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, June 18, 2013

Ugh. That Old Fear Of Fire Again.

Jim and I went to my in-laws house on Sunday afternoon to wish my father-in-law a Happy Father's Day. While there, my mother-in-law accidentally pushed a couple of napkins next to a lit candle. It was a tea light, so the candle was very small and the flame was low to the table. Well, that sure got the OCD humming.

Because I've gotten so much better, these panicky moments are mostly unusual for me now. It was definitely strange to be feeling like that again. I started obsessing about it immediately, though I tried to let it go. When no one was looking (including Jim!), I grabbed the napkins and held them under the kitchen faucet to get them wet. Of course, with the way that OCD works, that did not feel like enough. I was not convinced that the napkins were really soaked. When my in-laws left the room, I quickly whispered to Jim about the situation, and asked him what I should do. "Nothing." Somehow, I just knew that was going to be his answer. Meanwhile, I'm thinking to myself, "Hello? These are your parents. Don't you even care about their safety?"

I threw the napkins out in the bathroom garbage, but continued to worry about them. I asked Jim if he would toss some water on them the next time he went to the restroom. Being the good non-enabler that he is, he refused. Grrrrr. So I finally took my cup of soda (there was a little left) and I went into the bathroom and poured it in to the garbage and onto the napkins. Then I started to worry about the soda causing a fire, because I've read that sugar is very flammable. Oh the terrible tangled webs that OCD weaves.

Don't ask me how, but at some point I did manage to sort of forget about the napkin thing. We left, and although I secretly wondered if I would hear about their house burning down the next morning, I was able to put it behind me for the most part. That feels really kind of cruel to me that I was able to let it go. What kind of loving person does that? (I know, I know - that is just OCD talking to me through cognitive distortions, but still . . .)

Jim just happened to talk to his parents last night. So I guess that means they are alive and well and that their house is still standing. No thanks to me, though.

22 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you got through this. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and feelings.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm pretty glad I got through it too, ha ha!

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  2. Oh man, I can understand that whole process there.

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    1. Pretty standard OCD behavior and thoughts, isn't it Kristina? I'm not sure it even matters what "type" of OCD someone has.

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  3. Oh, Sunny, I was with you through this whole story. It sounded so much like me! Isn't it wild what OCD will make us think? And do? I'm glad you got through this episode in good form. You recognized what was happening--which is huge, in my book. And you recovered quickly. Thank you for sharing your story and helping others connect with you and learn from you.

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    1. I will admit, Tina, that I felt pretty stupid sneaking into the bathroom with my cup of soda! I think my mother-in-law saw me and I could only imagine what she was thinking!

      I did recover quickly, and I think that is thanks to previous CBT/ERP. I can't believe how quickly my mind sets those types of things aside now. I also believe that being on the right medication has been extremely helpful. It was like the last good fitting piece of the puzzle to my treatment plan.

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  4. Gosh, I relate so much. I hate that we go through this. Jim is a rockstar, btw.

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    1. Oh I sure hate to hear that others go through this terrible type of stuff too, Jackie. It's why I want to share my story so badly. We are NOT alone!

      Ha ha, yes Jim is a rock star, though I'm not always so sure of that at the time!

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    1. It WAS stressful, but honestly, it's nothing compared to how horribly tormenting every minute of every day used to be. Oh, I'll take this ANY day in comparison. So glad I can say that now.

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  6. Love this post, Sunny. How is it you are able to relay your anxiety and a sense of humor all in the same post? Your thoughts during this "episode" give those of us without OCD a really good idea of how it operates...

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    1. Well, these days it's a lot easier to have a sense of humor than it used to be, Janet! Actually, my psychologist was really great at helping me to find the humor. It is a really good antidote to emotional pain.

      Glad you found this helpful.

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  7. I love that your husband refuses to help with compulsions! I'm sure it's hard, but it's awesome!

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    1. Yes, it's awesome in a horrible way! Ha ha! Actually, I DO really appreciate it. He helps me fight stuff even when I can't.

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  8. Always appreciate your honesty dear one. You are a blessing to many, including myself. Hugs.

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  9. Hi Sunny,
    I'm sorry that happened to you, especially when you had to be around a bunch of people and still keep your cool. I am glad to hear that you got through it!!
    I just started my OCD Blog, which is basically my journey through exposures--mine is mostly contamination issues. Check it out if you can and I hope you continue winning all these battles!
    www.ocdtothenthdegree.blogspot.com
    -C

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, C! Welcome to the blogging world. I will definitely check your blog out.

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  10. Napkins and fire. That's a new one for me. I have OCD and am a Christian as well, so scrupulosity is one of my things.

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry R. Jefferson. I have had some issues with scrupulosity (thankfully it is not my main symptom) and it is truly terrible. I've just prayed for you that you will find peace in your mind and your heart.

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