Thank you to Ellen for letting me guest blog during OCD Awareness Week. I am Jessica, a freshman at Kenyon College in Ohio, USA. I am a member of the women’s soccer team for my school and am studying neuroscience. I blog at https://adhocfornow.wordpress.com.
In honor of OCD Week, I want to share how I reached out to my soccer team when my OCD started acting up. My OCD has made it difficult to be in the locker room, shower anywhere on campus, and touch doorknobs and other public surfaces. Below is the letter I wrote to my team explaining what was happening.
Even though my OCD is acting up, I do believe that Kenyon is where I’m supposed to be, and honestly, my OCD is going to act up anywhere.
That being said, when it does decide to act up, treatment is called for.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll have to do these super fun things called exposures!!! Yeah get excited!!
Basically I’ll have to do whatever is making me anxious, which sucks. My current tasks when I get back to campus is to touch and hold as many doorknobs, railings, and sink faucets for long periods of time, which is hard to do not only because of anxiety, but because there are literally people everyone on college campuses.
So if anyone ever wants to come chill while I’m doing exposures, I would love company and it would definitely make things less awkward.
Next week I’ll be doing the infinitely less awkward last of going barefoot in my room, so that one is an open invitation and we can make tea.
So I suppose this has been a semi-crash course in ERP (exposure response prevention), which is what I’ll be doing. If anyone is interested and wants to know more about OCD, ERP, CBT, or ACT feel free to talk to me at any point.
Love you all, love Kenyon, don’t love OCD.”
I sent this email out on Sunday. Since then, I’ve gotten the following responses from my team:
“Love you, Jess! I can only imagine how difficult it is to be on a college campus. Let us know, whenever any of us can help. And you’re welcome to come touch my apartment doorknob any time.”
“Absolutely would love to join you for some exposures.”
“Hey, lady. Can’t wait to see you when you get back. Let me know if you need anything, and I’ll always be down to be there while you’re doing your exposures.”
There are just a few of the responses from my team. I wanted to share this because it can be so hard to tell those who we are close with what is going on with our OCD or whatever else we may be struggling with.
We are scared of people thinking we are weird, strange, or crazy. We are scared that people will turn away from us when we open up.
Most of the time, however, people want to help. Your friends, family, teammates, and whoever else is in your life want to see you get better, but they can’t help unless you reach out.
During this OCD Awareness Week, I encourage you to open up and ask for help, support, and love.
A huge, huge thank you to Jessica for writing this post. Please take the time to head on over to her page and show her some love. She’s flipping awesome. 🙂