It all started with a thought…
…that something bad might happen to my family. This was immediately followed by a thought that it would come true if I didn’t “knock on wood” to undo the thought. I had to knock in multiples of 3 and land on safe numbers like 3, 9, or 18. 6 was a horrible number.
As I grew up, these thoughts and behaviors morphed. It turned into tapping lights switches because of repetitive thoughts about causing a fire to an intense fear of getting pregnant in impossible ways.
When I went away to college, these odd thoughts and behaviors which had once been merely annoying grew out of control. I was spending countless hours a day ruminating, tapping, avoiding, checking, repeating, and hoarding. I knew I needed help.
After Googling my symptoms and finding the International OCD Foundation, I had a pretty good idea that what I was experiencing was OCD. I started seeing an OCD specialist and doing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy.
It was a bumpy road of hard work, achievements, setbacks, and more achievements. But over four years later, I’m proud to say my OCD is well under control. I occasionally have an intrusive thought, but I do an exposure rather than a compulsion, and I go about living my day.
Throughout my struggle with OCD, what helped me most was being able to connect with others with OCD and related disorders, and writing. I’ve met countless individuals through the International OCD Foundation, mental health clubs at college, and online. They helped me know I wasn’t alone. And I’ve been able to express myself through my blog.
Yet, I remember what it was like all those years when I was struggling and didn’t know anyone going through what I was experiencing. Thus, the idea for Not Alone Notes was born.