Being diagnosed, and coming to terms, with OCD has been a strange journey. In some ways, it’s been a relief. Looking back through all my experiences, it explained a lot. I wasn’t weird, I wasn’t weak — I had a condition, with a name, and a treatment, and a community. I wasn’t alone. This was liberating. I started to change the story I was telling myself about myself. I began to accept myself just as I am, and started trying to figure out what I need, instead of how I should change.
After I began knocking down the walls I had built, love flooded in. Then I realised that the love had been there all along, I just hadn’t believed myself worthy of it. I hadn’t understood how to connect to it, how to avail myself of it, but now I did. And I began to rely on it.
I wrote this poem a few months ago, during a very challenging time for me. I’ve hesitated to share it, because I’m not used to being open and vulnerable, and laying bare my insecurities for all the world to see.
But when I was struggling, it helped to read about other people’s similar struggles, in particular Matt Haig‘s “Reasons To Stay Alive” and “Notes On A Nervous Planet”. It helped to know that someone halfway across the world had experienced the intensity of despair and paralysis that I was feeling. It helped to know I wasn’t alone.
Knowing that other people found a way to live with mental health issues, and in fact to thrive, made me believe that the same was possible for me. So I decided to take a leap of faith and share this. I’m hoping it might help someone the way other people writing honestly about their struggles has helped me.
If you are struggling with your mental health, here are some resources that might help: