The importance of seeking help
This is for sure the most personal story I have ever written and published on the internet. As an aspiring writer, photographer and a human being I try to capture people in the happiest and darkest moment of life. It is so important to me to connect with people, and to capture the raw and human aspect of living. We all go though situations in life that makes us feel alone. But the truth is, no matter how difficult the situation is, or how alone you feel, there is always another person that feels the exact same as you. I think it's so important that we are able to share who we are as individuales, and hopefully one person might see some of themselves in you. Maybe you are able to help one person by speaking out about the problems you are facing.
I want to tell you about how situations in your life might have permanent effects. For me it was resolved by the help of family and years of therapy. It has taken me three years to be able to share this personal story with you, but I know someone will benefit from this, and I feel like I have a duty to share this part of me. You are not alone, and I hope you realize that.
As with most stories, it might not be fully yours to share. My story involves people who would not like me to write about them. Therefore, I will only include what I need to tell the story.
Over the 18 years I have had on this planet, my life has been filled with moments of extraordinary happiness where a smile covers 2/3 of my face, but there has also been moments where I am laying in bed and tears slide down my face like silver. All are moments I want to share, to be real and to be human.
This is a part of me, few people have knowledge about.
My life has been quite magnificent, I have the most wonderful family where everybody loves to help each other. Majority of my memories is of my family playing games in our garden, laying on a beach during summer, watching movies and drinking coco when the snow is covering the streets. You could say I was your average crazy kid.
Once in 2007, this all changed. A member of my family was starting to act abnormal, making my family’s previous harmony look like heaven. One night I did not have a care in the world, and the next I was scared and holding my sisters hand as we fell asleep in our warm beds. Within a three years, my days were filled with chaos and fear for what was going to happen next and calls to my grandparents asking for them to pick my sister and I up.
Do not get me wrong, I was in no physical danger, and we were still the loving family we had always been. With that said, as a result of all the trauma and chaos constantly around me, I started being very articulate about where everything in my room was laying. It was like there could have been a military inspection in my room any minute. If anyone were to even touch my cloths I would throw everything out, and fold them back in. Everything had its place.
Maybe you guessed it, but I was slowly developing OCD.
Most of you know probably know what OCD is, but for those who don’t it stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD is a mental illness and anxiety disorder that makes you have unwanted thoughts about the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines and you do this whether you want to or not.
People could not sit on my bed because the sheets would get wrinkled, and I had to put on my clothing in a certain way in order to feel “complete” and not stressed. As the little kid I was, I did not understand what was going on. For all I knew that was the normal way to behave. After my issues had gotten worse, my parents and the people around me noticed that I was always stressed when they came into my room. Therefore my mom decided to sit me down and she told me what she thought was going on with me. I ran into my room and cried for maybe an hour or so. After that, I went out and gave her a hug. Thank you for knowing me so well, I told her while I had a complete breakdown. We then decided to put me into therapy.
I started going to therapy in the hopes of curing me of this mental illness before it was too late, and luckily we did. When I went to the psychologist, we talked about possible reasons to why this was occurring, what was going on inside my head while I was practicing the rituals and what I could do to not “feed” the illness.
We came up with these answers: I started getting OCD as a way too keep my little room stress free, clean and organized in contrast to how the everything else in my life was. For once, I was able to be in control of something. As for what was going on inside my head, I still have no answer for that. But when I think back, I believe it was a voice inside my head telling me to do the movements in a distinct order. If I deared to do otherwise, I would not get the life I wanted and people would not like me. OCD is the kind of mental disorder that is so hard to “starve”. There are constantly some aspects of it on your mind, and there is always something you can do better, organize, re-organize etc.
After months of therapy, I was getting better, majority of the rituals were gone. With that said, as with any mental disorder, there will always be traits and refleces with you.
Throughout the next few years, I would also be struggling with depression. I would not do myself any harm, that was never ever been an option for me. Talking about my problems and my life in general has always been my coping mechanism. No matter what I am facing, there is little I find hard to talk about, which makes it weird that it took me about three years to write this.
As stated in the beginning, I am not able to go too in depth about everything as it involves people I need consent from to share. It is truly a personal story, and for most of us it takes years to be able to share something personal. One of the main lessons I would like you to sit with after you have read this, is the importance of seeking help. Whether it is for OCD, depression or any other aspect of your life.
To move forward, you have to come to terms with your struggles.
Love, Nora Marie