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, March 31, 2013

Today Reminds Me Why . . .

I have hope. Eternal hope that goes beyond the here and now.

Christmas is meaningless without Easter. My life is meaningless without Easter.

Because Jesus died on a cross and then rose from the dead, and conquered sin and death once and for all, we can have a hope and a future that NO ONE and NOTHING (including OCD, depression, or any other terrible thing that might exist in this world) can ever take away.

Have a blessed and joyous Easter!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Whatever YOU Want

About a month and a half ago, my blogging friend, Just Be Real, wrote a post that really got me thinking. It was about how uncomfortable she was asking others to work around her schedule, instead of the other way around. I was surprised at how much I related to her words. It reminded me of my own discomfort, especially with my psychologist. I desperately wanted my psychologist to like me and to think I was a good patient and a good person, so I seldom requested anything from her. I kept late afternoon appointments though I would have much preferred a mid-day appointment. I rarely called her when I was in a state of panic (though she told me over and over again to do so). I almost never showed her anger even when I was feeling it.

You see, I truly love my doctor as if she is a beloved family member. She is a brilliant psychologist, and a kind and compassionate clinician. She became my lifeline during my therapy. When my mind was so jumbled that I couldn't function, she was the instrument to bring me back to sanity. Oh, I soooo wanted her to like me. Can anyone say "transference?"

I was so convinced that I was a bad patient, that I even asked her about it one time. Imagine my shock when she told me I was one of her hardest working patients. Really?? Me? That can't possibly be true, could it?

Now that I look back, I realize that a certain amount of this feeling towards my therapist is probably normal, maybe even expected. As a Christian, some of this is confusing for me too. I mean, as believers, aren't we supposed to always put others ahead of ourselves? Yet, I'm not sure that it's always wrong to ask for some accommodation, at times. Obviously, we don't want to turn into selfish ego-maniacs constantly demanding that things always go according to our wishes. But I do think that there are times when requesting something that meets our needs is appropriate. Ah, but when is it appropriate? Hmmm . . . maybe you can tell me the answer to that one.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Time To Register!

Registration for the 20th Annual International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation Conference (Atlanta, Georgia - July 19-21, 2013) is now open! You can register for the conference and view all of the offered workshops online. I attended last year and I assumed that I would find a lot of repeated workshops on this year's schedule. I was wrong! Oh sure, there are a few basic "OCD 101" type workshops that they always offer (and should always offer, in my opinion!), but I was excited to see a lot of different workshops too. In addition, several support groups will be facilitated throughout the weekend. There really is something for everyone, and if you can attend, I would highly recommend it.

See you in Atlanta! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One Order Of Sanitizer To Go Please

Last week, some family members and I were dining at a really good local (not a chain) restaurant. While waiting for our food, I noticed something that I had never seen in a restaurant before. Hand sanitizer. A big bottle. On every single table. Either the owner/manager seriously struggles with contamination issues (which makes me really sad), or the government's public health campaign of "Wash your hands or you (or someone else) will die!" has finally reached its peak.

Whatever the reason, hand sanitizer is like kryptonite to anyone in recovery from contamination OCD, so I always stay far, far away from it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

An Uncertain Future

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

The path is often not clear, but we can trust our Guide.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

OCD: A Disabling Mental Illness

Yesterday, Janet Singer, of OCD Talk, wrote a really great post about fighting stigma for Beyond OCD. While I was visiting the Beyond OCD site, I came across another interesting post entitled Roadmap to Recovery: Families of Adult OCD Sufferers Living at Home by John Hart and Throstur Bjorguinsson. It was the first paragraph of this article that caught my attention:
Because of the debilitating nature of OCD, many adult OCD sufferers find themselves living at home with parents or other family members. Since OCD sufferers are often unable to work, it can be financially impractical to live independently. A retrospective study of the adult patients admitted over a 7-month period in 2007 at the Menninger Clinic OCD Treatment Program confirms many of these difficulties (Björgvinsson, Heffelfinger, Wetterneck, & Hart, 2007, March). Approximately 81% of adults lived at home with family, despite only 14% of them being married. Although most were unemployed (86%), many also required help with daily living tasks such as grooming and cleaning (62%). In addition, most sufferers (75%) reported a significant disruption in social activities and indicated the cost of treatment and the loss of wages were a significant financial burden on family (77%). These data suggest that OCD presents ongoing challenges to both the patient and the family system. Marital problems, family conflict, isolation, and financial strain are common results of the stress that OCD places on both the sufferer and the family.
Wow. It is unbelievable, and yet it is so true. I personally know many people that have not been able to work, or have had significant disruptions in their careers because of OCD. Though I have been a homemaker for the last 15 years, I do know that there would have been times in my life where working outside the home would have been impossible due to the disabling nature of my illness. I also know that had I not been married, I most likely would have had to move in with my parents, as there was a time when I needed constant support and "hand holding" just to make it through the day.

Just in case anyone was wondering, living with OCD is no joke. And doing it alone? Well, I can't even imagine.