When I was a teen, I struggled with OCD. It felt like an invisible force was constantly weighing me down. Every moment of every day I was fighting against intrusive thoughts and trying my best to control the urge to engage in compulsive behavior.
Those were some of the most difficult experiences of my teenage years, and they affected me so deeply that it’s still something that affects me today. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and isolated thinking there wasn’t anyone who could understand what I was going through.
As a result of these experiences, I became very secluded and often further isolated myself from family and friends because of the shame that came over me after giving into rituals or uncontrollable thoughts. As soon as they would pass, reality set in and I knew isolating myself even more wouldn’t help the situation.
Acceptance has played a large role in managing my OCD as an adult. Moving away from everything bad that comes along with this disorder is important, but it’s being able to accept it for what it is that helps me keep peace within myself and present fears at bay. Knowing that these patterns are just a part of life makes a big difference in how we handle them when they happen whether we are teenagers or adults.
I can look back now with understanding on how much strength this disorder took from my teenage years, yet also feel comforted by knowing how far I have come since then in learning to cope with the struggles OCD brings about in our lives.