As many of you know I am super passionate about raising awareness for mental health illnesses, and one very close to me is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The week is the OCD Action: Week of Action and although it is important to talk about mental illness throughout the year it is still really good and beneficial to have set times to highlight these disorders and raise further awareness. It also allows brownie points if it helps reduce the stigma too!
My aim was to go through the Week of Actions questions on social media however the week has been pretty busy and I thought actually it is probably best if I do a summary on my blog as it is all then in one place!
Monday: What has really helped you in your journey with OCD?
For me it has been even the smallest things, writing down on a list the date of when I have resisted a compulsion. This for me has really helped because on challenging days I can look at the list and think wow look at all those times I said a big stuff you to OCD.
Tuesday: What has been the biggest challenge in your journey with OCD?
Ooof, this is a tough one. I think probably my biggest challenge of all was actually speaking out about it. Telling people I have OCD was something I never, ever thought I would do. Allowing people to see that side of me was not something I ever thought I would be comfortable with. Granted the way I told people was not the average type of sit down and talk over a cuppa kind of way. They found out via a television documentary, but I don’t regret it. What better way to explain and tell someone by them physically seeing it and me not actually be in the same room?
Wednesday: What does self-care look like to you?
The term self-care I think a lot of people presume is like go for a spa weekend, bubbles in the bath both soap and drink! But nah, I actually had this discussion in one of my OCD support groups recently. My attitude was even if you sit down doing nothing at all for 10 mins is a relief for you, then that is self-care. I guess my self-care can vary depending on how I am feeling. Sometimes I might stay in my pjs all day, even if I am productive it’s just comfort y’know? Or colouring! Might sound lame but it is super therapeutic.
Thursday: What gives you hope?
Progress. Progress gives me hope, no matter how big or small. Which is why I like to jot stuff down and make notes on what I have achieved. Looking back and seeing how far you have come even if it is the teeniest tiniest bit. That gives me hope for the future.
Friday: What does ‘recovery’ look like to you?
I don’t know to be honest, and that is quite sad. I long for it, to be in recovery. I guess recovery for me would be being able to experience a ‘normal’ day. I’ve never lived a normal day. There’s always been intrusive thoughts and compulsions day in and day out. Recovery would be a more relaxed approach to life. Like how amazing would it be if I could wake up and go down the stairs? Literally just that. A simple 4 minute task. Instead I wake up, tap things, touch things, have to do certain things, go up and down the top stair and pray I haven’t forgotten anything when I am halfway down the stairs else the cycle will repeat. So yeah, recovery would be pretty sweet.
If you have been involved in OCD Action: Week of Action I’d love to hear what your answers were!
To all who are struggling right now, you’ve got this – be a little sweeter to yourself and always remember that tiny steps are still steps.