When I was diagnosed with OCD in the summer of 2014, I knew very little about OCD except that what I did know fit perfectly with what I was experiencing. Because I knew so little though, I initially spent a lot of time researching and trying to learn more. Of course, I came across the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) and all their resources. I remember reading about the Annual OCD Conference. It sounded amazing, but I had found out about it too late to arrange to go that summer. I made plans though, a year in advance, to make sure I could attend the 2015 conference.
It was a long wait, but worth it. Attending the Annual OCD Conference was an unforgettable experience. The sessions were helpful for learning more about OCD, but by far my favorite part was just being surrounded by others who understood. Seeing a room full of people who all had OCD or were supporting someone with OCD made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Meeting others with similar experiences and feeling supported in your recovery is invaluable. I was fortunate enough to attend the OCD Conference again last year, and words can’t describe how excited I am to attend the conference coming up this summer.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk about the OCD Conference and what it means to me. As a student at the University of Michigan, I have been involved with the Mental Health Monologues for all three years of its existence. Each year, about 10-15 students write their stories related to mental health in a spoken word, poem, or other medium and perform them in a show. This year I was directing the show, so didn’t plan on performing. However, a week before the show I was feeling inspired by the other performers and decided to perform again. When thinking about what to write, I kept coming back to the OCD Conference. I have so many feelings wrapped around this event I wanted to share with the audience, but also with the IOCDF and others with OCD.
Hopefully this monologue conveys just how special the conference is and what it can mean to those who attend. I also hope it acts as a long overdue thank you note to the IOCDF.
To learn more about the 2017 OCD Conference and to register visit www.ocd2017.org.