Sunday, April 8, 2018

Making a Decision to Share Hope: Janet Singer of ocdtalk and her book Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery

I was updating my blogroll and discovered ocdtalk's book, Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery, a chronicle of finding treatment for her son Dan's OCD, and being an advocate for OCD Awareness.

She mentions her book and her blog as two decisions she agonized over in her post OCD and Making Important Decisions.

Two of the most important decisions I’ve made over the past decade are starting this blog and writing my book. I truly agonized over both of them. Who am I to write about obsessive-compulsive disorder? I don’t even have the disorder! What could I contribute that would possibly be of any value? I’m no expert. All I have are my own thoughts and experiences to share. People will laugh, or even worse, criticize me. They’ll get angry. Of course, I could go on and on. I had no shortage of reasons why I shouldn’t write about my family’s experiences with OCD.
But even with all my  misgivings, I took the plunge. I had to. I owed it to myself and my son to try to find some meaning in his suffering from severe OCD. The results have gone way beyond my wildest dreams and in retrospect, my concerns about my “credentials” almost seem ludicrous. Being an expert is not what it’s about. My main goal, from the very beginning, has been to share our story so that others will find hope, and to spread the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable.

She goes on to describe doubt being the cornerstone of OCD, and this describes much of my experience. Choosing to get treatment was very difficult for me because making any choice was enveloped in a cloud of doubts and compulsive researching. Calling for an appointment with an ERP therapist in 2006 took months of rehearsing what to say, and wondering if I was making a mistake, and of course, making phone calls is one of my most dreaded things anyway.

I do not regret making the decision to call, and the decision to persevere in treatment. Writing this blog was an exposure for me as well, and like Janet, I had doubts. Having OCD didn't make me feel "qualified" to write a blog, because I believed I had to write perfectly and with absolute certainty. Every post I published was a victory for my life over my OCD. Readers found me, and it was a relief to not be alone, and satisfying to be of help by sharing my story.

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