Having OCD isn’t exactly a treat. But since I was diagnosed several years ago, I’ve been consistently impressed with the OCD community. Whether it’s another person with OCD, a psychiatrist who specializes in OCD, an author, or OCD support groups, I’ve found one thing in common: an unwavering willingness to help.
I’ve known this for a while, but it was solidified when I started to write my book. Every time I reached out to someone, whether it was for permission to re-create a chart they’d published, for help finding young people who would contribute essays to my book, for a review, or even to write the foreword to my book (Elizabeth McIngvale!), I was met with enthusiasm and thoughtful responses.
When I included a note in a small donation I made to the International OCD Foundation (the most I could manage at the time), the foundation wrote back. In a handwritten note. I was surprised, and grateful, and touched. This was no ordinary nonprofit, that was clear.
Over time I’ve become more and more ingrained in the OCD community myself (of course I’ve been a member since I was diagnosed). Although it can be difficult at times, especially when I chat with someone who can’t yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, I love being purposeful about my role. I can give back and be selfless about my commitment—something I’ve learned firsthand from my predecessors and peers.