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Last week…

So last week was Fred and I’s anniversary… On September 4, 2012 he started talking to me…

For my few friends who read this you may or may not be surprised at the fact that I let Fred see me again a few days before our anniversary and the day after (I know so stupid!! you don’t have to yell at me! I’m yelling at myself!).

There is no explanation of why I allowed him to see me. I knew one thing would lead to another as always… I mean that is the only reason that he came to see me. But my indescribable draw towards him allowed him back in… just for two nights…

While the time I have with him is always so happy, the moment he leaves me I’m left with less of myself than before… so incredibly sad and broken.

But this ‘boy’ has taken up a year of my life… I won’t let him have anymore of it. I refuse. I’m done. The tiny bit of happiness he gives me isn’t worth the pain that he also gives me. I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of not being whole.

I’m stronger now than I use to be and I won’t let him back in. The master manipulator is gone forever from my life.

It is wrong that someone like him can have such power over my life. He held my heart in his hands and he did not treat it as precious… in fact he destroyed it.

But hearts, they are supposed to resilient, aren’t they? I won’t let him have power over me any more. I will take the remains of my heart back and what will come out of it will be more beautiful than it was before.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Struggles

So something I’ve been struggling with here in my city is a lack of friends. I just haven’t met with many people that I connect with.

God has answered so many of my prayers, but for some reason I have had a hard time believing that he could help me with this one. Isn’t this something I need to fix myself? I’ve been the one kind of standoff ish… I’m the one who doesn’t like to be in large groups and its hard to find people who prefer one on one time (which is what I love). I need to fix myself.

Yesterday my “social activity” for the week was supposed to meet with my bible study group to watch a movie in the park. I was actually really excited about going, but as the day wore on I was getting really tired and not really in the mood to go out. But still I was going to make myself go. But then when I looked it up it involved much public transit and a very long commute. Normally this wouldn’t stop me from going, but the day before I was stuck on public transit for 1.5 hours due to traffic and was a bit frustrated with it.. and I didn’t want to travel all the way back late at night by myself. I feel safe with where I live, but its A HUGE city and I’m not going to jinks myself. So I didn’t end up going. Which I felt bad about.

But I did decide to take my puppy on a nice long walk. I really wanted to go to a place I hadn’t gone to since before winter. I hadn’t gone sooner, because its a long walk and with my ankle… traveling that far on foot on a path that doesn’t have car access so I can’t call a taxi if I get stuck has scared me. But I finally got the courage to do it.

I had decided though since I was skipping out on a bible study thing that I would have my own bible study and time with God when I got out there. Unfortunately by the time I hobbled out there it was already getting dark so I didn’t get to spend too much time there, but the time that I did spend in God’s Word and my devotional was extremely uplifting. Once again I found God speaking to me through my daily devotional.

I want you to experience the riches of your salvation: the Joy of being loved constantly and perfectly. You make a practice of judging yourself, based on how you look or behave or feel. If you like what you see in the mirror, you feel a bit more worthy of My Love. When things are going smoothly and your performance seems adequate, you find it easier to believe you are My beloved child. When you feel discouraged, you tend to look inward so you can correct whatever is wrong.

Instead of trying to ‘fix’ yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love.

Ephesians 2:7-8; Psalm 34: 5; Hebrews 3:1

Is this not what I’m struggling with? The idea that I need to fix myself? I mean there is no doubt I have much to work on… my lack of confidence, my fear of being unwanted, my fear of being forgotten, my fear of never fitting in. But I can’t ‘fix’ these things on my own. I shouldn’t be focusing on fixing these things… but I should “fix” my gaze upon God. He has answered SOOOOO MANY  of my prayers lately. He has helped me overcome my OCD, He is the reason I made it through this academic year, He is the reason I got such an amazing job that I absolutely love, He is the one who has given me courage to stand up for me when no one else will. Why would I ever doubt that He wouldn’t answer my prayer of helping me find a place that I belong in this city? Nothing happens over night… things take time… and until then… I will always have my amazing puppy at my side and of course the Lover of my Soul, Jesus, at my side.

