The day a psychiatrist first used the words obsessive compulsive disorder to diagnose me was the start of a journey toward ridding myself of the shame that had weighed on my heart for so many years. Now, a decade after that original diagnosis, I will unapologetically tell anyone and everyone that I have OCD. I am not embarrassed, and this is why:
Illness is not shameful. If I had cancer or diabetes or any other medical illness, I wouldn’t feel ashamed. Why should I feel any differently just because it’s my brain that is sick instead of my kidneys or liver or pancreas?
I didn’t choose it. I never invited OCD into my life — I hate it! I’m not embarrassed of a stranger who crashes a party the way I would be if it were my friend who did so.
It gives me a platform to help others. Because I’ve experienced the trenches of OCD, I am better able to understand and encourage those in the same war. It’s an honor to use my own story to help others.
I’m done being ashamed. OCD made me feel that (and so much more) for twenty years. I won’t let it have another day.