Beth, 23, West Midlands, UK

Sometimes that “what if?” is just too much to ignore.

Beth-no-textI was first diagnosed with OCD when I was fourteen years old, and its presence has always been there since, simmering away in the background.

The best way I can describe my own OCD is that I feel like I am bracing for impact constantly. I am waiting for the ‘bad thing’ to happen, completely convinced that it’s just around the corner. This ‘bad thing’ can be situations such as accidentally causing harm to someone else, being accused of something I didn’t do, and even going to prison.

When I experience an intrusive thought, I picture my mind to be like a pinball machine. After the thought pops into my head, it bounces around and travels to each stage where I can play and observe the consequences out in my mind like a film.

Sometimes, I can answer these intrusive thoughts back by rationalising. I can say “well I know I wouldn’t do that” or “that might happen but I can never know” or “it’s just a thought.” That last one is still something I find so hard to believe.

However, there is some good that has come out of having OCD. I learnt from quite early on that working with other people who are struggling is a career that I wanted to pursue, particularly after receiving talking therapy for my own mental health difficulties. My experiences have driven me to go after this career of helping other people, and I am currently training to be a counsellor! Not only this but I now talk incredibly openly about my experiences through platforms such as this and my own blog.

I truly believe that, although having OCD makes life difficult in many ways, it has made me who I am today. And I am incredibly proud of that.

Categories: The Wall

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