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UPDATE

So I just pulled my devotional out for today… and man oh man… wow…

 

Keep Walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance light- footed on the high peaks; but for now your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction. Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling suppress just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is truly the path of Life.

Is that not what I was just talking about in terms of things taking time and the pathway being difficult??? ❤

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Free Time

So now that I’m a real person (you know someone with a real paying job… even if it isn’t that much money lol)… I find that beyond 9 to 5pm Monday through Friday… I have absolutely NOTHING to do… I’m not sure what to do with myself…

I love reading and watching movies… but I find that they don’t have the same allure as they did when I was procrastinating.. when I was in school reading or watching a movie was like a tiny rebellion in me… “No! I refuse to do school work!! So I’m gonna sit on the couch and watch this movie/read this book… and feel guilty but also rebellious about my life!!!! I’m my own person! I can choose not to do school work!” ….but now that that isn’t a part of me… yea I still want to read/watch movies… but it seems to have lost a tiny bit of its spark… is that weird? lol

And when it comes to video games… man I could never feel ok about doing that in academia… I felt like an absolutely horrible person for even thinking about playing a video game… because one can get so engrossed in the story line/ need to beat the bad guy in Donkey Kong that you forget what time it is and what you are supposed to be doing… and a WHOLE DAY goes by when you realize you’ve done no school work… I know I can play now… but a part of me still feels really really guilty doing so… and it actually isn’t a rebellious feeling… but a “I’m wasting my life feeling” that I forced myself to have so that I wouldn’t play during the school year… and I can’t get that feeling to go away! Its so annoying!!

So at the end of the day… I don’t want to read/watch movies/ play video games… so what does that leave me open for? Having friends…

I have a serious lack of friends in Chicago… I don’t lack friends in the emotional sense at all… in fact I’m pretty sure I have too many lol… but geographically the only friend I have is my roommate and a girl from bible study who I will call Marisa.

As I think I mentioned elsewhere… I blame most of this on Fred… he kept me away from having friends, and I always had to be free for him if he all of a sudden decided he had time for me in his life… Once I finally got rid of Fred, I was finally able to make closer friends with the individuals in my cohort… but now that it is summer they are all off doing their fieldwork or visiting family/friends… so they’ve basically left me a lone in Chicago… and then I made fantastic friends with the Ex… but of course talking is at a bare minimum with him right now.

I was hoping now that I had more time I would be able to get more fully involved with bible study… but guess what? yes they seem to have decided to go on a summer break… 😦

But the moment I think “Whoa is me I lack friends…” I have a friend from the past remind me how awesome they are and what a great relationship we have. For example over the past two weeks I have had friends from WAY out of town come visit. One of those friends was the friend I call Courtney (who I’ve mentioned in a past post) who was my undergraduate roommate and the other was a fantastic friend (who we will call Rose)  that I met during the worst summer of my life (yea… the OCD going severe summer 2011).

I can’t express to you how much I needed to see my Courtney. She has been going through such a tough time and it has been weighing heavily on my heart. She is just as how I remembered her. There is no one in this world who could ever come close to the amazingness that is Courtney. She is such a strong woman and still yet her vivacious, bubbly, optimistic self. She stayed with me for several days and it was so easy to fall back into our usual talking routine… which is basically talking nonstop lol.

And then Rose came to visit, for a very brief day… but I was so happy to see her. I wouldn’t have survived that summer in Mexico if it wasn’t for her. She is the one who listened to all my freaking-outs and gave me all the reassurance that I needed (although I KNOW I annoyed the crap out of her… I can never mention batteries or cement to her again… two things I was deathly afraid of hahahahahha). Since she was a part of my academic life… it did make me rethink my life choice that I made… but yet it also oddly reaffirmed my decision… Rose is a very down to earth, tells it like it is, normal person, so it was great to know that I could still hang out with her and have fun beyond all my obsessive worries that took over summer 2011.

But still… here I am… geographically alone… with no one to hang out with.

