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, August 1, 2013

Behind The Scenes

A few days ago, I posted a video log (or vlog) about how comfortable I'm becoming talking openly with others about living with OCD. What you don't know, is that I really struggled with putting that video up.

Aren't I just the cutest and
fluffiest little thing ever?
You see, my fur baby, Anna, was not in a very good mood when I taped that video, and she mewed and growled a bit on camera. After taping, I didn't want to post it, because I thought that Anna looked mad, and that someone would misunderstand and think I had hurt her and abused her, and I would be reported for animal cruelty, Anna would get taken away from me, I would be arrested, put in jail, and I would lose everything and everyone who cared about me. Hmmm . . . a bit of CATastrophizing, wouldn't you say? (Ha - pun intended!) Yes, indeed, but that sure is how OCD works. Cognitive distortions are the fuel for tormenting thoughts.

I told Jim that I was scared to post it, and he told me to post it anyway as an ERP. He also said that no one would think I hurt Anna just because she was acting like a little diva. Ugh. Ever since we brought Anna into our family, I've worried that someone would falsely think I was abusing her. I remember that until my kid turned 18, I constantly obsessed (and agonized) about someone mistakenly thinking I was an abusive parent and that my precious, precious child would be taken away from me.

I know that these fears are just OCD, as there was never any reason why either my child or my cat would ever be taken from me. Oh, but when these obsessions come, they feel so, so, so real. Like there is no possibility of anything else being the truth.

It is REALLY scary and humiliating admitting these crazy thoughts to you like this. But, I have them, and I suspect others have them too. Honestly, when I really think about this (and when I think about posting about these fears), it makes me panicky and sick to my stomach with horrifying anxiety. But I'm not going down without a fight. I'm tired of my illness controlling me - and I'm posting this in spite of my fear.

If you have these thoughts too, please remember, you are not alone. And the thoughts are not truth. OCD is a filthy liar.

20 comments:

  1. Cute pic of your cat!
    Nope, didn't think that about you. :) It's funny to look at the things that other people worry about and to have such clarity about them, but then to have the things I worry about...it's not so clear to me. Or even if it is clear, it's still hard to fight against them.

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    1. Yes, you are so right, Kristina! That is a really good reminder for me. I can so easily look at someone else and clearly see what is going on, but when it comes to myself? Forget it. Sometimes I'm just so filled with anxiety that I can only see the worst case scenario, no matter how remote the possibility of it happening.

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  2. Anna is delightful...and beautiful! I can't think of another animal that is able to express disgust as well as a cat. :) I hope you are not embarrassed by sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences. I think it is a wonderful thing that you do, and I really appreciate your transparency and honesty. God bless you.

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    1. Oh it's so hard to be honest sometimes, Linda! But I consider it a critical part of my recovery, because for so many years I hid everything, and the hiding itself added to my level of illness. I don't ever want to go back there again.

      Ha yes, I can always tell what my cat is thinking by looking at her face and body position. Sometimes, I swear she's thinking, "Oh, you dumb humans!"

      God bless you too!

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  3. I never thought anything bad about you. I know how kitties are--they want to be held when THEY want to be held. :-) She is such a sweet, pretty girl!

    I do understand your fears, though, because I've had similar ones. I've obsessed over whether or not I've done enough for my kitties when they're sick. I worry that I've been selfish and haven't done enough to help them get well. That fear became horrible when they died. Of course, it's the OCD talking. I know that intellectually. But I have feared that others might think I didn't do enough to keep my kitties alive.

    One awful thing about these fears is that it keeps me from enjoying my two kitties, Sam and Chase Bird.

    I know you love Anna with all your heart and wouldn't hurt her for the world. I loved seeing her in the video, and I think I forgot to mention her in my comment. Sorry about that!

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    1. You don't need to apologize for anything, Tina!

      I know how much you love your kitties, and I know how hard it was on you when you lost them. : (

      I also often wonder if I've done enough when Anna is sick. I expressed that several times to my vet a couple years ago when Anna was mysteriously losing a lot of fur on her ears. My vet is so sweet. She could tell how anxious I was, so she said, " if I was a cat, I'd want you to be my mom!"

      Thanks for your kind words, as always.

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  4. I thought the video was hilarious. :-) But I also know the extrapolating that OCD causes ... torture! GOOD JOB FOR POSTING IT ANYWAY!

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Actually, in retrospect I guess it was kind of funny that I got so thoroughly dissed by my cat "in public!"

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  5. Sunny, To me one of the most gratifying aspects of being an advocate for OCD awareness is when someone says something like, "OTHERS have those thoughts too? You mean I'm NOT the only one? This is a REAL illness and I'm NOT going crazy?"

    Posts such as yours reach people who will now realize they are not alone. What a wonderful way to help others. I am so glad you decided to not only post your vlog, but to let us know what you were thinking.

    I think you're amazing!

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    1. Yes, you are right, Janet. I know I always feel incredible comfort when I find out someone else has those same kind of irrational thoughts. When I found out others have Hit n Run OCD, I literally almost fell off my chair!

      If my ERPs (like posting stuff that is hard) can help others while at the same time they help me, I definitely consider that a win-win.

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  6. I totally understand this! I get it!

    It may seem to others to be CATastrophizing ;-) but I know what it's like to live with thoughts such as these.

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    1. While I'm certainly not glad you have these thoughts too, Elizabeth, it sure is comforting to know people understand.

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  7. I am glad that this turned into an ERP!!!! Because I was VERY encouraged by your progress and the way it has encouraged you. YaY to your husband:)

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    1. Thanks, Deanna! Yep, my hubby is turning into a non-enabler extraordinaire!

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  8. I am so glad you are real and share yourself here with us. Very encouraging. Blessings dear one.

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  9. Oh my goodness, those intrusive, obsessive thoughts that you described has literally brought me to my knees. To me it is one of the worst things that I go through. Gratefully, I have gradually become better over the past few months. Thank you for sharing your experiences and reminding us that we are not alone.

    Madison :-)

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    1. Hey Madison! Yep, I've been brought to my knees (literally) on more than one occasion because of those terrifying types of thoughts. They are worse than contamination type thoughts. They are horrifying. If I never got another one for the rest of my life it would be too soon.

      I'm so sorry that you struggle with them too, but I'm sure glad to hear you have been feeling better lately!

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  10. Jim's right...it's very obvious that Anna (like most kitties!) is a major diva! Good for you for posting anyway, and remember that OCD is a filthy liar!

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    1. Thanks, Jean! I have to remind myself that about OCD all the time.

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