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As part of our #ChalkItUpToValues campaign for #OCDWeek, we invited the IOCDF Advocates to write about what they value and what motivates them to face OCD. Here, Alex Rosenberg writes about unity with the OCD community.

Unity among people has gotten me to seek and continue with OCD treatment. 

I have constantly been tempted to feel different and inferior to other people. I have learned just how deceptive those inclinations are. There have been countless times that I have been embarrassed to talk about my compulsions with my therapist or to do certain exposures, but time and time again I have been met with the same loving, understanding support from both him and my family, more so than I ever could have imagined. 

I am not saying everything is always perfect. However, my negative expectations have consistently been shattered and my perspectives have constantly been changed. The fact that people can see who I am beyond my compulsions and can genuinely listen to me when I describe what I am going through, without judging or forming their own conclusions, has been surprising. Yet it has been proven true consistently. I have often felt like an inferior person who does not deserve the honor of being considered a normal human being. I have had experiences in which people listened to me, cared about me personally, even took the initiative to include me in their activities. Before those things happened to me, I thought it was impossible for them to happen. After they happened I realized that they could be common. 

I know that many people have experiences of being misunderstood and feeling marginalized or judged, or have just felt inferior without much obvious impetus. I have felt those things. However, more than that, I have realized that even when things feel lonely or hopeless, there is the possibility of unity among other people, more so than it may seem. This support I have received has made me realize I can both accomplish my treatments and feel good enough about myself to be inspired to do so. 

Doing my treatment has also made me feel less different. When I go through my exposures and the work to do my best to make myself better, people recognize my effort and help me along the way. They prove to me just how much they accept me. And being open about my mental health has also helped me make new friends and meet people who are struggling from the same thing. 

The fact that I am not alone, but am united with so many people in this world is one of my greatest motivators to pursue treatment and support. 

This OCD Awareness Week, you’re invited to participate in #ChalkItUpToValues! Draw in chalk or take a picture of something that inspires you to face OCD and share it on social media with #ChalkItUpToValues. We’ll share your submissions!

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