Yesterday after writing my last post though I made a decision. I was going to once again put God at the center of my life, for He is the one I should be relying on to help me through this geographically friendless time. I also realized that my relationship with him seems to have slipped from where it was at. At the climax of the whole Fred thing, I was closer to God than I have ever been. He answered my prayers by sending the Ex and Marissa into my life. I got comfortable though… because I wasn’t having a major crisis in my life anymore… I stopped focusing on that relationship… things didn’t exactly fall apart because of that… but they didn’t go as amazingly as I know they could have gone (except the whole getting a job so quickly) if I had continued to focus on God.

So I made this decision yesterday… and guess what… a prayer has already been answered… guess whose small bible group decided to no longer take a summer break? I know! I’m super excited and its obviously an answered prayer.

But with all this free time… I need to focus on not becoming comfortable and continue striving in my relationship with God. Because if I have learned anything about relationships from the past year its that one person (in this case God) can’t pursue the other individual… they have to pursue each other… my role isn’t idle but very much active.

So I am hopping once I get my relationship with God back on track He will provide me with other avenues to make more relationships (of the friend variety for now… I need a break from guys lol).

Well at least I have a game plan for this Free Time… and I can only see good things coming from it if I keep at it! 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I miss you…

I miss you so much… but I’m so incredibly glad you were in my life for the short time that you were. The happiness you brought me allows me to be thankful and smile through my wounded heart.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Real Tragedy

Real tragedy has struck one of my closes friends. It is impossible to express the magnitude of the situation… My friend who we will call Courtney was my roommate for two years in undergrad, so she is basically a sister to me.

On February 16th, Courtney married the love of her life. I was originally going to go to the wedding, but due to the drama in my life making me get extremely behind in school and just being worn out in general, I had to decline the invitation. I was really sad about this because I had yet to meet the man who had stolen my Courtney’s heart.

Courtney is an absolutely amazing individual. She is one of the biggest social butterflies you will ever meet and brings a smile to everyone’s face the moment she steps into a room. She is kind, fun, hilarious, courageous, dramatic, and beautiful. She is the girl all the guys always wanted and all the girls wanted to be, so as you can imagine I was extremely interested in finding out about how amazing the man who won her was because he had to be something wonderful.

But anyway her wedding was (as I was told from her, my other friends who went, and all the pictures I saw on Facebook) absolutely perfect. She had got the Happily ever after that she deserved and was made to get.

Over the weekend… her husband of three weeks unexpectedly died. No warnings, no pre-existing conditions. He was only in his early 30s and died of heart failure. He was at work, he collapsed, and he died. Completely suddenly.

Courtney was at home packing because they were getting ready to start their new life together in a different state. They were both in the process of leaving their jobs and finding new ones that were closer to her family’s home.

There are just no words for the pain and sorrow she must be going through. I wish I was with her… but I am over a thousand miles away…

It just really puts into perspective that you never know when it will be your time to go and when the last chance you will have to say “I love you” to your loved ones. At least Courtney got to ensure that her husband’s last weeks on earth were filled with extreme love and passion.

My heart is so heavy right now… I’m still in such shock… She was supposed to have her happily ever after… not this.

Even though you don’t know her… or me really… I ask for as many positive thoughts and prayers for Courtney and their family.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I’m Done Waiting…

I’ve never been a particularly patient person… I know patience is a virtue and all… but you can’t live your life perpetually waiting…

Yes, some things take time to figure out. But in all the situations I am currently waiting in… way more than enough time has been allotted.

Waiting is just equivalent to fear.

“But I’m waiting for the right time.”
– If two years have gone by and you are still waiting for the “right time”… I’m pretty sure it has come and gone.

I know what I want. So why am I waiting? Is it just because I am terrified of failure? Terrified that I am ruining things because I will eventually be happy but just not right now?

There are moments when I am happy yes, but overall I’ve been miserable. I think my happiness is more important. I should chase after that which makes me happy.

