I started this blog as a way to figure out OCD and beat it. I wanted to connect and help others share in a collective voice so we could feel a little less alone. That is still my priority, which is why I took so long to write this because so much has changed and I didn’t know how to take it. Here goes.
A year ago, I gave a TED talk which was amazing! I left the stage to be treated by a psychologist from Harvard. She said that she didn’t think I had OCD. Ugh…..WHAT??
No, she thought I had OCD, but another more umbrella style diagnosis to account for the symptoms that never went away. It’s true, I never ended my talk with “happily ever after” but that was never the point. My OCD cleared up, but my self-harm, fear of rejection, lack of sense of self, intolerance of intimacy, and substance abuse were just as bad as ever. After a long talk she referred me to a therapist in town for a full evaluation, and for the third time, I got diagnosed with something just as stigmatizing as OCD…
Borderline Personality Disorder.
Except it made sense this time. Not good. I had seen enough movies to know how everyone saw the “psycho borderline girl”. How could I tell anyone? Who would ever date me? How can I write my blog now?
So, it’s been a year of therapy, and I feel ready to say it. And although it was a surprise, it made too much sense, just the way OCD made sense when I was diagnosed. I am a whole lot of diagnoses, but a lot else too. I love this blog because I still strive to nurture a space where people with OCD and anxiety can participate in a voice, and feel a little less lonely. I have some topics I am eager to discuss like POCD and maybe even Borderline, and happy to make a video about anything anyone else wants.
Stay tuned, but more importantly, stay strong :)
My experience using Naturopathic medicine to treat my OCD.
It has finally happened! I started my first week of medical school. Naturopathic medical school to be exact, so I can passionately help others struggling with mental illness who, like me, were not so keen on anti-depressants and only getting so much out of therapy. I’ve worked so hard to get here. Here, meaning into my own apartment in a new city, but I am full of anxiety. I recently left my Dad’s house where I was living. I had a therapist, friends at school and I was getting my intimacy issues dealt with. I fell in love for the first time with a man and then summer came, and it was time for me to leave and start over. I broke up with my boyfriend, left some of the first real friends I’ve ever made and I miss my family.
First day of class and I can barely keep the tears back. “How did I get accepted? I’m not ready for this! I can’t do this!!!!” I panicked. I started self harming again and some other habits that I’m always fighting to break. BUT, I did call a friend and ask for help, which I rarely ever do and it DID help.
I don’t know what will happen, because even as far as I’ve come I still feel like the “OCD girl” who cant do anything alone, but if therapy has taught me anything, it’s to commit to not quitting.
I have been hearing other students tell me they are stressed out too which is a reminder that even when we feel alone, we are not.
Transition states are never easy, ever, but they don’t last. We must remember that while change does suck, things become normal again. Let’s all keep being patient and try to move forward and being braver than we think we can be :)
My brain is a burden to me so how could it not be a burden to those closest? People tell me to call them when I’m struggling, and even I have said that we don’t need to suffer alone, but picking up that phone seems impossible. The idea of letting people IN when I’m trying to get OUT terrifies me; like a tsunami, we should all be running the other way.
It’s been one of those weeks where it’s pouring and I’m waiting for the locusts. I felt alone, pummeled and emotionally exhausted, but I am one to downplay things, and brush them off, so I have been dealing with it mostly alone.
One of my best friends said “people who love you feel worse when they know you are hurting and you don’t let them help”. I flashed back to the beginning of when I was first married and how much I hated when my (ex)husband shut down emotionally and kicked me out. So angry and quiet, and I was left to wonder what was wrong, helpless. I certainly don’t want to make anyone feel locked out.
So while I want to run away, maybe others are not as afraid of my brain as I am.
Advice for parents who have children with OCD
I haven’t written in so long due to fear. But fear aside, I’m ready to share the truth.
My OCD is all but alleviated. I am reminded rarely, but abruptly every so often when I have an “OCD” moment at how life used to be. I am shocked by these occurrences at how I used to feel every day for years. It’s easy to forget the mental torture, because really, why would I want to remember? But, I do in some ways because I’ll never really fit in completely, and I need to know why. However, I am in the best place I can be for the next part of my life which is to help other people get better and finally become friends with their bullying minds.
On to the fear part of this. After the OCD was taken out of my brain, there was a shadow of where it was, and my sense of self was shaken. I self-harmed more than ever and acted out in many self-destructive ways. I got back into therapy, wondering what the point was of peeling back these layers of my mind only to find more problems underneath. Here is why I keep going:
- Whatever issues I currently face, I am more equipped to handle now that I have gotten over OCD
- There will always be challenges in life
- The problems I have at this point are not as bad as my OCD
So, while I struggle with a whole new set of cards, I would’t trade them in for my past. As I have said before, we all have a story that will fluctuate with joys and disappointments and we must commit to not quitting and that commitment doesn’t stop no matter how tough or easy things get. Keep writing your story, and stay strong.