other people, helped me set them up yesterday morning. We had to test them of course, so we lit them. Oh boy. That was painful. I was really worried about setting the place ablaze.

However, I'm more worried about tonight and tomorrow night, when the band and other assorted people will be on stage next to the candles. I'm concerned about them bumping into the candles and knocking them over, or maybe a stray ember will spark something on fire. Ugh.

I'm also worried about some gifts I am giving people that are food items. I'm so scared that I will accidentally do something bad to the food and that people will eat it and get sick. Oh, and I also bought some small votive candle glass containers to give as gifts. They fell and one of them has a small chip, so now my mind is telling me that someone will get glass in one of their gifts. Maybe it will even get into the food gifts. Aaaaggghhh.

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. today with my mind churning about all of this stuff. Finally, I decided to search online for some Bible verses about anxiety. That did help and I fell asleep around 5:30 a.m.

So now I'm exhausted, sick to my stomach with anxiety, and just generally not in a very holiday mood. I'm going to keep fighting though. I refuse to let OCD ruin another family holiday, even if I have to fake my way through it. I'm going to pull out all my CBT tools and trust my currently fragile spirit to my Heavenly Father.

The candles are pretty.


I hate glass items. Ugh.

18 comments:

  1. How brave of you to go through with the candle work, even though it's causing you a lot of anxiety--good for you! I know it's not a fun exposure, but I know it will be helpful in the long run.

    Looking for Bible verses on anxiety was a good idea, and I hope they brought you some comfort. I will be saying a prayer for you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Tina. The services tonight went amazingly well. As usual, the anticipatory anxiety was much worse. Someone even knocked a candle over and it went out on its own - no fire!

      I definitely felt more at peace than I thought I would. Thank you.

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  2. Wow, I can see how OCD could have fun with the candle stuff. I have limited myself to LED fake candles, which, I suppose, might be a bad idea in the long run.

    Good for you for persevering! I hope it starts getting better soon, and i'll say a prayer for you, too!

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    1. Aw thanks, Abigail! I sure appreciate it more than you could ever know. I'm sure God answered your prayer because like I said to Tina, I certainly felt more peace than I expected to.

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  3. Thats awesome you did the candles despite the OCD you didn't
    let it win. I have the same issues you do with candles and fear of giving food to people. You knew to go to God for the
    verses on anxiety which is makes you the winner not fear.
    Have a great Christmas you are never alone in your struggle.

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    1. Karen, I DEFINITELY don't feel alone thanks to all of you who took the time to comment and comfort me. Honestly, I could cry tears of joy right now. Thanks for that reminder - yes seeking God's wisdom does indeed make me the winner.

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  4. Dear one I am here listening.....I am so very sorry for the anxiety your are experiencing.

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    1. You you know what, JBR? Anxiety really does stink, BUT, what is good is that it forces me to reach out to the Lord and to other people and then I get to be blessed by all the comfort I receive. I really am trying to concentrate on that, because I don't want to miss out on all the good people and things that surround me.

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  5. I pray peace for you and a release from the anxiety so that you can experience the presence of God and be filled with wonder in this Christmas season. Christmas peace and blessings to you.

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    1. I actually did get to experience God's presence during the last service tonight. I just sat at the sound booth and closed my eyes and I was transported into His presence and it was precious. Thank you so very much for your care and concern.

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  6. God is always holding your hand. Especially when it is shaking. Have a Merry Christmas! Peace.

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    1. Oh, I love that visual - thanks! I hope you have a peaceful Christmas too. : )

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  7. Oh, Sunny, I'm so sorry you're having an OCD flare up right now. I hope it doesn't make your Christmas too hard and you can find some peace and joy.

    Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I can surely feel all the prayers from everyone. I made it through the last two services tonight and everything really went quite well, and I wasn't too anxious!

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  8. Ugh! Praying for you, that you have a blessed, PEACEFUL Christmas!

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    1. Jean, thanks a bunch! I am so incredibly touched that so many of you have offered to pray for me. I feel so loved! I had a small anxiety attack tonight after the services were over, but it didn't last long and now I'm getting ready to go to bed and I feel pretty good. Exhausted, but good. : )

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  9. oh my! I thought I was the only one who felt that way about candles!!! I'm TERRIFIED of them... and absolutely refuse to hold a candle when we light them during the christmas eve service... I was going to try to do a little ERP and hold a candle this christmas eve during church but I totally avoided... I'm terrified of it being my fault that the church burns down! Though this is probably rooted in the fact that when i was a little kid I did drop a lit candle on a pew b/c the hot wax hit my hand and my parents yelled at me lol... man I think I was just a really impressionable kid lol... hopefully one day I"ll be able to hold a candle in church!

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    1. Oh I know what you mean about candlelight services when they give a candle to every man, woman and (gulp!) child!!! Ugh, that freaks me out even more than the candles on stage, believe it or not.

      It really is a tremendous burden to feel like you will be responsible for burning down a place. I'm so sorry you struggle with this too. Ugh - I wish I could magically take it away from you, because (obviously) I know just how scary it is. One time, we had to sing on stage while holding a microphone in one hand a lit candle in the other. That was truly awful - but I did get through it. I was definitely a little worse for the wear afterwards though, ha ha.

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