I hate academia. So why am I still sitting here reading these articles for class and writing papers? Because I am waiting for things to get better… but waiting around isn’t going to make things better… I have TO DO something.

Eventually you can inhale so much oxygen you can’t take anymore. In fact it physically hurts to inhale anymore.

I can’t take anymore on this situation or others. My mind/heart/soul is worn out. I have to exhale.

I know what I want. I want to make a difference in the world. I know I am never going to make a difference politically or economically… my brain can’t wrap around those things…they are not my spiritual gifts, so I know my difference is going to be small… but if I can just get food on the table for someone who can’t do it for themselves… that is good enough for me. I don’t have to move to Africa or join the peace corps to do that… I can do that right in this very city in which I live.

Waiting is useless. Waiting is disappointing. Because NOTHING happens. You have to take action… follow your heart… do what you believe God is calling you to do.

So back to patience:

Yes, “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Proverbs 25: 15).

But, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

In order to love myself, in order to find joy and peace, to be kind and good, to be faithful to who I am, I must realize that my self control and forbearance is detrimental to me and all those involved.

I’m controlling myself too much so that I don’t do something that I think I will later regret. My forbearance is because of fear. Fear is not from God. Fear is in fact from the devil. God is love.

Yes, patience and self control are good, but not in the context of fear.

I’ve lived with OCD since I was 8 years old and I am now 23! I know what fear is. Fear and I have never been separated for long. But I am SO tired of fear. I can’t allow fear to control my life anymore… I want love. I want to love myself, others, and what I do.

My “so called patience” is completely fear drawn. Fear that I am going to ruin something. But if I can take down that fear… I can stop waiting and decide.

Anything that is driven by fear… is in no way from God. God is complete and total love.

Yes sometimes love hurts.

God loves us soooo much that He has given us free will. And what do we do with that free will? Screw up over and over and over again… It has to hurt Him so much to see us suffer… but He loves us… so He lets us make our own decisions.

So yes, I may hurt myself by dropping out of academia. But it is done completely and utterly out of love.

Love cannot exist with fear. I am tired of living in fear that I will die not contributing to society in anyway, fear that I will die alone, fear that I am screwing up the path that I am supposed to be on. But if this was the path I was supposed to be on… fear would not be a part of it. Because God is love and God creates the path He wants me to be on.

It is such an oxymoron for an OCD individual to say they will no longer live in fear. But I can’t do this anymore. It hurts too much. I have to exhale.

I am exhaling to release the fear, so that I can once again inhale only love.

Yes I know, especially with my OCD, fear will come back… but I will just keep exhaling it out. I only want to inhale love.

That is my greatest desire in life. Love. To love and be loved in return. But the only love I truly need is God’s. But I will do my hardest to love EVERYONE even if it hurts them… because in the long wrong it is what is best for them.

I’m tired of waiting. I will no longer wait in fear.

I know what I want, so I am going to go for it. I’m going to leap off a metaphorical cliff and sure hope that I will fly. But even if I end up crashing into the water below… God will pick me up again.. because He is always there to pick us up… He will put me on the cliff once more and nudge me in a different direction to jump or a new technology that will help my fly lol. He will always be there to pick me up. I can’t fail my life. As long as I believe in God, He will be there.

I feel like I’ve been ignoring His will for WAY to long. I just keep asking for “signs” and not getting them or getting conflicting ones or think I am getting them but not sure… but really the only sign I need is to know that He is love and He wants me to be happy.

So I’m tired of waiting in fear. I’m taking God’s hand this week and jumping off that cliff. I’ll let y’all know next week of whether I am flying or falling to the ground. But action is going to take place this week.

It hurts too much to not exhale.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Not Alone

If you had told me this time last year that I would be in a PhD program with a great advisor, in a new fantastic city thousands a miles away from my parents, in great relationships with my family and friends, and living almost every day relatively anxiety free… I wouldn’t have believed you.

I wouldn’t have laughed. I wouldn’t have shook my head. I would just have completely disregarded you and gone back into my world of misery, fear, pain, loneliness, distrust, and lovelessness.

