I love receiving comments and personal messages on this blog.
Of course, I don’t love that others are suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder because I know that it is hard and life altering in many negative ways. But I do love that people have found a place they feel safe to be themselves and confide some of their difficulties, perhaps sharing them in the hopes that we can work together to find ways to make positive steps forward or just to get those frustrations and anxieties off their chest.
I don’t have all the answers. I’m relatively new in my journey. Yes, I’ve had OCD for years, but I’m still new in the fight against it. But so are many readers of this blog. And knowing that others are out there, somewhere, fighting similar battles against a familiar enemy provides strength.
The power of a group
This idea of an OCD community is what endeared me to group therapy and support groups. Even if I wasn’t receiving individualized, specialized advice or care, I came away from group meetings with a different type of strength—the kind of strength that buoyed me up and made me feel that I could keep going in this fight. I could see individuals at varying stages in their battles, and that gave me hope and courage. I saw those who had their OCD under control and others who were struggling to even communicate their issues, they were so fresh and painful. I was one of those people not so long ago.
But together we are an army battling OCD, sometimes failing, but sometimes winning. And that is powerful.
It’s hard to fight OCD on your own. Knowing that others are there to support you matters. I have found a great worldwide OCD community on Twitter and, to a lesser or less vocal extent, on Instagram. Twitter, in particular, provides a platform where those who have OCD or other mental health struggles can find common ground with others, some of them half way across the country or the world. We share successes, hints, books, blog posts, and experiences and, by so doing, fuel each other with much needed encouragement. We also unburden ourselves of our failures and get advice. I may never meet any of my Twitter OCD community in person, but I feel supported and a part of something much bigger than myself regardless.
Mental illness loves to separate and tear us away from relationships and a feeling of community. It is therefore that much more important to fight back by becoming part of something bigger than ourselves. Sometimes we may need the support and other times we are giving it. But that’s the beauty of it. We all need that give and take. It can help heal and strengthen us to fight our own battles.
So keep commenting. Keep writing me if you need someone to listen. I may not be able to respond immediately or give you exactly what you need, but I know how important it is to feel like someone understands. You are not alone. Don’t forget that.