Year 2: Reflections From a Former Patient

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WOW I just remembered today that it has been two years since I left for Houston, TX and went to treatment at the Houston OCD Program! I can’t believe it… feels like yesterday! I think of those first few weeks so vividly I was petrified! I thought I was “crazy” and was never going to get better. I had basically given up on myself. I remember my mom and grandma brought me… I know that they love me and were dealing with my situation the best way anyone could. I’ll be honest I was bitchy, scared and mad at the world! I didn’t want to be there but knew this was my only option left. What else was I supposed to do? I knew I definitely didn’t want to be living miserably unhappy for the rest of my life… letting my thoughts take control of my entire well being… which had for so long. What I also didn’t realize was how my emotions affected my family members,  as hard as it was for me… It was just as much for them too.  That DAY… was probably the scariest and most difficult day of my life but later on I know it was the best choice I could ever make for myself.

I get out of the car… already crying of course. Tears streaming down my face holding on to my mom’s hand so tight. It felt like I was being dropped off at preschool and didn’t want to be alone without my mom. I grab my suitcase and meet the residential counselors, I get shown my room that will be mine for what I felt would be forever.. I didn’t think I would ever leave. The scariest part was not knowing how long I was going to be there.  Then I had to say my goodbyes to my mom for a little while. I knew it wasn’t a real goodbye..but that day it might has well been. I hug her never wanting to let go… repeatedly saying “I love you…I love you…” than before I know it she’s pulling out of the driveway. After that day the first couple weeks were extremely difficult because I didn’t know anybody I was still getting comfortable with my ne
w surroundings. Everything was very NEW and I was extremely home sick. I had never been away by myself from my family for that long…But as the weeks go on I make sure not to go up to my room at the end of each day and isolate myself because that’s the last thing I should do. I made myself stay downstairs with everyone and hung out with all of the residential counselors and other residence that were there with me as well.

My stay at the Houston OCD program changed my whole life in so many incredible ways. For so long I kept putting band aids over my issues…never truly finding the root of the problem which was that I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There I dug real deep into what were my main issue
s that had kept me restricted from my life for so long. I was able to find my own independence which meant I had to go to doctor appointments on my own, put myself in social situations and actually talk to people, making myself dinner and baking, and so many others but doing so many things that so many people take for granted on my own. I was learning and doing all of this for the first time.. I learned so much about myself during those 3 months. Of course I still have my off days and I slip sometimes. When I was in treatment learning that concept it terrified me. I contastrified and thought if I make any mistake that would jeaporadize  my hard work then I’m done and everything I did was for nothing. But I didn’t truly understand that  until I was facing it after I left the program. I’m human and I would be lying if I didn’t say that still scares me. I’ve learned to though that its okay to have those feelings and not be ashamed of them. Life is what you make of it so don’t spend it on thinking about the wshutterstock_180017057hat if’s because  I DID! and it doesn’t get you anywhere.

I just want to give again… a huge thank you to the whole staff and my therapists at the Houston OCD Program.  I was a lost and scared 18 year old girl…not knowing what my life would turn out like and what would come of it. While I was in the program slowly but surely I realized that I had and still have so much potential to do and be whatever I want in this crazy big world.  I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be able to live the life I’m living now. I know that what you are doing is your job but what you do everyday never goes unnoticed by me. The tears, lauhter, happiness, and accomplishments I shared with many of you will be engrained in my heart for the rest of my life. Being there for the extremely difficult conversations when I was crying my eyes out until I couldn’t anymore and just letting me talk until your ears probably would have fallen off 🙂 The strides that I made in my treatment would not have happened if I didn’t have the support, and loving guidance from you all. Yes I did the work but having those words of encouragement along the way helped me tremendously. The victories that I made may be nothing to most people… but you all knew they were huge for me.   There are very few people that you meet in life that leave a true mark … you all were that for me. Truly the best and one of a kind.  For the one hundred- and millionth time… Thank you.

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