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Be yourself

Be yourself, Testimonials

Scott’s story so far…

I think back to when I was a pre teen and there was so much happening, not only physically but also mentally… That’s when I first recall OCD happening to me–I was around 12 years old and I began to count and touch doors, handles, count my steps, turn off the TV at the “right time”. I had no idea what was happening, it all seemed innocent to me back then, just a little quirk I had. I just wanted to get that “right feeling”, no big deal.

As I got older, into my later teen years, I will never forget this feeling… ever: I woke up one sunny morning and it was like I was hit by a bus (Which I actually was years later, lol!!). I had this feeling of anxiety/sweating/tightness in my whole body… All from one single thought: Am I homosexual because I did that “thing”?! Prior to this thought I had never been attracted to the same sex, ever. It was just a thought in my head, that’s all. But for some reason it would not leave me. It hung around for months on end, every waking minute it was there. I would try and resolve it by looking at men out in public to “check” if I was attracted to the same sex but that just made matters worse. I would sit and look at magazines with pictures of men to see if I was attracted to them. It was all so confusing and scary and stressful. Before this thought my life was going along fine. How could a single thought turn my life upside down for months?!

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Be yourself, Testimonials

How I Finally Recovered From OCD

I had watched Mark’s videos over and over again, especially my favorite one, “How to Deal With Intrusive Thoughts“. The end of the video was always my favorite part, it seemed to sum up what you need to do for OCD recovery (and really, recovery from any anxiety disorder) really well: Accept all the stuff in your head while DOING the things you really care about. When you focus on the things you actually care about, all the worries and uncertainties your brain was giving you (because it was trying to help you by thinking you should solve them) eventually dissipate.

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Be yourself

You are not your farts or your mental illness symptoms.

I got this question over on the EHAB Tumblr:

Can I ask why it’s not good to define yourself based on your mental illness? I mean I understand that I am complex and interesting beyond my depression, but sometimes I feel like people who say things like that are trying to get me to stop talking about it/get over it. Can you explain what you think the goal of “you are not your illness” mantras are?

The simple answer is: because you are not your farts. Building your identity around mental illness symptoms is no different that building your identity around farting.

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Be yourself

There are no OCD sub types or themes. Only OCD (and llamas).

It’s very popular in OCD patient communities, and in mental health communities in general, to get stuck on labeling superficial symptoms. But it becomes just another way to practice the judging and categorizing and discriminating that can fuel so many compulsions. A more effective approach to support recovery from OCD is to understand (and eliminate) the compulsive patterns of thinking and behaving beneath any symptom.

This might be easier to understand by looking at the sub type of OCD that is, without a doubt, the most horrific to deal with: LOCD. LOCD is the subtype of OCD that includes all of the compulsions related to the fear that you’re a llama. Common compulsions include:

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Be yourself

Want to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions? Build the boat first.

If you’re starting off the new year with plans to make changes that will support recovery from mental illness, be honest about where you are and the skills you’ll need to learn to get to where you want to be. Our goals are often the results of the skills we need to learn, so be sure to make space and spend time and energy on learning those skills.

If your destination is on the other side of a lake, you need to learn how to swim or build a boat if you want to get there!

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Be yourself

Recovery is Heroic

Recovery is heroic. And I don’t mean that just because recovery is a journey best taken in spandex tights and knee-high boots. That’s obviously true, of course. But it’s also heroic in that it literally follows the different stages of an archetypal heroic story. A journey of recovery encompasses all of the qualities that make a story “heroic”.

First of all, for a story to be heroic, you need a person (or a robot, or a dog, or a fish, or something else) who can be heroic. That’s you. You CAN be heroic. But at first, you won’t be heroic. That’s so typical of you heroic people.

At first, a key characteristic of the heroic archetype is that you be in a difficult, weak, seemingly powerless situation. You might be stranded naked on an island far from home (Ulysses), or you might be from the poorest area of a country under authoritarian control (Katniss), or you might be a lonely kid that everybody shuns because of something totally outside of his control (Naruto), or you might be somebody struggling with mental health issues (you).

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Be yourself

Accepting Errors: Giving a presentation at work.

This post looks at how you can practice Acceptance after making an error while doing a presentation at work. This is an experience that many people often go to intense, life-limiting lengths to avoid:

Step 1: I’m giving a presentation at work and I make an error during the presentation. I say an incorrect number when talking about some projections. All sorts of thoughts pop into my head about being a bad employee, a terrible presenter, that everyone else must think I’m stupid, etc. I recognize that those thoughts are a natural result of making an error, just like a runny nose is a natural result of going out in the cold. But I am not my runny nose. It’s just something that happens.

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