Sometimes I feel like I live for the weekend. Which is kind of sad. But if you take a look at the following photos, you will know why.
SO. MUCH. LOVE!!!!!! This is Koda Bear. My amazing sweetheart, Zack gave me this cutie a year ago. Koda is my baby love. I have always loved horses and they can be a great outlet for my OCD or my worst nightmare (more on that later).
There’s also another reason why I feel like I live for the weekends. My husband is in nursing school now and is working nearly full-time. We don’t see each other a whole lot during the week so on the weekends we get to spend more time together. It’s my favorite!
Isn’t he the cutest, most handsome husband ever? 🙂
Anyway, I feel like sometimes I try to survive the week and just pull myself along until Friday. Then, I get so excited that its FINALLY here! I make all these plans and dream about how fabulous it’s going to be. Seriously, on Saturday, I was so excited about what the day held, I couldn’t even sleep late. So I got up and had my morning cup of coffee and spent a little time with God. I love to do that on the weekends especially, because I don’t feel so rushed. I got my barn clothes on and headed out to see my two horses. I was making plans in my head on the road as to what I wanted to work on in my session today with Koda. I got to the barn and Koda was really excited to see me. He couldn’t wait to get out. We worked together and then I had a picnic with a friend. Later I spent some time scratching Koda in his pasture in all his favorite spots. Another horse came up and started bothering Koda, so our little bonding time got cut short. Then out of nowhere OCD came and hit me. “What if Koda doesn’t really like you and doesn’t like it when you pet him?” Now, I know in the big scheme of things, this is a really silly thought. And even if it was true, you would probably think, “that is not anything compared to what you could be worrying about”. Nonetheless, it’s my obsession because I do love my horses so much. OCD attacks what I love most. So I texted my husband (possibly for reassurance, which is a no-no), and told him how I was feeling. He was so kind and supportive and I just tried to let it go and went on to riding another horse for someone. After that I was trying out a saddle I wanted to buy. I wanted to see if it fit well since it would be a really expensive purchase. Looking back, I should have seen this coming. Really big decision that involves finances= major trigger. I can barely make decisions on where and what I want to eat when I go out without anxiety. Much less this! Anyway, I told my friend I needed 2 days to think about it and I would let her know. Next problem: 2 days of uncertainty. Back and forth. Do I buy the saddle? Do I not? Is it irresponsible? Will my husband think I’m high maintenance? Will he regret marrying me and my horse enthusiastic self? Etc. etc. etc. I kind of pushed these thoughts aside and my husband and I went on a fun date to O’Charley’s. We got home and were watching “Lost” when it hit me again. I didn’t really know what I was feeling anxious about, but I could not concentrate on the show. I was totally “in my head”. I tried to identify some thoughts that were bothering me. I was trying to tell myself “Koda may or may not like you. You may or may not buy the saddle. It may or may not be the right decision”. I went to bed and the next morning when I woke up, I was still pretty anxious. I promptly told my husband at breakfast, “I have to write a script today and devote some time to ERP. Please remind me, even if I think I am feeling better.” We went to church and my anxiety just got worse. Like I wanted to bolt out of the church worse. I was so tempted to ask my husband if we could just go home. But, I stuck it out and tried to use my paradoxes (previous post). We got home and I told myself I was going to immediately do some ERP, even before lunch. I wrote a script about the saddle and Koda. It went something like “Koda may or may not like me. I may or may not buy the saddle. I may or may not regret the decision later. It may or may not be financially irresponsible.” I felt okay after reading it for about 30 minutes. However, when I started to eat, my anxiety really spiked. The symptom of anxiety that bothers me the most is nausea. When I’m anxious I do not want to eat at all. Even though my brain was screaming at me to stop eating, I refused to give in. I told myself that even if I threw up, it was not a failure. A failure would be allowing anxiety to dictate my avoidance of eating. I got through lunch and as I was loading the dishwasher, I dissolved into tears. My husband immediately came to give me a hug. “I feel like I’m not getting any better. I really want to have a good, relaxing weekend and I just can’t. When this comes out of nowhere and hits me like this, I feel so discouraged and ashamed. The last two weeks have been so good and now I feel like I’m crashing down and I hate it.” My husband gently turned me toward him and said “The fact that you have had some good days recently means you are getting better.” I had never really thought about that. He really helps me put things in perspective. It is amazing how one person can say something that I can hold onto and help me through a rough spot. I texted my friend who I have told about my OCD. I told her I was having a rough day. She was so helpful and told me that decisions are hard for her as well. That really helped me laugh at OCD. I told her “who even knows what the true pros and cons are of any decision when you have OCD?” She could totally relate and that took a lot of pressure off of myself. I think sometimes I feel so isolated and alone in the midst of an OCD moment. Just hearing someone who understands really helps. I’m happy to say that even though I did not want to go to the barn that afternoon because my OCD told me that another trigger might happen there, I went anyway. I LOVE to do things in spite of OCD. It’s kind of like taking a jab at it. It’s not easy, but I refuse to let it dictate my actions anymore. It does not deserve that kind of control or power. And honestly, I had a good afternoon. I still had OCD thoughts and there were a lot of triggers, but all in all I still had fun. And when my husband came home, we watched the Super Bowl together.
Most of the time I put so much pressure on myself to have a “good, perfect” weekend or a “good, perfect” vacation. I am trying so hard not to let OCD in that I actually make it worse. My therapist has talked about this a lot. If we are guarding ourselves against anxiety and trying too hard to make things perfect, it is an invitation for OCD to have a field day. Instead, it would be much more positive for me to recognize that OCD is rearing its head and just allow the anxiety to be there and carry on with my day. And not have a pity party with myself like “my weekend is ruined! I won’t get any rest or be able to relax my whole vacation! I hate this disorder!” Sometimes my thoughts can be such a drama queen. Like pass it a tissue.
So there you have it:
OCD, you cannot take away moments of joy just because you are trying to lodge yourself in my brain today.
I would have missed so much this weekend if I would have let OCD decide what I was going to do and not do. And it can tag along if it wants to. It doesn’t even deserve the effort it would take to try to guard myself against it. So I won’t. And I have a feeling that this decision in and of itself will help me a lot in the long run.