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 10, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

Hello wonderful friends! I hope you are all doing well.

Decisions. I have a lot to make. The first decision I had to make was to be truthful here with this post. Oh how I hate posting that I am not doing well! I just feel like I am letting people down. I don't want to do anything to lessen a fellow sufferer's hope and I always feel like that is what I am doing when I show the less than pleasant side of things. But I have made a commitment to myself to be honest, and honest I shall be. I am really not doing well. And I think it is a combination of things.

I was on such an incredible emotional high after I completed CBT/ERP in the Spring of 2012. That high lasted for roughly a year and a half. The world just tasted sweeter. I was alive and every waking moment wasn't painful anymore, and the sun was shining (even when it really wasn't), and, and . . . The list goes on. But for the last year and half, I could feel depression creeping back into my life. I have no idea why.
My sweetie pie taking a nap.

In addition my beloved kitty, Anna, died early last summer. Then we got our pup Fender. I love him dearly, but it has been a big transition and his ill health causes some major stress because of how it continues to affect our lives. I've had some difficulties with a few relationships too (not my husband) that have left me hurt and confused and wondering how to move forward. I'm also working part-time again for the first time in a decade and a half. I love my job and my coworkers, but I'm still adjusting to the demands on my schedule, and the schedule itself keeps changing and that brings me a lot of stress. This has left me wondering whether I should keep the job or not.

Lastly, I did something really stupid. I was working an insane number of hours during November and December, and in the middle of all of that, I kept forgetting to take my SSRI. In early January, I realized that I hadn't taken my pills in weeks. I've always had terrible sweating and hot flashes on this medication. I mean, it truly affects my life, believe it or not. I'm constantly getting so hot that I can't think. And it's embarrassing because people around me can tell, and even sometimes make menopause jokes (and frankly, I don't find that funny). In addition, I've always had trouble with headaches, and this medication has increased the frequency of the headaches. Finally, I've struggled with weight gain on these meds as well. So . . . because I hadn't taken the pills in a few weeks, because of the side effects, and because I was already having an increase in depression while on the medication anyway, I decided, "Hey, I haven't taken any pills in a few weeks. I'm pretty much off them. So I might as well stay off them and see what happens." Well, certainly nothing good happened. Yes, the hot flashes and headaches are gone. But I'm pretty much an emotional wreck and daily functioning has become much, much harder. The depression has deepened greatly. At first, I thought that my troubles were being caused by the fact that I did not wean off the medication slowly and properly and instead went off them cold-turkey. This was a HUGE no-no. So I've tried to wait it out to see if things would get better once the "withdrawal" phase was over. But that has not happened. So now I have another decision to make. Go back on medication at all? Go back on the same medication or a different one?

I have made one solid decision. I'm marching myself right back into therapy. Yes. Again. Only this time, I really can't afford to keep seeing my beloved psychologist located in Boston. But thankfully, I've found a local CBT/ERP psychologist who is in my insurance network, and she has worked with several of my friends who have OCD, so I feel confident that she has the necessary experience. But I can't see her until April 17th. It's going to be a loooooong 5 weeks. I'm not expecting to be in therapy for long, though. I suspect it will be a tune-up more than anything else.

Yes, I am down now, but I'm surely not out. And neither are you, no matter where you find yourself at this moment.

21 comments:

  1. Dear Monique,

    First of all, it is O.K. to not be O.K. I think what you are doing, as far as being able to look inside yourself and see what issues you are having, and being able to reach out and ask for help is fantastic. I applaud you for the insight you have had. I have missed your presence, dear friend, and have been wondering how you are doing, but I want you to know that I understand, and even though I may not be able to relate to all the issues you are dealing with, I fully comprehend, and can relate to, depression, as I struggle with this myself!

    Please know that I will be praying for you, and if you ever need to "talk" or share things with me on a more personal level, please feel free to send me an e-mail. I have been told that I am a compassionate person and a good listening. And I repeat, please know that it is O.K. to not be O.K. Sending you much love and many warm hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Linda I would absolutely agree that you are a compassionate soul! Thank you so much for your wonderful offer and I just may take you up on it.

      Depression is a beast and I honestly still cringe when I admit that I struggle with it. It's almost easier for me to admit to the OCD. Strange, huh? But you are right - it is ok to not be ok. Hugs.

