#OCDweek is coming up and I’m super excited. I love what the week stands for. Although I haven’t gotten to watch any of the video’s in the current challenge I can’t wait to see what has been created. I would really like to encourage anyone to take the time and enter the contest. Also to really look into all the OCD awareness week events and anything you can do to advocate for those with OCD.
I’m not just all talk and no action though either. Last year I actually participated in the video challenge. If you haven’t seen the video I made last year it this is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzXER7IJ-4k. I must admit I didn’t do the best job on my video though. It being OCD awareness weak really make me reflect on what I’ve learned since then and how much has changed in my life.
What a lot of people might not know about that video is I was still majorly suffering from OCD. To be honest a few weeks before the video I had actually tried to attempt suicide or at least see if I could. Although, it may have been a very weak attempt. I at the time thought, like many people who suffer from OCD think, that my OCD was different, my case was the worst ever, there wasn’t hope, and to be honest the best I could hope for was to just be alive. I truly believed a lot of the things I said in the video and would still stand by some of it and the basic story of what I went through was correct. However, the part about me thriving at the time not so much. Yes, I was attending school, working, and sometimes being social, but I wasn’t even really living. I believed it was possible for me and any other person suffering I just didn’t know how.
That answer came a very short time after that video. I had read about intensive treatment programs, residential, and even partial. However, few of them there me be. I didn’t think I’d ever get to a residential program, I just knew to me I had tried every other option I could think of. For the record, not every person who has OCD needs that level of care and treatment. My therapist had briefly mentioned that kind of care at one point. While shortly after that video I hit a breaking point again. I had been trying therapy for over a year. I kind of called it quits. I told my therapist I was taking a break from therapy and that honestly I didn’t know if I’d ever go back. I did tell her that if she thought an intensive program or residential program would work that I’d give it a shot if she really thought it would work. By Christmas I was full blast ready to fight OCD or at least give it a shot at Roger’s memorial hospital. I left in just over a month with a whole new understanding of what I had been fighting.
I learned very quickly that OCD is an anxiety disorder. I had talked about how it played on my biggest fear, yet somehow hadn’t put in that context. I learned there how truly intelligent people with OCD really generally are. I met some of the most intelligent people I have ever met in my life there. A guy who could do a rubix cube in seconds, a girl who could write music that was astounding, a patient who was more compassionate then almost anyone I’ve ever met (she even got me something to cheer me up when I was having a horrible week), almost all were college grads or had bright academic futures awaiting for them to return to or beyond common sense knowledge . All the patients were generally very kind and caring towards one another. I witnessed first hand the process of CBT with a strong emphasis on ERP working and changing people lives. It wasn’t just others either it was working for me too. I do have to hand to all of their staff. They see patients at pretty much their worse, yet they treat them with the dignity, respect, and understanding that should be common practice. I learned first hand just how unoriginal my illness was. I would hear things coming out of others people’s mouth about that their illness that I’d said or put exactly what I was feeling into better words then I could’ve ever came up with. It was the first time I had met someone with scrupulosity and then found out how many patients there on average have and realized just how much of an illness it truly is, but that it can be beat. I also for the first time found a med that actually seemed to assist and be helpful, with out dramatic side effects, when I didn’t even know if that was possible.
I’m really thankful I got that opportunity. Today I am working at the best job I’ve ever had, being more social, and there is actually joy in my life. My religion is no longer doubt and painful. For the first time in who knows how long before that I actually don’t assess as currently majorly depressed.
For the record, no my life isn’t perfect. I have days were OCD still throws punches,I still make more then my fair share of mistake, still more stubborn and sassy then basically anyone I’ve ever met. I’m currently working a little on the stubbornness. I’m just now coming to grips that my mental health is something that is going to require ongoing maintenance. Maybe not meds, group, or individual therapy on a regular basis that is a still determined and based on professional discretion working with me. However, I know I have to pay attention to my cognitive distortions and maintain my physical and emotional health.
Well I guess this is long enough for tonight. I wish you all the best.