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!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back On The Couch

I'm back in therapy. And contrary to the title of my post, I don't actually lay down on a couch in session. It's probably a good thing, because I'm pretty certain I would not be able to stay awake for very long in that position!

I like to think of this as CBT, Part Deux. While I do have a reasonable amount of OCD left in my life, it is not the reason I've sought out help again. In fact, I feel like it is due to the success of my past treatment that I am finally in this particular head space. I've had enough OCD cobwebs cleared out, that it has made room for other longstanding issues to bubble to the surface, namely my decades old struggle with depression. I can recall living with bouts of depression since I was a teenager. It has ebbed and flowed throughout my life like a slow moving roller coaster. A lot of the time, it simply simmers at a low boil in the background, not presenting any major life problems per se, but it is active just enough to keep me from moving forward. However, over the past year, on most days, it takes tremendous effort to get out of bed. Some days, I cannot muster the energy to do it at all.

I want to be clear and state that I am okay. It's not that deep, harrowing type of depression. I know what that feels like, and I thank God that is not where I am. I'm just running on low to no energy, and well, the world seems like differing shades of gray and blah. I know what the culprit is, so I'm dealing with it, rather than ignoring it. Though, frankly, I would prefer to ignore it.

I'm realizing that my self image is probably a big factor behind my depression. I struggle terribly with feeling unloveable and unworthy, and with feeling desperate for the approval of others or, rather, the approval of every human being I ever cross paths with. However, I'm very passionate about certain subjects, and I often feel like I must speak up about things, and yet, this causes me so much angst. This is because I fear alienating others when doing this. It's a terrible inward battle. I feel like I'm failing to serve God and/or protect others if I don't speak up, but then I worry that I'm offending others if I do. Of course, I try to be tactful and kind when speaking up, but still. So what am I to do? Care less? Go along to get along? That does not seem right. And yet, my psychologist has told me that I act like I'm responsible for helping and saving everyone around me. And clearly I'm not. Ugh. Rock and a hard place.

Logically, I know that as a Christ follower, my worth is found only in the truth that I am created, and loved, by God. Yet . . . my heart doesn't quite seem to receive that message. I'm not sure it ever truly did.

I'm also discovering that some cognitive distortions are creeping back into my thinking, so my psychologist is working with me to start cognitively restructuring my thoughts away from automatically negative territory. In fact, she told me that we are working on a higher plane of restructuring now, than when I was being treated for the OCD. I view that as a positive thing, as it means that I did actually understand and absorb the previous CBT treatment I received.

While I know that spilling one's most private struggles and turmoils is not something that everyone is comfortable with, I have found it to be quite therapeutic and cathartic to share this. I lived with deep, dark secrets of my illness for so many years that I never want to return to that. On that note, thanks for listening.

18 comments:

  1. Monique, I think it is great that you are back in therapy, I applaud you! And I think it is even better that you are getting needed help even though you are not in a deep depression! You are able to recognize that you need support, and your love and faith in God is going to help you through. You are in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Linda. I greatly appreciate it!

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    2. You know what? Sweet people like you help me get through too!

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  2. Well done for you to ask for help again. I think that is one of the hardest things for me... to ask for help. All too often I'm too afraid to share my struggles with anyone. I'm so blessed by you and reading your blog. You're an inspiration. Hugs to you!

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    1. That is so kind for you to say, Lauren, thank you. I think you are inspirational! I used to be so scared to share stuff with people, but once I started blabbing, I never went back!

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  3. I really admire you for this, and many other things. (Hopefully that doesn't come across as creeper sounding from a "stranger"/fellow blogger). I really, really hope you start to feel better. I'm working on changing some of my overall "life" thinking to, since many of our beliefs come from what we tell ourselves and I think that both you and I are too hard on ourselves, probably 24/7. Also, I'm proud of you for taking action with something this big that can be life changing. Keep us updated and I'm cheering for you from NC!

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    1. Oh C you made me laugh with your "creeper" comment ha! You are too funny. I'm actually very touched, thank you. Nothing "creeper" about it!

      Yes, what we tell ourselves is critical and I clearly have a lot more work to do in this area.

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  4. Monique, I'm going "back to the couch" too! (Not for OCD, but for general anxiety and panic related to my book deal.) I'm super proud of you for recognizing this area of brokenness in yourself and attempting to find health. I think you and I are alike in that we hid from treatment for so long that now we force ourselves to run to it! :-)

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    1. Yes, yes that's it, Jackie! I know what it was like before treatment, and I sure know what it's like after. I am afraid of going backwards and so I don't hesitate to get help now.

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    2. By the way, congrats on all the success with your book!

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  5. I just love you and your courageous, beautiful self. :)

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    1. Aw, I'm blushing, Anna!! And back at ya, beautiful lady!

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  6. Good for you, Sunny! You are not afraid to face the issues and deal with them. I'm proud of you. I have been to therapy off and on for many years, and I can't tell you how much it has helped. Blessings to you as you start this new journey.

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    1. You know, Tina, I like how you refer to it as a new journey. Didn't think about it that way before, but you are right. New healing, new growth, new journey. Great way to look at it, thank you!

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  7. I know the struggle to speak or not to speak, though I often "want" to speak because I feel that I should (anxiously), not necessarily that I want to. Sometimes I want to...but I don't want to put people off.

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    1. Ugh, it's a frustrating cycle isn't it, Kristina? I just try to go with my gut instinct, but I do spend a lot of my time second guessing myself.

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  8. Sunny, you are a role model to us all.......you face your struggles head on and don't run the other way. With the help of your therapist you'll figure it all out (or most of it anyway :)). You are in my thoughts!

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    1. Thank you, Janet, for your consistent support. Means so much to me!!

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