As much as I hope that this website helps others with OCD (and especially those who have OCD and are also LDS) if I’m being honest, it’s actually helping me.
Not that it can’t help all of us—because that is obviously that ideal symbiotic relationship—but it really is helping me, even if you get nothing out of it.
Granted, I make no guarantees that writing about mental health and your struggles, triumphs, or failures with it would help you like it does me. Some people might find more relief in exercise, art, or music. But for me, writing (along with my medication and behavioral therapy/counseling) has helped so much.
The right timing
I don’t know if I would have been able to do this blog at the beginning of the year. I wrote one blog post about my having OCD, and that was about my limit at the time. During those hard days of being debilitated by the OCD, as well as during the beginning days of fighting back, I was basically consumed by, well, just scraping along. Living each day was a battle. The inner struggles about how many times I “could” or “wanted” or “needed” to wash my hands, for instance, could take up huge chunks of my day. I don’t know if I was ready or mentally able to write a blog about obsessive compulsive disorder at that point. I even had stopped writing regularly in my own journal. Maybe I subconsciously quit because I didn’t want to have a record of that time in my life. It was too difficult. I didn’t want to find the journal years later and have to relive those struggles.
Why it helps
But now? Now, writing about my fight is therapeutic. It’s a way I can be accountable. It’s how I keep myself on track, day by day. It’s how my fight against OCD stays fresh in my mind. If I have to write about it and try to help other people, I need to be at least making an attempt to stay on top of it all. Having to think about what I will write and then taking the time to actually do it keeps me focused on something besides my obsessions and compulsions.
It’s strange, of course, because it might seem like having a blog about obsessive compulsive disorder would make things worse. If I’m always thinking about what to write for an OCD blog, wouldn’t I necessarily be thinking about obsessions and compulsions? Yes and no. Sure, I think about OCD quite a lot. But I think about it in a different way now. Before it was controlling me, telling me what I could and couldn’t do, and otherwise intimidating me. But now I’m thinking about it offensively. How can I get rid of a new obsession that popped up? How does OCD affect different areas of mine and other people’s lives? Why does this matter? What help can we get or give to each other?
It’s like going into battle with a game plan versus just hoping you make it to the next day alive somehow. Writing out my struggles, worries, and successes prepares and strengthens me for the next bout against OCD.
Like I said, I don’t know that writing would have the same results for everyone. My recommendation is that you find what gives you a boost in your OCD battle. What can you do that will help you express what you are going through while also serving as a beneficial therapy? I hope you find it. Let me know if you do!