As it turns out, I am the kind of person who needs/goes to a support group.  I thought I would hate it.  I thought it would be lame.  Actually, I thought that I would get there and then leave before actually going into the meeting, so I asked my boyfriend to go with me.  He’s amazing, so of course he said he would.  I knew that if he went with me, I would have to go in.  He wouldn’t let me turn around and leave.

I didn’t realize that my therapist was going to be there.  She told me about it, but for some reason I didn’t think she was actually involved.  It was a relief to walk in and immediately see her familiar face!  That’s another reason I brought my boyfriend.  I can be social if I really put a lot of effort into it, but I am terrified of having to be social with a bunch of people I don’t know.  I am no good at meeting new people.

I had all these ideas about what a support group is.  I thought it would be a bunch of people sitting in a circle taking turns telling their stories (Hi, my name is ___ and I have OCD…).  You know, like in the movies.  We did get a chance to tell our stories, but it wasn’t in some awkward format.  I cannot express how thankful I am for that.  I hate being the center of attention.  The last thing I wanted to do was go into a lengthy story about my struggle with OCD while a bunch of strangers looked at me, evaluating me and my disorder.  It was just a bunch of people talking about their common problem: OCD.  It was amazing.  I immediately felt so comfortable.  It didn’t take long for me to jump into the conversation.

Technically, I know people who have (or probably have) OCD.  I don’t know anyone who has actually been diagnosed or treated for OCD, though.  I don’t know anyone who is fighting the same battle I am fighting.  I don’t know anyone who knows, much less understands, the anxiety I purposefully face every day now.  Last night, though, I met a handful of people who know what I’m going through.  I can’t wait for the next meeting!  I’m sad it’s a month away.

One of the women there also mentioned a Dallas OCD meetup.  I looked it up today.  Their next even is in early August.  I’m going to try to check it out.  It’s a different format, but I think that’ll be nice.  They meet at a restaurant for dinner and talk, not necessarily just about OCD.

I thought embracing a support group would be an admission of weakness, but it’s not.  It’s a sign of strength.  I don’t just go in weak and expect them to help me.  I also offer my support to them.  It’s shared support.  I am that kind of person.


12 thoughts on “Solidarity

  1. So I am SO GLAD that you were able to comment on my blog because it led me to yours.

    “Technically, I know people who have (or probably have) OCD. I don’t know anyone who has actually been diagnosed or treated for OCD, though. I don’t know anyone who is fighting the same battle I am fighting. I don’t know anyone who knows, much less understands, the anxiety I purposefully face every day now.”

    I have to say that this is exactly how I have felt for a long time, which is in part why I finally got up the nerve to start a blog – in order to join this unique online community of strangers sharing pieces of their OCD lives. I actually wanted to join a support group for a long time because I felt so isolated with the disorder, and I feel like I used almost the exact words you used here to explain this to my therapist. In the end I did join, and I am glad I did. I’m not sure I have had quite as an amazing experience as you have so far, but perhaps that will come with time. I’m glad you got so much out of it and discovered that you are the kind of person that goes to a support group and can lend support to others :).

    Look forward to reading more of your posts and going back to read more posts from the past! Glad I found you blog!

    1. 🙂 Yay!! I hope you end up getting more out of your support group, too! There’s something really amazing about realizing that we are not alone in our craziness.

  2. Hi Elly! Thank you for visiting my blog. You left such a sweet comment. You have a very powerful blog here. I’m sure it’s not only great for you, but helpful to others with OCD as well. And I’m so happy that the support group turned out to be such a good experience!

  3. I’m the same way. I can be social around people that I’m somewhat familiar with, and definitely people I know well, but in a room of people I’ve never met before – it’s really scary. And for some reason, I am terrified of being social with people I’ve never met in front of people I know well. I don’t know why. It just makes me nervous when people I’m close to are watching me become acquainted with someone I don’t know.

  4. ELLY, I was an english major too, many years ago, but this isnt about me. although one more thing about me: i dont like support groups. been to them before and i think they’re alot of crap. but i’m glad this worked for you!

    i’m commenting because my son, who is 17, has been diagnosed with OCD. he’s a washer and a checker. let me know if i can offer any advice or whatever.

  5. YOU are one very committed to get better young woman. I wish you all the best in your therapy. You have such a good handle on what it is and what it does to you and for you.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today thru SITS

  6. Best of luck to you. I have some mild OCD behaviors that become more pronounced when I’m stressed out. They became a bit life altering when I was going through a divorce. I’m glad that offering your help to others is helping you find your way as well.

    1. Stress definitely exacerbates OCD! I’m nervous about being in therapy while in school this fall because my OCD is always worse during the school year. I can imagine a divorce would definitely trigger some hardcore OCD behavior!

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