I live in Chicago, and it’s home to some of the most diverse and vibrant cultures in the world. But even with all the amazing opportunities here, I struggle with something that not many people know about me: having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
It’s a daily battle that can be unpredictable and often overwhelming. There are days where my OCD symptoms get so bad it can be difficult to go out or complete everyday activities. Even spending time with friends can become stressful.
I’ve learned to manage my OCD with professional guidance, therapy, medication, self-awareness, and meditation techniques. But more importantly, I’ve also learned how to talk about the condition openly so that I can get support from those around me. It’s important that people realize OCD doesn’t have to define you–it’s just part of who you are.
My story is unique in its own way–a true Chicago edition. And while my disorder is real and serious, I still find beauty and peace through friends and activities who accept me as I am. Moving through life one day–sometimes one hour!–at a time has given me a sense of control over this disorder — something I didn’t think was possible for so long!