So I thought I’d just start by writing a short summary of where I have been in life to help set up a framework of the life that I live in order to give my posts a bit of context.
From elementary school until early high school I was bullied a lot. It was really hard then, but I think it made me stronger. Most of the time, people’s words don’t really affect me anymore because I have learned to tune out the things I do not want to hear.
I was a swimmer from 4th grade until ninth grade. I love swimming–as evidenced by the fact that you would be hard pressed to find much writing or art assignments from middle school that didn’t relate to swimming–but it got to be too time-consuming and too expensive. I taught swim lessons from middle school until the end of high school. I loved doing that (and was actually really good at it), but it was time to get a big-girl job. I never officially quit, but I stopped showing up to inservices and stopped filling out intent to work forms and stopped accepting sub jobs.
On August 10th, 2008 my family abruptly changed churches. That was something that really upset me. All my goals, all my expectations, and everything that I knew was taken away, and I entered into a new arena trying to be forced into a clique-y group of girls who didn’t need me and I didn’t really want them anyway. This was made more difficult by the fact that everything I could be defined by was being taken away. I wasn’t doing that great in school like I usually did, and I had recently quit swimming. I did meet someone at the new church who has become my best friend.
That winter I realized that I was hurting myself and needed to stop. On April 10, 2009, I hurt myself for the last time. This summer I lost count of how many days of freedom I have experienced, but I do still celebrate the years of freedom! Although I was free of the behavior rather quickly, I have still not completely shed the inner struggle of temptation. Over my high school years that caused a few people to really want me to tell my parents about things and to consider counseling, but I was not really into that.
Early my senior year of high school I realized that I had started restricting my eating and moving towards anorexia nervosa. I caught it soon enough that I don’t think I was ever in danger, but it was a little scary so I called my best friend (LOT SCARY but I didn’t have texting yet). She suggested that I look up OCD. I guess I didn’t take the hint, and was trying to figure out how OCD treatment was useful for AN…probably not overly surprisingly, I couldn’t really find anything useful, and eventually got frustrated and gave up on that.
At some point (I don’t really remember when) my senior year of high school, someone suggested that I try out the free counseling at school and let him know how it went…and for some reason I agreed–probably mostly because I have difficulty saying no and it seemed far enough off that it would probably be forgotten eventually anyway. He suggested that a counselor could help me be more comfortable in social situations.
On January 17, 2011, my friend accused me of being suicidal to try to get me to tell my parents about my self-injury struggle. That was a really frustrating situation. I was mad for a while…unfortunately I was already planning on possibly telling them on April 11th and was about to reveal that about a week later…as it ended up, that actually ended up being a good thing because I decided I wasn’t going to be pushed into telling, but I wasn’t going to let that ruin my plans, so I ended up telling them anyway, and my parents were relieved that if something had been going on that it wasn’t suicide.
So I made it to school and at the beginning of the year set up a meeting with a counselor…I only planned on meeting once, saying I’d done it and then moving on with my life, but I couldn’t exactly tell the counselor that, so I ended up continuing, and have been in counseling since then.
Over Christmas break, I met with my best friend at her school. She suggested OCD very directly this time and asked me to try bringing it up with my counselor. I agreed to try it and did attempt it. Later that year one of my roommates got sick–I freaked out and was in my room only to sleep and shower for a while, and became a lot more aware that OCD might be a very real possibility.
So that is the big-ish events in my life.