I am working on a putting together a bunch of stories that will hopefully help others. It is just the beginning but I wanted to let you in to hear a few and to let me know if they are helpful.
John and Lian’s Stories
The various authors of this book came together to collaborate and give their insight into dealing with OCD and depression. The stories are not meant to be poetic but rather practical for the average person with OCD and depression to gain some inspiration and insight. As a group they agree that self pity form others is not the way to get better. Yet the way to get better is to come together and help each other. We all have stories and pieces of advice. So this is an invitation after you read to share you stories and input on OCD and depression as a disorder.
The ultimate hope is that you can learn and relate to these stories so you don’t feel like you are alone. All the authors want to help people to build back up their lives so they can appreciate life just like everyone else. It’s time that we all awaken as individuals to the fact that most of us struggle with mental health issues. So let’s begin………
John C.- Strength of Living with OCD and Letting Others know
I am writing this with the hope that people with understand that I am not the person that you externally see. The way I act is because of my OCD. I am 35 years old and have been living with OCD since I am little. A lot of my family has understood that I have a problem but not understand what OCD truly is. People around me sometimes treat me like I am a leach. Someone who just uses others to get reassurance over my fears with constant questioning. I understand that people can see this as being annoying but the person who is annoyed and upset the most is me. I am ashamed that I am so weak to the OCD and the need to get help from others. My intention in fighting OCD is that can build my own life back up and support others in doing the same. My hope is that my story will bring awareness and awaken people up to the fact that OCD is not a choice but more like a curse. A curse that can affect your neighbor, friend, parents, siblings or even your partner. But I am all about letting others know that it is okay and it will help you to reach out for a helping hand. My biggest problem was how to let break the ice and let someone close to me into my inner chaotic secret world of OCD. When I began to explain it my family and friends they at first looked at me strange when I told them about all these strange thoughts I was having and what my mind (my OCD) commanded for me to do in order to not have harm come to my loved ones. Even though I knew that I didn’t need to wash my hands over and over again, I couldn’t live with the idea that my body would be dirty and I would get sick. So when my anxiety got bad from the thoughts I washed my hands. A lot of my issues with OCD revolved around the idea of protecting myself and others from harm. I would check doors to make sure they were locked and ovens or irons just to make sure that they were turned off not to cause a fire. I had to go back and back over and over again to check them. It was bizarre but I had to do it. I looked at my bizarre behaviors and would get very upset when people pointed them out to me. However, if I did not check them I was unable to sleep at night. I hated being labeled by others as weird for my behaviors but I had to do these things. After a while, I reached out for professional help and found a therapist who helped me to stop giving into the thoughts and rituals and I now am able to deal with these bizarre thoughts better. I am not perfect but I have my OCD under control.
Chapter 2- Lian’s story
I am not like other people. This is the message that played in my head over and over again. After looking on the internet I self diagnosed myself with OCD. But I didn’t want to go for help at first because I was not a hand washer, checker, or someone who had to line things up perfectly. My mind was different. My rituals were all in my mind. I later learned that they are called mental rituals. Oh did they torture me. I constantly need to figure out what my thoughts meant and I needed to solve dilemma after dilemma in my head only to have another one pop up. When I finally told my parents about this they told me that I wasn’t the only one in my family that has OCD. I asked them why they didn’t tell me and they said it was because it was some kind of secret. They said they were trying to protect by no saying anything but I told them it only made me worse. Basically I found out that I was part of an OCD family tree that consisted of a many of my cousins, aunts and even my grandmother. Basically, by them opening up to me I felt closer to them and started to reach out to my family. After talking to a lot of family I found out that I wasn’t the only person who constantly doubted and question everything. I stayed silent for so long because I felt letting others know the truth about me would make other people think I was crazy. I thought it was a risky move.
I am glad the silence broke in my family because know I didn’t need to be shy about letting others know about my disorder. I was always scared that I would disappoint others or embarrass myself if others reacted in a weird way or not in a way they people would understand. In my mind I thought how horrible would it be if a loved one turned their back on me and said it’s your problem to deal with it. I think it would be have been pretty devastating. So after I broke my silence I became brave to tell others. But I want to let others know that not everyone is going to treat you the same. Some people may walk away and say they can’t deal with it. My biggest fear after telling others my story outside my family was that they later would use it against me as leverage when they needed something. It took me a while to realize that was just a fear from my OCD. I lost three friends though after I revealed my thoughts to them. I realized later that they really weren’t my friends and I didn’t care anyway because once I told my story enough people were able to relate and share their stories with me. Now I have a whole group I people who are real friends who I can talk about OCD with. So I hope you can have the courage to tell others about your suffering. It may not turn out perfect but you never know who with help and relate.