I Recovered from OCD & Addiction

I was diagnosed with OCD aged 41. I knew I wasn’t well but had no idea it was OCD as I wasn’t concerned about tidiness, orderliness or colour coordination. In retrospect, I could see that this illness had been with me since my teens. I felt increasingly trapped by my thoughts, and the compulsions I carried out to try and ease them. I was scared and embarrassed by my irrational behaviour, often hiding my compulsions.

I spent my waking hours on red-alert, risk assessing every situation for any perceived danger. The noise in my head was deafening. I spiralled into addiction as I sought ways to quieten my mind. I struggled to leave the house or work. In 2012 I found myself in rehab to treat my addiction. I was desperate enough to tell the psychiatrist about the thoughts that were making my life unbearable. His response changed my life… “Nick, you are ill, there are others like you, and you can recover.” The diagnosis changed my life… I still couldn’t believe other people felt and acted like me, but this gave me a shard of hope that I clung to, and this became the foundation of my recovery.

Recovery was scary in as much as change is scary. I may have been living in a self-imposed hell, but I knew my way around. The unknown, and challenging my dark thoughts, terrified me. I was determined to fight both my addiction and OCD. I got sober and began cognitive behavioural therapy. Challenging my thoughts often reduced me to tears, but my therapist showed me that change was possible.

My hope turned into faith – I started to trust my therapist. Most importantly, I started to take action. Cognitively, I got an understanding of the mechanics of OCD, but I had to start DOING things DIFFERENTLY before my life started to change. And that was scary. It was hard work. But it was so worth it. My anxiety levels came down and life became bearable, even enjoyable! My therapist pointed me in the direction of a nearby support group. I built up the courage to attend, and the final penny dropped… here were the other people like me. I no longer felt alone, and I used these peers, many of whom became friends, to help in my recovery. Peer support, along with the tools I was given in CBT, still, help me on a daily basis. I have now been sober for over 7 years, and in recovery from OCD for most of that time.

By Nick

How can No Panic help?
No Panic specialises in self-help recovery and our services include:
Providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery.
Our aim is to give you all of the necessary advice, tools and support that you will need to recover and carry out this journey. No Panic Recovery Programs