OCD & Identity
By OCDUKYA Becky
When you are in therapy, because it takes so much out of you, it can really become a large part of your life. From personal experience, your life can begin to revolve around therapy. This happened to me, and my identity became OCD. I thought of myself as “Becky with OCD”, and when I was around the friends that knew about my OCD, most of the conversations I had revolved around mental illnesses and dark jokes, all because I was “Becky with OCD”, and that was a part of me that I felt pressured to live up to - I have no doubt that this was, in part, reinforced by the horrific OCD stereotypes that have become so normalised in society.
While I still have OCD, I now cope with this in a much healthier way. If we go back to the present day, you’ll see that I’m so much more than my OCD. I have a passion for travelling, a family that loves me, a newly discovered drive to help people, friends that I can have a laugh with and so many more pieces of my life that make me, me. The way I feel about my OCD is the way that I feel about wearing glasses, or curling my hair, or painting my nails, or getting a new piercing, or finding a new favourite song. They all make up a small part of who I am, but none of them get in the way of me being myself, and they will never get in the way of the things and people that I love.
OCD occupies my thoughts less often, partially because I know that it is only temporary. In a few years it won’t be a part of me. A way that helps me think about this is comparing OCD to a physical condition like breaking your leg. If you broke your leg, you would get a cast or maybe surgery, and after a recovery period, your leg would have healed. You wouldn’t be known as the person with a broken leg anymore; maybe you’d look back at that time feeling proud that you got through it, but what happened to your leg wouldn’t define you. OCD can be looked at in a similar way. If you are reading this and you are feeling weighed down by the pressure that OCD can put on you, by the way it can eat away at you, please know that this is only temporary.
There is help out there and people who will support you. There is a life worth living if you have OCD and knowing that it doesn’t own any part of you and that it can be defeated will give you the confidence and courage to do anything you put your mind to. You are your own person with the most incredible ambitions and personality, and that is something OCD will never be able to take from you.
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