At this point last year… I was just diagnosed with severe OCD. My therapist who I had been seeing for about a month had explained it to me. Told me that I wasn’t evil. Told me that I wasn’t a bad person. And told me that these thoughts were not me, but OCD. And that through therapy, CBT, ERP, and medication that I would find my life again.

But how could I find my life again, when I realized I had actually been living this way since I was 8 years old (at least)? Who was I? How did we not know that I really wasn’t a monster who could hide behind the label of OCD?

It was like a Chinese Finger trap (this is actually a common way to describe OCD). I was trapped and the more and more I tried to pull away from the OCD and the horrible thoughts and compulsions the more I was stuck. The more I couldn’t move. The more I was captured and imprisoned in my own mind.

My thoughts were even if this was OCD… even if I wasn’t evil… who would allow these fears to manifest themselves in their brain? How did these thoughts ever even get there? Obviously I was a horrible individual. I didn’t deserve to live. I didn’t trust myself.

I felt that it was my duty to protect the world. It was a core belief. I should have moved that stick off the sidewalk. What if someone trips over it and hurts themselves? What if they trip over it and run into a wall and knock themselves unconscious? It would be all my fault they were hurt. I should have moved the stick. I should have warn that other person that there was litter on the ground. What if their shoe touched it? And then they tied their shoe? And then got whatever was on the litter on their hand and then got sick from it? It was all my fault they were sick. It was all my fault they were inconvenienced.

My life was inconveniencing everyone. I didn’t deserve to live. I never acted on any of my suicidal thoughts… but they were there. It was only my faith in God that he would pull me through this that kept me alive. But still even the OCD tried to take that faith away from me.

I didn’t deserve to be God’s child. Not that anyone did (it was only through God’s grace and sending his Son to take our place in death that we are given forgiveness)… but me in particular. I deserved to go to hell. I wasn’t worthy of God’s forgiveness and love. Even if he could possibly forgive me… wouldn’t I be taking away some of His time in which He could be worrying about His other children? Time in which He could be doing amazing things in their lives? – These were thoughts the OCD plagued me with. I should have never been created. I should have just been completely wiped out from existence.

I honestly don’t know how I got out of bed everyday. I had started taking medication at this point… it takes Prozac 8 weeks to kick in… but everyday was full of elaborate rituals (I probably spent 4-8 hours doing compulsions… whether it be showering, washing my hands, cleaning, or calling my parents for the nth time to ask for reassurance). I was terrified of all bathrooms, including my own. I shared it with my roommate. What if I accidentally didn’t clean something up and left the bathroom contaminated and my roommate got sick? What if I didn’t wash my hands enough… so someone got some germ that I somehow was carrying? Bathrooms, showers, and sinks were the scariest places in the world. Yes they were the place you went to go get clean… but you were dirty first.

I was even terrified of going to the kitchen b/c I was terrified of accidentally contaminating my roommate’s food! At this point I had stopped eating regularly. I could eventually convince myself to eat at home some days… but not without a ton of reassurance from my parents and roommate. But I could not eat anything out in public. What if someone was allergic to something I was eating and I get it somewhere and they touched it? They would then have an allergic reaction and be inconvenienced. Even though I am 99% better today.. I still can’t go anywhere near peanut butter… People who are allergic to peanut butter can die from it. I don’t want to be the cause of accidentally getting peanut butter somewhere and someone dying from it.

I usually went straight to school for my classes and went straight back home afterwards. The whole entire time I would be freaking out about something. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate in class. But I had to go to class… otherwise I might fail… and failure was just as bad as contamination in my OCD world. Maybe that is why I never ended up acting on any of my suicidal thoughts… I was too terrified of failing life. I thought perhaps I could still somehow redeem myself. Even though my parents tried to drag me home several times so that they could take care of me, I refused to let them… I couldn’t fail school… it is what I had dedicated my whole life too.

