I’m still thinking about The Big Picture. When I wrote this post last week, it stirred up memories of the last time my husband and I had reason to use those words. It was when we were deciding whether to give into Dan’s pleas and let him stay at the intensive residential treatment program he was at for the summer instead of going back to college.
I wrote about this part of Dan’s journey in the post, “Get Him Out of There.” (The title may give you a clue as to our final decision). Dan had already spent nine weeks in this program doing intensive Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) Therapy. He was headed in the right direction, but there was no question he still had a long way to go in his war against obsessive compulsive disorder.
In fact, we had already made preparations for the next battle in that war when Dan’s doctors convinced him he should stay at the program. We had met with Dan’s academic advisor at college, had connected with a therapist near his school who specialized in OCD, and had relocated our family to be near Dan and support him. Still, the doctors wanted Dan to stay in the program until his OCD was totally under control. That meant not being able to go back to the college he loved.
So what does all this have to do with “The Big Picture?” Well, after seeking advice from other therapists, one of them a close friend who knew our family well, we understood how narrow-minded the doctors were at the clinic. To them, it was all about the OCD, and nothing about “The Big Picture.” On my post entitled OCD about OCD, I recount that in his argument to stay in the program, Dan said, “If I go back to school I won’t have time to concentrate on my OCD.”
Exactly! And this is why we insisted he leave the program. It was time for Dan to stop focusing only on his OCD, and concentrate on his whole life, “The Big Picture.” What did he want for himself? What was important to him? How was he going to achieve his goals and build the life he deserved? Sure, he still needed to fight his OCD, but he also needed to live his life. Like all of us, he needed to focus on his hopes and dreams. Because when you think about it, these hopes and dreams, this “Big Picture,” just may be the biggest motivators in the fight against OCD.