Embarking on the journey to conquer obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a deeply personal and, at times, challenging experience. Each person’s path to recovery is as unique as they are, as evidenced by the diverse stories shared by our community members. To begin the new year, we’re highlighting 10 inspiring moments from their OCD Journeys.
Each of their voices serves as a testament to the courage it takes to confront OCD head-on. Despite the challenges they’ve faced, their stories share a theme of hope and resilience, reminding us that a life free from the grip of OCD is possible.
“I have had so much success with ERP and medication that I am now able to identify OCD thoughts when they come in and then pay them little to no mind at all. … And the best part is that without the obsessions and anxiety, I now have space in my brain and in my life for the things that I love: I have more time and space to study; I enjoy playing with my daughter, to a degree I hadn’t felt for years; I can engage in relationships and friendships without OCD looming in the background…”
“I often call it a miracle when I tell people where I am today. I went from being depressed, substance-fueled, anxious, afraid, and lonely to living a completely ‘normal’ life. I have a wonderful girlfriend, an amazing job, and unlimited time to work on myself. While I can’t say that I live all of my days in complete happiness (who can?!), what I can say is that every day I get to make the choice to make my life better.”
“OCD caused me so much suffering it made me feel like I didn’t want to be on this earth; now I take every day as a blessing. I enjoy every moment. I take in the colors around me and the birds singing each morning. I became in tune with myself. I’m noticing that I feel like I’m more deserving of good things than before. Conquering OCD gave me back my self-esteem. Now I no longer feel like a monster—I feel worthy.”
“Since starting my recovery journey with NOCD, my life has changed and is much more positive than I could have ever imagined. OCD moments still happen daily, but they no longer take up days, weeks, or months. They are moments that do not control my life, and my recovery includes understanding that OCD isn’t going anywhere. It’s going to be here, and it is up to me to decide the role I let it play.”
“Today, life is so good. I used to live waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. Now I know that even if a shoe drops, I will handle it. I used to think that having intrusive and unwanted thoughts all day was normal and was just how it was supposed to be. … But I have realized that my brain is a little different. I have learned to love my brain in spite of this. I am no longer sad for what could be, what my brain could have been. I refuse to live in regret. I have learned about acceptance. I am not afraid of what may be lurking around the corner. I am not worried about what may be under the bed.”
“The more I practiced ERP, the more I was able to resist the urge to engage in obsessions and perform compulsions. I was no longer as distressed when the OCD did pop up. In sessions with my therapist, we would practice starting and stopping ruminating. It really helped me to see that this was something I could learn to stop doing. It was an action. My anxiety would eventually level out and it no longer seemed like a constant uphill climb. It became easier with time and with practice. Before I felt like I could never stop but the little steps began to add up and before I knew it, they had become big accomplishments.”
“I am still working with my NOCD therapist and I continue to make progress. Not even a year ago, I had a constant feeling of impending doom that controlled every move I made. Now I can do pretty much anything I want to do. … Returning to dancing has been my greatest accomplishment. The fact that I can take multiple gigs and get through rehearsals without doing compulsions still amazes me. … This year I danced in a full-length feature film and several dance showcases including one with almost 1,000 people in the audience. I get through performances without doing a single compulsion backstage.”
“I am surprised by how quickly I was able to recover. I attribute this to allowing myself to truly give ERP a chance and throwing myself into treatment wholeheartedly. I want others to know that OCD can play the worst head games with you. … Even though it is often chronic, that doesn’t mean that you will always suffer or be debilitated by it. There is hope. There is help. Today I continue to attend school. In my free time, I am a volunteer firefighter, I like to play ice hockey, and I love to watch movies. If you had asked me 2 years ago if I thought any of this was possible, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here I am.”
“OCD attacks our morals and values, so of course it would attack the one thing I love most in this world. If you are a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, or anything in between and you are having these thoughts, you are NOT alone. The worst thing about this subtype is believing you are alone because of how terrible it is. It is taboo for a reason, but you are not awful for having these thoughts. I remember how terrified I was. I remember being convinced during that first session with my therapist that I would be locked away forever. To my surprise, my therapist didn’t even flinch when I told him my thoughts, my feelings, and everything in between.”
“I had a truly life-changing experience with NOCD and my therapist, Jessica. … As anyone with OCD knows, it is extremely difficult to talk about the types of thoughts we have but using humor, and sometimes dark humor, really helped minimize the OCD monster in my head. We would come up with all sorts of funny sayings and ways to look at my OCD to take away its power over me. She helped me determine what was a ‘Renee thought’ and what was an ‘OCD thought’ and then respond appropriately.”
Write your story’s next chapter
While the journeys of these NOCD Community members are unique, there’s something they all have in common: they all began in a place of feeling hopeless, doubting that it was possible to ever take their lives back from OCD—until they did. If you’re struggling right now, please know this: your story doesn’t end here. You’re not alone in what you’re going through, and you don’t have to fight OCD alone, either.
These stories and the many others shared by members of our community prove that recovery is possible, and that there are people who understand what you’re experiencing. We encourage you to read their stories, to connect with others in the NOCD Community, and to write the next chapter in your own story by making the brave decision to ask for help.
When you do, we’ll ensure you’re supported every step of the way. Your NOCD Therapy experience will be a highly personalized journey that’s thoughtfully crafted to meet you exactly where you are. We go above and beyond standard, “one-size-fits-all” therapy, tailoring each stage of treatment to your needs to help you conquer OCD. From matching you with a qualified OCD specialist who understands you to supporting you between sessions, we’re dedicated to helping you get better and stay better throughout the next chapter of your life.
To learn more about getting matched with a NOCD Therapist and starting treatment that can help you conquer OCD, book a free 15-minute call with our team.