“I was picked to be a FULL Scholarship recipient for the 2017 IOCDF conference, the magnitude of this great award was all but astonishing to me!
I had written the letter for the scholarship the night before it was due, no planning, no editing, just the real me and the facts about my OCD. I knew I wanted to go to the conference, I knew my OCD had gotten worse, but I also thought it was “probably” not worth paying to go all the way to San Francisco just to go hear about OCD when I had books I could read or therapists I could see right here at home. After getting to actually attend the conference and experience the benefits and life-changing, eye-opening information in person, I knew I was blessed and that I needed to convince anyone (especially with severe OCD) that money and time off shouldn’t keep them from going. I was lucky, I received the money to go as I wouldn’t have otherwise, and the lessons I found out along the conference were invaluable for me to progress forward with this dreadful doubting disease!
I was still scared though, all the money in the world can’t prohibit you from being scared, but it gave me the courage to move forward and attend the event. Oh it was hard though, the plane flight with layovers, public bathrooms, uber rides and hotel rooms with unknown “germs” and bacteria everywhere, but I got through it all because I knew that on the other side of the country, in San Francisco, CA, a group of people just like me would be gathering to talk about those very same fears; little did I know we’d also share our fears!
Sure I could go on and on about how great the conference was, and it was indeed, but the best part for me was a night of which I was in great need in the form of a support group.
Here’s the poem I wrote about it:
“Taboo Topics was the group name; but little did I know it was not to cause shame.
There were others like me for that I found true, scared of things that were forbidden, dark and untrue.
We all had in common, I did figure out, that we worried we would cause harm to ourselves or others, and our own minds we did doubt.
Some people were scared of sexually harming children or disabled adults, others were worried about causing verbal assaults.
But what we learned in that late night support group, is that what we feared was farthest from the truth.
Individuals with OCD keep these concerns deeply hidden, but the shame they feel on their faces are clearly written.
So gathered late at night we talked about our fears, and leaned on each other finding comfort and togetherness through the support of our peers.
When I left group that night, it changed both my and my husband’s view of me on a topic we never thought was caused by OCD.
So high fives were given after many tears shed, and when I laid my head to sleep for the first night in forever I did not dread!”
Thank you to the Elizabeth McInevale Family, to the IOCDF board and to Chelsea Clifton who helped organize everything. I’m so grateful that what I learned at the conference changed the way my husband viewed me and how I view myself. God Bless you all!!!”
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