Hey y'all. By donating to this page, you will be donating to the International OCD Foundation and it's affiliates, to help create and support programs that help those of us with OCD as well as our loved ones.
My goal is to raise just $100 by the end of the week. On Saturday, there is an event taking place in several locations across the country to raise money and awareness for OCD, called 1 Million Steps for OCD Walk. If you want more information about the event and the fundraiser, there's a link on this page.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
This fundraiser means the world to me.
I have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder my entire life, but I wasn't properly diagnosed until I was 19. When I say I have been looking for answers since I was in elementary school, I mean it. I spent so long feeling crazy and untreatable. When I discovered it was OCD (I diagnosed it myself), I had to literally fight with my psychiatrist to get her to understand my issue. When she finally relented her own biases and took time to absorb what I was telling her, she decided she agreed with my diagnosis.
Why the name Team Tony? When I first began treatment, though I'd had many of the same compulsions for a long, long time, a new compulsion arose: something I call my "food OCD." I was in a place where I literally ate the same thing every day. I could only eat a Tony's frozen pizza and maybe some grapes to go with it. That was my meal, every meal, for a couple of months. When my local grocery stopped carrying it I drove all the way to the Target down to road to get it. It was a compulsion, and I couldn't get past it for a long time. It's such a weird compulsion, and it's one I feel now I can look back at and laugh. Laughing about things feels so healing to me. So that's my team name: Team Tony. A tribute to my past self.
I am incredibly blessed to have an excellent, fully qualified therapist in my area, as well as a campus of Rogers Memorial Behavioral Health that has just opened in my area the year before. I also have parents who could pay for my treatment and the ability to put my entire life on hold while I saught treatment for this sickness within me. For my treatment, things fell into place and I was able to do what I needed to do and I have gained so much freedom from my illness. But not everyone has that oppurtunity and that absolutely breaks my heart.
According to the World Health Organization, OCD is in the top ten most disabling illnesses, physical and mental. It's that powerful. The first-hand knowledge I have of the insanity of severe OCD is my motivation. I want to do everything in my power to change the landscape of mental health in our world, especially when it comes to treating and diagnosing OCD. My heart lies with every individual suffering in silence from an illness they can't control. I want to bring them hope, love and support.
The IOCDF has been a lifeline for me and my family. It helped us understand the disorder, as well as connect my mom to support groups for parents of children with OCD and helped us find proper treatment for my condition. Their annual OCD conference taught me things that literally saved my life.
Even if it's just a dollar, please, please donate. If you can't spare change, spare a little kindness and understanding. Hold space for the people around you who are suffering from an illness like this.
If you are a mental health professional, I urge you to check out the IOCDF's website and educate yourself on this disorder. It is a lot more common that you might think, and a diagnosis can be absolutely life-changing. I encourage you to point your clients to the IOCDF website, as well as seeking an online or in person support group for OCD.
Lastly, for anyone reading this who may be suffering: OCD does not mean you're crazy. It does not mean you're life is over. It does not mean you can't _______ (work, get married, have your dream career, become a parent... fill in the blank). With proper treatment you can and will heal from this and learn to cope with your symptoms in the future. It is possible and it is doable.
Thank you for taking time to hear my story. Bless you.