“Whatever you do, don‘t fall asleep” – Nancy (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
My first stay at a Bed and Breakfast can be summed up in that one movie quote. Okay…so it wasn’t quite as scary as sharing a world with Freddy Krueger, but my OCD lied to me once again and tricked me into being afraid.
My husband and I knew we wanted to visit Michigan and Illinois for our anniversary, but we were having a hard time finding a place to stay that would provide easy access to both. We finally found a cute little Bed and Breakfast that was actually a historic, Victorian-style home. We were so excited about our anniversary getaway! The day came and we arrived a little late and it was raining, but we could tell that it was a pretty nice place to stay. Little did I know that the welcoming feeling would suddenly shift to panic.
Let me fill you in a little. As you may know, I tend to research my hotels before booking a room (and by research, I mean that I know enough about the place to write a college length essay!) I always search high and low until I find a hotel with a no pets allowed policy. So when I found the listing, I quickly made sure that it passed the test. It never occurred to me that the owners of B&B’s tend to live inside the house as well and that they may own a pet. Of course, it only dawned on me the exact moment that we pulled into the driveway and caught a glimpse of a tiny dog walking around the backyard. Cue the nightmare.
Reality vs Perception
OCD works in mysterious ways. By that, I mean that rational thinking often gets put on the back burner. So while my mind was doing its usual thing of trying to process a gazillion scary thoughts, my husband was patiently trying to talk some sense into me. With all of the confusion in my head, this is what I knew for sure:
- The B&B smelled wonderful
- It was clean
- It was cozy
- We met some pretty cool people
- They had the best cinnamon tea 🙂
- The owners had a dog
Obviously, the good outweighed what I perceived to be bad. That’s why OCD can be so tricky. Those perceived thoughts take over and become stuck on a loop. It becomes a very confusing battle of reality vs perception. Everyday activities such as going to work, buying groceries, etc. involves coming into contact with people and pet owners. I understand that. But sadly, that understanding is hard to find in a moment of true fear.
Finding my Strength
In most situations like these, fight or flight mode kicks in and I’m left with a big decision to make. The same was true for this moment as well. Part of me wanted to drive away and never look back. But what good would that have done? Especially on our anniversary. As always, my husband was right there to talk me through it, pray with me, and help me face my nightmare. In the end, we had an awesome trip and got to visit Windmill Island, Navy Pier, and lots of filming locations throughout Illinois. (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone fans please raise your hands!)
Was it tough? You bet. Was it worth it? Always!
Much love -Aud
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