The national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD
Our wonderful team of Young Ambassadors have been working hard since this Children in Need project launched. Every month they create inspirational work to offer hope and inspiration to others who turn to our platform for support. Our Young Ambassadors are incredible role models to other young people who suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and are a true asset to OCD-UK.
We asked our Young Ambassadors to share with us reasons to be proud of themselves. We want the team to be as proud of themselves as we are! Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a very debilitating mental health disorder, and with every day that the OCD bully doesn’t win, you should be proud. Together we are stronger than OCD.
As we know, these current times are challenging and uncertain. I have struggled with my OCD quite severely over the past 4 months and I have somehow managed to keep things ‘sort of’ under control. I lost my job this morning, due to Coronavirus making the business I work for go bankrupt and as my OCD’s current focus is on men, I’m worrying about having to speak to them in order to find a new job. However, I live with my boyfriend and I’ve managed to half the amount of times I tell him my ‘confessions’ over the past few weeks and as much as I feel sick, it does go eventually. I’m proud of how far I’ve come since January.
I'm proud of myself for how far I’ve come throughout these last couple of years in regard to my mental health. Looking back, I’ve struggled with OCD all my life, but I was only diagnosed in April 2019. I’ve had CBT and I feel my OCD is easier to manage because of it. Every day is different. Some days are harder than others, but I’m proud that I have got this far, and I’ve continued my fight with it, despite wanting to give up several times. People who struggle with any form of mental illness are warriors and should be proud of any achievement, big or small.
I am proud that I am able to confide in my parents when others may not have the support I get on a daily basis.
OCD has made me feel all sorts of emotions, anger, relief, sadness and frustration. But there are times where I have pushed back and have found empowerment. When I fight back, and even though it is incredibly hard and tiring, I feel this strong woman comes to the surface. Sometimes it feels like I have lost her forever, but when she comes back it is like she never left. I find that listening to the words in music always helps to make me feel better, even belting out your favourite song can make you really happy. Little things contribute to help you have the encouragement to fight back, even if it is for a couple of hours, you can be the strong person that was inside you all along.
I am proud of the way I don't allow OCD to control me. I am proud because even when I hear OCD, I don't listen to it. Even when I want to listen, because it feels safe, I won't because I can't allow OCD to have control again. My mind is stronger than that.
Today I’m stronger without you. But the hardship and pain I thank you for. Perspective of life is better now. When you come knocking at my door someday. Just know it will never be opening up to say hello.
I am proud of showing all of those people that doubted that I had OCD wrong. I had a particularly bad experience when I went to the doctors and said I had ‘Pure O’, obviously at the time I didn't know this was a "nickname" for OCD. The doctors asked me some questions like ‘Do you have any compulsions?’ I said I had avoidance and reassurance. This was a very dark time in my life and I was desperate for some therapy and help. All he said is that he thought CAMHS wouldn’t accept it and I probably wouldn't get the therapy I desperately needed. After the appointment I was in tears, so ashamed, as he looked at me like I was a freak. Well, I proved him wrong, I got invited to healthy young minds. I got right to the top of the CBT waiting list and started CBT therapy, I got diagnosed with OCD and started taking medication. All those times I was turned away saying ‘You won’t get in’ or ‘You won’t get any help’. And here I am today, still suffering, but keeping one foot in front of the other.
Each and every one of us will define success in a different way. A molehill for one person can be a mountain for another. Like many other people, talking about something I am proud of is not an easy topic to think about, and I find it difficult to come up with an answer to this question. Everyone has so many things to be proud of but for me it is actually allowing myself to feel proud without worrying about other people's judgement which is the tough part. Despite this, I truly feel proud that I am able to openly talk about my OCD. Being able to be honest with others about anything in life is so brave and a huge accomplishment. When I first started talking about my experiences of my own mental health on my social media, I was able to help and talk to so many lovely and supportive people. I found that it was only by talking about my OCD, that I could truly confront it and it has helped me massively with my recovery. By having an open discussion about OCD, it can help to dispel some of the stigma that is held in society. Be proud and speak up!
The thing I’m most proud of when it comes to my OCD is my bravery to take recovery into my own hands. When I was first admitted into treatment, I was almost immediately referred out of the service due to my declining physical health due to my eating disorder. When I realised I wasn’t going to receive the help I so desperately needed, I researched my OCD. I read books and articles, watched documentaries and videos and listened to podcasts to learn as much as I could in order to learn how to cope with it myself. I purposely exposed myself to my triggers and applied the coping mechanisms I had learned in order to handle it. It was a terrifying process, one in which I felt completely alone, but I’m so proud that I did that because my OCD could’ve developed into something much worse. I’m proud that I had the bravery to stand up to it before it was too late.
The one thing that I am very proud of myself for during my OCD journey is to decide to continue therapy. My phycologist suggested to reduce sessions for a while because I was struggling to get better and immediately the OCD told me that she didn’t like me, that she couldn’t be bothered helping me, that she thought I didn’t deserve it. When I got home I seriously considered stopping altogether but with help of my mum I decided against it and I am still going, even though it’s tough.
Last summer, I climbed a mountain in India called Stok Kangri. A germaphobe in India for 3 weeks without her family (I went with school) who’s hand gel had ran out half way through the trip - recipe for disaster I think... well, no. I trekked for 10 days without a single shower and survived. I hugged someone who felt sick in the middle of the night whilst walking in thigh deep snow and survived. I got on 6 aeroplanes, when half of our team had diarrhoea and vomiting, and survived. I ate the pasta cooked by someone else, used someone else’s hand gel, wore a pair of pants for 3 days because I had ran out, had to use someone else’s water bottle because mine broke, slept in a tent with 2 people for 10 days, and shared a room with them for the rest of the time. I had a fun wrestling match where I was *god forbid! * touching someone else. I ate food from a restaurant that wasn’t exactly the most hygienic, used many a toilet that were, let’s just say... highly unpleasant. But did I die? No. Did I get sick? God knows how, but no. Did I cry? Yes, but did it stop me doing it - no way! I got to the top of the mountain, all 6,153m of it, reached the Taj Mahal, saw the elephants, explored the Agra Fort, and it was fun. And I’m so proud of myself for signing myself up for the trip and for getting all the way through it. Sure, I still have OCD and yes, it’s still a huge aspect of my life, but I made it through India and that is a huge achievement for me. Next stop Kilimanjaro - more challenges, but even more fun.
I am proud of being able to openly talk about my OCD to my close friends for the first time, after being afraid for many years to mention it.
I am really proud of myself for making it through high school and getting a few GCSE’s, even though it would have been so much easier for my mind to drop out. I am now doing so much better than I was in high school and am a 1st year student nurse! Everyone is always shocked when I tell them I have OCD and I’m a student nurse, but it doesn’t always work like that.
I’m proud that I went for inpatient treatment for my OCD and participated in everything and asked as many questions as I needed to.