In December 2015 I was diagnosed with OCD. I was at a breaking point. It was a looooong time coming, but truly I had no idea this was what was going on. Earlier that year I had received a misdiagnosis (anxiety not otherwise specified, or, Anxiety NOS), and things just were not changing.
I knew something wasn’t right. After some extensive research on my part, fueled by this knowing, I’ll never forget the amount of relief I felt when I stumbled upon a blog that explained my very specific, extensive, and largely internal symptoms, to a T. It was like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders, though temporarily as the recovery process doesn’t happen with just a diagnosis.
I was not crazy, and I wasn’t the only one who had gone through or is going through what I was.
That same day, finally having a word for what was going on, I continued to plow through google searches, finding helpful sites that included blogs, research, and ways to get help. Before midday, I had already contacted and talked on the phone with two local psychologists and one out-of-state that specialized in OCD, learned about the International OCD Foundation, and gained even more insight and knowledge into what was going on, and what I could do. I wasn’t able to make an appointment until one month out, but gratefully I had so many resources to learn from in the meantime, both in books and online.
“Life teaches you how to live it if you can live it long enough.” –Tony Bennett
I’m so very grateful for OCD. What it has taught me is life-changing. I already considered myself a compassionate person, but the amount of compassion I now hold in my heart, and the the immensity and permanence of it is immeasurable. OCD has greatly deepened my capacity for acceptance, including unconditional, radical self-acceptance. Recovering from OCD has completely changed the way I understand and view thoughts and emotions, and in doing so, given me a clearer sense of who I really am. And I’ve tapped into a part of myself that I knew was there, but didn’t have access to with OCD in the way. The process of recovering from OCD has forced… ahem…. ledddd me to really dig deep and define what it is that is most important to me and what I most value. By bringing me to my knees literally (I’ve cried on the ground) and metaphorically, it’s also brought to the forefront moment-to-moment the amazing gifts that life has to offer, and allowed me to see how I want to live life, and that I have choice. For that I am truly grateful. Some might go a lifetime without this opportunity. Because of OCD and being challenged in this way, I am stronger, wiser, more open, courageous, and unstoppable.
Not to mention, I’m now intimately familiar with my mind and brain, and we’ve got a great relationship 🙂 I know them better than I ever thought possible! What a gift.
The road to where I am was at times turbulent, confusing, and painful. For over twelve years I struggled with my thoughts, emotions, body image, self worth, and understanding who I was. I’ll forever be a student, but I’m dedicated to also being a teacher of a new way of being. You are more powerful than you even know, and I hope to be a part of unlocking that for you.