If you have read my first post (“Psychosis and OCD- My Story), you will know that I have suffered from OCD for over 10 years. It wasn’t until last year that I made real progress, and can truly say that it no longer rules my life- it barely plays any part at all!
This is a stage that I never thought I would ever reach, but since I have overcome this, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I have the ability to enjoy life a lot more than I used to.
My OCD was based around ‘routines’. At first it started with me thinking “well, I had a really good day yesterday, so maybe if I do things the same way today, I’ll have another really good day” and grew to “If I don’t do the same things I did yesterday, I cannot leave the house today”.
For example, when I was at school, I would have to watch the TV in the mornings and I would leave to catch the bus when the TV clock said 7:09- not even one minute before or one minute after. One morning, I popped to the kitchen and when I came back the clock was 7:10; so I put down my bag and refused to go to school that day- I was certain that something terrible would happen if I did.
This was a common occurrence, I felt trapped with no freedom; and being impulsive was out of the question.
However, last year during CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) I was really encouraged to think more into what ‘bad things’ might happen, and even if they did, how bad would it actually be?
My therapist asked me why I was anxious about going for a night out with friends at the weekend, I replied ‘something bad might happen’. He responded, ‘what exactly? What do you think might happen?’ I actually had to think about this for a while. I had always thought about ’bad things’ but never knew what the bad things were that I was afraid of! So, after thinking what bad things I could be worried about, I responded ‘what if someone tries to start a fight?’, he replied ‘So what would be so bad about that?’ Again, I had to think about this one before I could explain. Obviously, it is something that I would hate to happen and would be very upsetting, but then he asked: ‘do you think this is something you will worry about in 5 years time?’
This question really made me think. I thought, actually, no. Even if it did happen, in 5 years time I would probably barely remember!
I had so many anxieties and they really got in the way of everyday life. I would find social situations really difficult and I was constantly in fear of things that may happen, even if there was no evidence that they would!
Since last year, I have come so far. There are so many things that I would have never done a year ago that now I can do without even thinking about it, this is something that really makes me realise how much OCD was holding me back.
However, there were still things that I didn’t have the courage to do. For example, this blog. Doing this blog and launching MaisySmiles is something that I have thought about for at least two years now, always thinking that I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid of what other people would think. There is one reason I gained the courage to do this, and it was coming across the question:
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
My immediate answer was: I would start my blog. So, I thought to myself, why haven’t I? Even if my fears do come true and people didn’t like it, is it really that bad?
If I do it, and it fails…Will it still bother me in 5 years time? After all, people say it’s the things you DON’T do, that you regret the most…