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!

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.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, I wish I had the answer! This is a confusing issue for me, too, because I think in terms of morality and putting others first, and I think, why do I deserve special consideration? I think most people, especially those who care about us, are happy to accommodate us at times. It's just so hard to strike the balance, isn't it?

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    1. Absolutely, it is Tina. Round and round I go in my mind all the time! The thing is, if I give in too much, then I get resentful. But if I take too much, then I feel guilty! Agh!!!

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  2. You might actually help somebody out by asking for your preferred appointment time; maybe they like late afternoon instead of earlier. Actually, I think that principle is true more than I might expect; different people have different likes and dislikes, and it is a good thing, because it helps us fit together better. Jobs I hate are loved by others and vice versa.

    One friend told me, loving your neighbor as yourself requires loving your neighbor AS yourself, meaning you have to love yourself to better love them.

    But I'm afraid to visit a friend even though she specifically invited me to come by some day. I'm still afraid I'll be a nuisance, even though in reality, she might like the company.

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    1. Oh, I'm afraid of being a nuisance too, Abigail! I hate the idea that maybe I'm causing someone to go out of their way for me. Although, I do think I'm getting a little better at this. It's a process that I've been working on.

      You know, I never thought of it - that asking for something might actually benefit someone else too. Hmmm. Good food for thought.

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  3. Oh Sunny, this is a hugely confusing topic for me. Sadly I do not have the answer LOL

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    1. Ha ha ha, well, Elizabeth, we can muddle through together, I guess!

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  4. Oh wow, I identify so strongly with wanting a counselor to think I'm a good person!!! I really want to be a "model" patient.

    I struggle a lot with expressing my desires without feeling that I'm selfishly demanding it. Where's the balance? I'm not sure. But it's good to know I'm not the only one struggling with it.

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    1. Nope, you're definitely not alone, Anna! Really, why do I care so much if other people think I'm a good person? The only opinion that really matters is God's. But, I guess I'm weak, and I want people to like me.

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  5. I might be over-generalizing here, but I think it would be highly unlikely that someone like you, who is so hesitant to request what you need, would turn into a "selfish ego-maniac." Most requests that you are talking about, in my opinion, are perfectly reasonable. Remember, you are not demanding anything, you are nicely requesting, and people can always say no if it won't work for them. I'm not great at these "requests" either, but have gotten much better!

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    1. Good point, Janet. I read (part) of a great book many years ago, called Boundaries. I forget it a lot, but it's true - people have the choice to say no. Just as I have the choice to say no too. And you're right - nicely requesting is certainly different than demanding. Thanks!

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  6. Great post and thank you so much for sharing. I echo ocdtalk's comment. I am like yourself, I extremely rarely ask anyone anything, I am quite independent. When my mother died (I was just 26, 30 years ago), people from the church brought me cooked food for a few days; thinking that it would be easier for me to get through the first few days without my mother and into the funeral. I didn't ask for anything, but when they offered I accepted graciously. It has been 30 years now and I still remember and appreciate the acts of kindness towards me.

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    1. Linda, I bet it made the other people feel good too that they could help you during a terrible time. And now you have these great memories of feeling loved. I'm so sorry that you lost your mom at such a young age. : ( Hugs.

      Thank you for sharing that. I forget that people often want to help and it makes them feel good to do it. I know it does for me. So maybe I shouldn't deprive others of that, and maybe it is ok to occasionally ask for stuff.

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  7. Hello Sunny!!!
    Happy Easter for He is Risen!!
    ......... would you believe that my psychiatrist told me that I was one of the most stubborn patients he's delt with?- I Can, lol.
    But when when he retired, though he not much of the affectionate type- you can just tell, he gave me hug and told me said that he just knew somehow that I will do well.
    ::sniff-sniff::
    Blessings!!

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    1. Aw, I think when he called you stubborn, it sounds as if it was a compliment! I'm sorry he's retired, but I'm glad you had such a caring doc.

      Happy Easter to you too, Deanna! I hope it's a wonderful time with your family. Hugs!

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  8. OCD involves so much "over-responsbility" that it's no surprise that so many of us are extreme people pleasers. To be honest, I've got no concrete advice on this one.

    In theory i think it's ALWAYS okay to ask for your needs to be met. People can say no. Now, that leads us right into the trap of what our "needs" are. OCD thinks it needs things that are bad for us, right? Ahhhh, tricky!

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    1. Yep, "extreme people pleasers." I think that about sums it up.

      You're right - it's ok to ask for our needs, but we can't listen to OCD's needs (or really it's crazy, irrational wants!). Good points and food for thought! Thanks for weighing in, Ann.

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