I want to express beforehand that I am not a doctor or therapist, nor am I trying to give any kind of medical advice. I’m just sharing my personal experience and thoughts on what I’ve experienced with the sole purpose of encouraging people to get help because there is hope! I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to share my OCD journey with you! I want to start off by saying if you need help, please get help as soon as possible because I truly believe the sooner you learn how to fight OCD, the better it is! There is nothing wrong with having OCD. It’s an illness just like any other illness. Unfortunately, it’s not visible, so it tends to be one people have difficulty believing. You have to live it to believe it. I don’t think I would have believed it, myself.
Although I hate OCD, I am grateful for it, along with anxiety, bipolar, depression (a potpourri of mental illnesses), and insomnia. Living through it all has allowed me to empathize and understand the pain others are going through and have compassion for people regardless of what they may be going through.
I know that by sharing, others have felt at ease sharing because they know I’m there to be their support and encouragement. I never questioned the Lord about why I had to live through this because I know we live in a fallen world. Every one of us is defective in one way or another so we’re really all in the same boat with different struggles.
Having a lot of time to reflect, I’m 57 years old, I believe the start of my OCD journey began when I started my menstrual cycle. I learned a lot later that my OCD would get worse when I was on my period. I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got pregnant with my firstborn who is now 29 years old. After that, I knew something was wrong but had no clue what it was. My memory is very bad, (I believe apart from my age, that medication also has something to do with it), but I remember reading in one of those baby magazines back in the day that said something like, “the dramatic hormonal shift that occurs during and after pregnancy can trigger the disorder”. It made sense because of the harder times I had with my OCD around my period.
It was by watching talk shows and listening to what people were saying that I realized what I had was OCD. I saw Dr. Schwartz on Oprah and learned more about OCD by reading his book, “Brain Lock” and learned about CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I started medication after I had my second child, who is now 26. The problem I encountered was that once I started feeling like I was getting better, I would stop taking the medication. I can’t recall, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been on medication for OCD consistently for quite a few years. As of right now, I don’t plan on ever going off of them, but only the Lord knows the future. I was first prescribed medicine through my general practitioner and later went to a psychiatrist, but I’ve never been to a therapist for ERP.
After so many years, I have started fighting hard to get better because I was finally ready to. OCD is so hard to live with that I gave in to it for so many years because the thought of having to tackle my problem was too overwhelming because I knew what it entailed. Everything happens for a reason, and I can’t change the past and don’t look back. I wanted to share my story, so I started posting on TikTok (tiktok.com/@ocdlisa). It was a way to keep me accountable to fight to get better, and I believed and still believe that by being open about my struggles and journey to get better, people were counting on me because, if I encourage people then there’s hope. I have to live and believe it. My love of encouraging others is what gave me the strength to fight because I could easily get away with giving in to OCD if I’m not accountable to people.
I have so much to share, but I know I’m writing a story, not a book. After trying my best to fight OCD on my own because trying to get help was rough before, the treatment I sought was not affordable and not covered by my insurance. After trying to find the right help, and not finding it, I tried and tried my best to get better on my own from what I’ve learned about OCD. After almost a year of trying my hardest, I’ve gotten significantly better. I want to seek help for ERP because I believe it truly works. I hope to find a therapist, if it’s possible to let me share my treatment with others so they know what it’s like and to seek the help they need. If I can do it, anyone can! Be encouraged and get help!
Lastly, praise and honor to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my best friend, the love of my life who has and continues to uphold me with His righteous right hand and is with me through all my storms. It’s because of Him that I am able to share and encourage others. You can find out more about me here: tiktok.com/@ocdlisa