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, June 27, 2013

I Did Want To Get Better (Sort Of)

Janet, over at ocdtalk, recently wrote a great post that got me thinking about my own recovery. It's true, there were times that I did not want to get better from OCD. It's also true that I obsessed about suicide because I was so tormented by OCD. So which was it? Did I want to get better or not? Yes, I did want to get better (mostly). I can't say 100% yes, because that would not have been true. I did want to rid myself of the pain, but I did not want to rid myself of the perceived benefits of OCD.
A poem I wrote in my 12th
grade Creative Writing Class.

I think it's safe to say that most people who know me would refer to me as being a bit quirky. Frankly, I kinda like that. Also, no one would mistake me for Ansel Adams, Monet, or Celine Dionne, but I like to think of myself as an artist. I enjoy singing, acting, and various other creative endeavors. As an OCD sufferer, I was under the mistaken notion that recovery from OCD would cause me to lose the part that made me unique or was responsible for any artistic leaning I had.

I did not need to be concerned! In fact, I am so much freer to be my true self now. I'm certainly at the height of my creative abilities (which really isn't saying all that much - but for me it is forward progress). I no longer feel the constant weight and burden of unrelenting anxiety. I can put my energies towards living and creating, rather than towards just trying to ward off the next potential (imagined) catastrophe.

Yes, my personality has changed a bit, but I think in a good way. I am much more positive and hopeful overall. I realize that I have a lot more choices in life than I thought I did. I'm making more decisions based on rational thought and not in fear. In essence, I'm more "me." And though I'm most definitely far from perfect and I sure have a long way to go in my journey with Christ, would it be terribly prideful to say that (for probably the first time in my life ever) I think I'm ok with who I'm becoming? Meaning, that I don't hate myself anymore. Meaning, that I believe God created me a certain way, and with His help through CBT/ERP and medication, He's helping me to find the "me" He intended. The flawed, imperfect, stumbling, bumbling, believer that is seeking to follow God with all her heart while simultaneously trying to enjoy the good gifts that surround her on this earth.

If you are afraid that recovery from OCD will strip you of your uniqueness, please don't be. There's so much more of you just waiting to come out!

14 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, YES.

    This is totally my experience too, Sunny! I was so nervous that treatment would steal not only OCD but also pieces of my personality. But now, after CBT/ERP, I am so much MORE me!!

    I just blogged about this too: http://jackieleasommers.com/2013/06/16/ocd-stockholm-syndrome/

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    1. Hey Jackie! I really love how you refer to it as OCD Stockholm Syndrome. Really brilliant! And so true, unfortunately. On one hand, OCD seems kind of simple once you really understand it, but in other ways it's so complex. So often I struggled to understand why I was thinking what it was that I was thinking.

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  2. Such a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post Monique!!!
    And you know the more I research about mental illness I learn that they are some of the world's most talented artistic peoples ever.

    It's so rewarding to bask in Christ's redeemptive love when we learn that there's no reason at all to like who we are. We're called to love others as we love ourself, right, -what a great place to start. I hope many will be encouraged as I am by this post!!
    With Love, Deanna

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    1. I'm so glad you were encouraged by this, Deanna! Strangely enough, I don't even recall discussing this concern with my psychologist. It was just one of those (many) things I privately worried about. As more and more time goes by, I am completely amazed at how the Lord has turned my entire life around. Of course I still have my struggles, but wow, things have turned out much differently than I could have imagined. Blessings!

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  3. I can relate to this and have had some of the same fears. I think the key for me is to remember that the constant anxiety and depression weren't leading me to create. They affected who I became, I think, but they weren't the real me. The real me, as God created me, is to be free to create according to my purpose and for the greater good. I am still working on becoming that person, but every day I get closer, I pray. :-)

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    1. Tina, I see what a talented writer you are right now and I can't even imagine if you didn't have OCD holding you back! It certainly doesn't seem to have stifled any of your creativity! The neat thing is that in spite of your illness, you are still contributing to the greater good through sharing your experiences. Win-win!

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  4. This may just be my favorite post that you've ever written! It inspires me and gives me so much hope :-)

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    1. Aw, Elizabeth you make me smile! Thank you. Hope is EXACTLY what I hope to share here.

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  5. Great post, Sunny! I guess the bottom line is once OCD is treated, your personality might change, but that's only because you are now the real you, not the other way around. Your experience will help so many people. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. My pleasure, Janet! Of course, your post was my inspiration for sharing this. Now that I'm out of therapy, I sometimes forget all the thoughts and concerns that consumed me through the whole process. It's one of the reasons I love reading other blogs. I never want to forget and I never want to stop learning and growing.

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  6. I've been thinking about some of this, too, also as a fellow Christian.

    I'm an opera singer and I agree with the above comment--I think people with OCD are more artistically inclined sometimes (think J.K. Rowling, Howie Mendel)

    Also, I think it's great that you are proud of who you are becoming. I think God would want you to acknowledge that and be proud of that!!

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    1. Hi C! Welcome back!

      Wow-you're an opera singer? How cool! What's your favorite opera? I've only been to or seen (on TV) a few but I really enjoyed La Traviatta and The Marriage of Figaro.

      I guess the one I can really be proud of is God, since He's the one who's done all of the changing of my heart and mind ha ha!

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  7. As always, thank you for sharing your heart dear one. Blessings.

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