I lost friends that semester. Only one friend knew I had OCD at this point and it was because she had told me the year before she had OCD and I was able to tell her. Even though I had told my one friend with OCD about my OCD…she had the same issues I had if not worse. I had someone to turn too… to be with… but since we were struggling with the same things… were were still both just as alone… but to everyone else … I was just a ghost of the girl they use to know. My professors looked at me in disappointment. They didn’t even try to get me to answer questions anymore in class. My friends… they tried to talk to me… but I couldn’t let them in. I was scared of what they would think. Long distance friends called me… but I refused to answer… eventually they got tired of their calls going to voice mail and stopped trying. The only things my friends at school noticed about me was my angry red and chapped hands that were often bleeding from all the washing I was doing.

It was the first week of October though that things started to turn around for me. One of my very best friends in my program who was basically like my big brother… forced me to talk to him. He saw me fading away… and his brotherly love could no longer take it anymore. He took me out to dinner… sat me down… and tried to get me to tell him what was wrong. He kept asking probing questions and I kept trying to avoid answering them.

Eventually though my defense walls fell down. The next thing I knew I was telling him everything. Everything that was wrong with me… How I knew there was something wrong with my since I was 8… how I was terrified of living… how I was terrified of dying… how I was terrified of not protecting the world good enough… how I was terrified that I could no longer continue on.

I had been in therapy for a month at this point… but there was absolutely nothing more therapeutic than talking to my friend. It was like a weight was taken off my shoulders. He sat and listened. He took in everything that I said. He actually understood… he struggled with his own mental conditions… he could relate.

I was no longer alone.

That was the key. This friend… he could relate in all the right ways but also was at a distance that he wasn’t alone in the same way I was.

He showed me friendship, trust, and love. He pushed me forward.

After I told him… I then felt better about talking to my other really close friends about it. The more people I let into my secret.. the more of me I was becoming again. Suddenly the ghost of the girl that I was was coming back into visibility. I wasn’t in color yet… but I think I went from ghostly to black and white.

I was able to create an amazing support system around me. My friends who were long distance called me and checked on me, after I talked to them about my OCD. They were constantly there supporting me. And my close friends at school were there to calm me down in the mist of a panic attack… telling me it was ok. That I would be ok. That they were there for me. That they loved me. It would all be ok… I wasn’t alone… I had them…

That is how I was finally able to begin shutting the OCD out. By not being alone. I know prior to this I wasn’t alone. I had God. I had my family. But sometimes you need the closeness of your very best friends.. to help you realize the love that God has for you and your family.

It was through them that I was actually able to turn back to God. Even though none of them were particularly Christians. I was able to conceptualize love, trust, and companionship because of the way that I felt it on Earth. That is how I was finally able to turn back to God to start being protected again by Him and allowing Him to love me.

My brain was my prison… so I had to escape. And it was my friends who helped me do it. I probably could have eventually dug myself out of my prison alone… but the more people you have to help you to dig… the easier and quicker it is.

Thinking back to these dark days… I never ever could imagine being where I am today. Getting great new experiences, experiencing love, becoming closer to my family, friends, and most importantly God.

That is why I started this blog… so that others wouldn’t feel alone. You are not alone… no matter what you are going through… I am here. God is here. Your friends are here.

OCD is not your friend. It is just a stupid chemical imbalance that makes your brain get stuck on repeat of your worst fears (it is very closely related to Tourette’s syndrome… but instead of stuck on physical actions you are stuck on thoughts). Those compulsions you do to make you feel better? They may make you feel better for a few seconds… but in the end they are extremely detrimental to you… they just reaffirm the thoughts… which are not you. They are your worst fears. But they are not you. You can escape them.

You are a beautiful person. Created by a God who loves you. You are not alone. He is here. I am here. You are not alone.

If I can go from practically bed ridden to thriving in a relatively OCD free world in a year… so can you. Do not let your OCD and fears win. You will win. You just have to keep going and know you are not alone. In the end Love always wins… you are love, your friends are love, your family is love, and God is love. Don’t ever underestimate the people that are in your life… God put them there for a reason… and that reason was to draw you closer to Him.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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