Today I had the immense pleasure of chatting with Chrissie Hodges on her show The Stigma of Mental Illness Radio. We realized over the course of the show how much we have in common and that we’re OCD kindred spirits. For years and years I felt completely alone with my obsessions, and lately I’ve come to see how wrong I was. And you know how I’ve found people I can open up to and relate to? By sharing my story. Sure, it’s scary at first—as Chrissie pointed out in the show today, people with OCD, particularly those with taboo obsessions, feel so ashamed that they’re afraid to tell anyone what they’re going through and instead suffer in silence. But the more I’ve written and talked about OCD, both formally and informally, the easier it’s become and the larger my support network has become.
You can’t know who totally gets you like Chrissie and I totally got each other until you share your vulnerability. I never would have met someone with such a similar background if I hadn’t reached out to her and suggested we collaborate. Give a little, get a lot back.
Try it. You can write to me to start!
I can TOTALLY relate to this post! I actually just wrote myself about taking off the public mask. Oh, it was one of the absolutely most frightening things I have ever done, but it’s gotten easier and easier as time has gone on. Two really great things have happened as a result: my relationships improved and many, many people have confided in me about their own struggles, and including several people who have shared about their own anxiety disorders. Talking helps fight stigma!
Really looking forward to your book! Congratulations!
Thank you so much! As much as I’ve been talking about OCD, especially lately because of my book, it’s still a little scary. I wasn’t prepared to say as much as I did on the radio program, either, but then a bunch just spilled out. And I think that’s a good thing–I might feel a little embarrassed by how much I’m sharing, but if it helps someone else I have to do it. I am so grateful for the people before me who had the courage to share their symptoms with somebody. If no one had done that, we wouldn’t have the diagnosis of OCD to give and so many more of us would be alone and confused.