A New OCD

Young Adults' New Biggest Problem: Obsessive Comparison Disorder

Relevant Magazine defines it as:
"Compulsion to constantly compare ourselves to others. Producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us to compulsion, anxiety and all round discontent." 

Their solution with Bible verses that might help: 
1. Cut back on social media and TV (Proverbs 4:25) 
2. Celebrate what you do (Romans 12:6-7) 
3. Hone in and Own your signature sauce (Psalm 139:13-15) 

Now you may not think that you don't compare yourself to others. I challenge you to contemplate further. Perhaps you don't want the materialistic things that your friends have, but perhaps the lifestyle of your friends. When I got engaged, a had a friend that didn't seem so excited. She told me 2 years later after marriage, that she felt that the engagement was an instant wall between us. She wanted a boyfriend and already felt that I was "ahead" of her when I had a boyfriend. But when I got engaged she felt like I left her behind and she wanted what I had. 

I have many friends and cousin-in-laws that have children. None of them struggled and battled infertility, went through medical procedures nor the rocky road of adoption. I have craved their ease of having children and their swiftness of having a family. Many of them have undesirable aspects of their life that I wouldn't want, but they have children- something I want. 

The compulsion to constantly compare myself took over after the first year of infertility. When you struggle for years, it gives you more time to pick apart people around you. You begin to compare your wallet to their wallet, your career to theirs, your home to theirs and their eating habits to yours. Your heart begins to break and hurt because you are trying to heal or fix your problem, to no avail. I was hurting myself further. I became discontent with my life and how it was turning out to be. I wanted to continually to be blessed in my way. I felt that I deserved nothing but positive things and this infertility was not positive. My husband and I have infertility in the generation above us. We knew that it was possible for us to not conceive, but we were hoping to beat the odds. We didn't beat the odds, but met them. Go Figure! 

Fast forward to 2015, Hubby and I had to take a step back and reanalyze our life. We had to stop comparing ourselves to our cousins and friends. We had so many people tell us "we wouldn't know what to do if we couldn't conceive!" or "That is so difficult, I dont know what to tell you.". Then wisdom hit us. This struggle is our struggle because we can beat it. If some of our family and friends had to go 5 plus years struggling to accept infertility, being disappointed by others and the extensive road of adoption, they may not be able to handle it. Their young marriages and relationships could have been destroyed. Perhaps their expenses would have prevented them to do all that we had done. This battle is ours for a reason. Time is better spent learning to figure out what to do with this battle rather than being angry that this is our battle. 

Our Solution Aline 
Before I even heard of the study by Relevant magazine and before Rachel Cruz's book, we cut back on social media. It was extremely tough for us to watch people highlight the exciting news of a new baby or the newest thing that their child had done. Seeing snippets of their lives would only keep the wound fresh and we needed to be healed. I recommend that you withdraw from social media or even social events where you will be confronting an example of someone succeeding where you are struggling. 

Celebrating what we do can be a hard part when you are still hurting, but find a way to be content with what you enjoy, and have the ability to do. Hubby love to travel and explore. We learned after the first year that we will not waste every dime we earn and own on trying to have a family. We took time each year to travel. We knew that the trip to the beach in 2015 was one less medical procedure opportunity but we needed to stay true to ourselves. Stay true to yourself. Never stop reading, dancing, mountain climbing or sewing if that's your passion. Learn to be content by celebrating what makes you who you are. 

The third suggestion from the magazine is find and own your own signature "sauce". I understood this to mean find your next step and put your mark on it. Hubby and I's next step is adoption. Our secret sauce is showing people that infertility should not destroy your relationship. That there is light at the end of this tunnel when you look forward and not down. Our message is important and we know that people are open to hearing it and applying parts to their lives. 

My charge for you is to recognize that you are suffering from the new 'OCD'. Recognize your problem now to prevent wasting time. Take your struggle, no matter what it is and prosper from it. Stop wishing for your solution or seeking it in someone's life whom didn't travel on your road. Seek your old forgotten passions, new desires and skills. Finally, hone in on what makes you special. Don't trash it but own it and put a little shimmer on top. Your struggle will soon settle down and become manageable. 

Now go and be OCD free! 

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