      Delete
  2. Sunny, You should never feel you are letting people down if you aren't doing welI! I appreciate your honesty and think the most important thing is what you are doing about not feeling well. Are you giving up? Are you cowering in a corner? Are you pretending everything is ok? NO! You are taking the steps you need to take to help yourself and I think that is every bit as inspirational as if things were going great.
    I'm always thinking of you and know things will get better for you.........because you'll do what you need to to make things better. Sending hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw hugs back at ya, Janet! Cowering in a corner sure does seem attractive sometimes but I know I can't give in. I'm trying very hard to take things one at a time and that does seem to help. And your support is most definitely a helpful belles sing as well. Thank you so much.

      Delete
    2. Um, that was supposed to be "blessing" but it auto corrected to "belles song" ha ha ha!

      Delete
  3. It takes courage to be honest and let other people know that you are not doing well. This post is an encouragement to others, to speak up and ask for help when needed. I will be praying for you. Sometimes we do take one step back before taking two steps forward, so hang in there as sunny days are waiting ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm most grateful for the prayers, Lauren, thank you. I have found that I'm needing a spiritual tune-up at this time as well and so I'm really trying to lean on God through this. And grow in my walk with Him. Like everything else it's a process and as you say, sometimes one step back, two forward.

      Delete
  4. Sunny, please know that you never need to apologize for not feeling well. I appreciate your honesty, and I am inspired by your determination to do something about your health. I understand, as do many others, that life with OCD and depression and anxiety has its ups and downs. We are here for you.

    I'll be thinking about you and praying for you. Things will get better. You are a strong woman, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, Tina, I really tend to forget that - these conditions ARE up and down and they are chronic and some times are going to be harder than others. But that also means that some times are going to be easier than others too! Thank you so much for the prayers. It means so very much to me and it certainly makes me feel less alone.

      Delete
  5. Sunny, I think that your honesty is AMAZING for OCD sufferers to see-- it helps ME know that I'm not the only one who goes through rough patches. And I hear ya on the meds front-- I've had some doozy side-effects too, where I've wondered if I would rather deal with the side effects or deal with OCD. Hopefully, you can find a medication where you don't have to battle either.

    Love you, sister!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I REALLY hope I can find a medication without side effects. I hate having to choose between feeling emotionally awful and physically uncomfortable most of the time. It's definitely a difficult decision. I'm relieved to hear that this kind of post does not take away hope from others. Thanks for the support Jackie and I sure love you back too!

      Delete
  6. I guess my comment didn't make it on here! That may have been my fault. I said: I'm sorry! I thought maybe you were just busy with your job and life. It's okay to say you're struggling. Prayers for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hate when I spend time typing up a comment and then it fails to post. So frustrating! Thanks for your prayers. Really appreciate it. And thanks for checking in with me the other day too. It was very considerate. And it was a combination of being busy and just wanting to crawl into a hole and hide!

      Delete
  7. I'm sorry you're having a tough time. It sounds like you have a good plan, and here's hoping the 5 weeks pass very quickly for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ann! Yeah 5 weeks seems like an eternity at this moment, but I know it will pass in the blink of an eye. Between work, church, and a visit that I'm going to make (by myself) to visit family in Florida, it will be here before you know it. And maybe, in some ways, the delay will actually be a good thing, because it will give me a chance to really see if it's the withdrawal or a legitimate need to re-medicate and refocus on some ERP. Either way, there's nothing I can do to change it, so it's a lessen in acceptance, if nothing else.

      Delete
  8. Sunny, I've missed you! Keep posting, girl; these things happen. Let us minister to you and support you. :-) Don't feel badly...depression is a BEAR to deal with, and it creeps up at the most unexpected, nastiest times. Got you in prayer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So appreciate it, Jean! You know, I'm coming to realize that outside of my family, I do not do very well in accepting support from others. Maybe it's a pride thing? Who knows? But it's hard to admit the struggle and it's hard to take the support, but I do know it is good for me. And I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly fortunate I am to know all of you wonderful ladies through the blogging community. A truly unexpected blessing in this world.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I wish you the best too, sweetie. : )

      Delete
  10. I'm so glad you felt comfortable enough to be honest. OCD is a chronic disorder where we attempt to manage the symptoms the best that we can. It's like asthma or diabetes. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but you are brave. You got well before, and it can happen again. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and my prayer is that you will once again experience freedom. God bless you. Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much, Carol! Even though I tell people all the time, I think I do still have trouble remembering that OCD is chronic and unless God should one day just cure me, I will probably always struggle with it to some degree. And that is not the end of the world. I mean, don't get me wrong, I sure wish it would go away, but as you said, I've been well before and I will get well again. God bless you too!

      Delete