Monday, November 15, 2010

What's my ask?

If you actually think I licked the gas pump, ha....think again! :) Pumping gas without using layers of paper towels has been one of the most consistent exposures I have diligently stayed on top of. (And let me be is NOT because of licking the gas pump or even kissing it for that matter. :) I begin to feel a little panicky when my gas tank starts to run low, and I still get that punch to the stomach feeling when my hands first make contact with the grimy rubber and cold metal of the pump. Sometimes the intensity of my thoughts about how dirty and germ-ified the pump handle is almost gets the best of me, and I'll rub the palms of my hands strategically somewhere on my jeans where I think I'll be the least likely to come into contact with the germs again. Realizing that I am still giving into a compulsion when I do that, I try to justify it with "At least I didn't WASH my hands or use a barrier." Humph.....the rationalization!!!

It seems like this last month has been exceptionally hard....or maybe it was just last week, but the week felt so long that I'm mistaking it as an entire month. I could spew many "reasons" as to why it felt so burdensome, but I'm pretty sure the reality is that I'm going through a bought of depression. When I look at my life, I am beyond blessed. I have everything I need and more than I deserve, yet I find myself coveting the things I don't have. Why does an attitude of contentment seem so difficult right now. Does my lack of contentment have anything to do with my depression? How do I choose contentment despite my depression, and what does that look like?

My sister-in-law, Jessie, came to visit me for a couple days in the middle of last week for our long awaited and affectionately dubbed "Thelma & Louise" adventure. For her birthday in August, I bought her big sunglasses and a scarf and we planned to spend a couple days just us girls watching the classic movie, indulging in yumminess, and driving up the pacific coast highway with our hair blowing in the wind. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Driving along the coast with no specific destination, feeling free to sing off tune while laughing at each other dancing in our seats, was amazing. I still felt anxious for the majority of the day, and it didn't "cure" my depression, but it gave me some perspective that I needed. Jessie found a quote by The Elephant Man that sums it up pretty well.....

"My life is full because I know that I am loved."

It is true. I am loved.....loved by my family, my dear friends, and most importantly my Creator, the lover of my soul....because of this, my life is full. Acknowledging that truth while not beating myself up for feeling sad, depressed or anxious is an art I'm sure will take a long time to perfect.


  1. I LOVE your picture!! As I have from the beginning when I first watched the OCD Project, I still find your journey through all this incredibly inspiring :). Your last sentence sums up beautifully something that I am still just learning to do, that is, "not beating myself for feeling sad, depressed or anxious." Being able to do that really is an art!

  2. This is a lesson I am learning too--that my achievements in fighting OCD have come out of compassion for myself. My perfectionism makes it hard to acknowledge any progress, but I also know that the perfectionism is part of my OCD, and sometimes I take the brave step of telling myself "well done"--even if the OCD says I have no right to.

  3. This is fantastic. We so need those moments where we just focus on the love in our lives, that blessing that fills us up and gives us the strength for each day. Even if we go right back to feeling sad, taking that moment can change your life.

  4. I recently watched the OCD project on VH1's website, and I most identified with you because I am a germophobe too (among other things). Watching you and the other patients really gave me a commitment to fight this myself too.

    I hope you are doing better now (Dec 10). Maybe if your depression continues you might need to seek some help for that. You must remember that professional help did work for you in treating OCD, and all of us need to rely on others more than we realize. I do like your positive attitude and trust in God, and I know He will help you and has plans for you.

  5. Dear Kristen,

    Thanks for sharing your recent experiences in this beautiful post. I have gotten out of the habit of checking your blog because I know that you haven't been posting as much, but reading your words brightened up my night. Forgive yourself for feeling depressed when those difficult periods hit, but be comforted by the knowledge that you can be happy because you are loved -- by me as well as so many, many others.

  6. Dear Kristen,

    Please keep posting. You were a direct inspiration to my young son to trust in getting help for his OCD and your successes (big and small) inspire me as his mom for his future.