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it’s okay not to be okay

it’s okay not to be okay

 

It’s incredibly difficult sometimes to ask for help, or to admit that we aren’t, actually, okay. Most of the time when it comes to our physical health, whilst we may not enjoy it, we are relatively comfortable with going to the doctors or asking a loved one for advice. When it comes to mental health, we seem to be far more reserved in seeking advice or intervention.


According to the Mental Health Foundation, in the UK 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year. In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety and 6,233 suicides among people aged 15 plus. They found that whilst 10% of 5-16 year olds have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, 70% had not had appropriate interventions at an early age. What is clear is that a lot of people aren’t okay, and nowhere near enough people are vocal about their issues. Stigma is an incredibly powerful force, and can have immense control over someone who is already feeling isolated and alone, preventing them from seeking help.

What compelled me to write this post is my own first hand experience. I am sat on a train, wracking my brain for the best way to put my thoughts and experiences into a legible and easily understandable piece of writing, but at the back of my head I can’t help feeling slightly on edge about writing this. However, I feel I’m not only at a point where it is healthy to open up, but at a stage where my experience could potentially benefit others.

Anxiety manifests itself in a huge array of forms and behaviours and results from various different fears: anyone who suffers from anxiety will have a different experience with it. Some people have debilitating panic attacks, some cannot cope with social situations without crippling fears.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and that is how my anxiety manifests itself, which I only actually came to understand recently after seeking treatment. I think previous to that I knew I had OCD, but in my mind did not connect the dots between that and the same ‘anxiety’ that I saw panic attack sufferers, for example, dealing with.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an extremely misunderstood condition and is frequently thrown around as a quirky trait (nothing of which frustrates OCD sufferers more). It’s not uncommon to hear someone say ‘oh my god, I’m so OCD about this’, ‘I’m so OCD about that.’ In reality it is a serious disorder that can have an immense impact on the day-to-day life of someone suffering with it, on their mental health, and in turn sometimes their physical health too.

Largely, OCD is a process of nonsensical and repetitive behaviours or thought processes that come about as a result of a heightened perception of fear, and a sense of responsibility to prevent harm coming to something or someone. It can be split into obsessions and compulsions, both of which usually feed of off each other and create a cycle whereby they reinforce one another too. The diagram below is a simple summary of the process that makes OCD so engrained and such a hard cycle to break for someone who suffers with it. 

OCD Pg5

 

Throughout my academic life I have always coped relatively badly with stress and pressure, and it was when I was 15 and revising for my mock GCSE’s that it manifested itself into something more noticeable. My first noticeably OCD tendencies were things like counting the words I would write on one line when making revision notes, usually having to be 8 plus 3. The numbers 8 and 3 should hold no relevance to me, but now, as stupid as it sounds, they are part of my daily life. I would put the toilet seat up three times, and would count how many times I had touched something to make sure that also ended on 8 or 3. If I was travelling on the tube with my mum I would make her say certain things like ‘I love you’ or ‘promise it’ll be okay’ to hear the word promise repeated three times so to make my anxieties about the situation subside for a period of time. These patterns started to manifest themselves in more and more situations as I went about my daily life. If I felt uncomfortable or unsafe in a situation I would rely on counting mechanisms to neutralise the situation and make it feel ‘ok’ in my head. When saying goodbye to family members or even just before going to bed, I had to have ‘I love you’ said 3 times between us, if it went over 4 it had to go to 5 because four made me uncomfortable, as did 6. Over time it became 3 and 5 that I used to count and track things I said, did, thought or touched. Years later I have found that these rituals of counting are called ‘magic numbers’, and whilst it probably sounds absurd to most, it is a relatively common trait amongst a certain group of OCD sufferers.

Writing this is incredibly difficult for me, because it is upsetting to admit that your brain is working against you and documenting these things reinforces to me that it was, and to a degree still is. It is not nice not to be able to control or calm your own thought process: it is frustrating, scary and incredibly tiring.

When it got to the point where my parents were watching me cry in frustration, I eventually went to the GP. For various reasons (including being at an awkward age for NHS mental health referrals), all I left with was a book on ‘handling OCD’, which was little to no help for me. So my GCSE’s came and went and on the whole, so did the more tiring and obvious aspects of my OCD, with smaller counting habits remaining but on a far less noticeable scale.

During my A-Levels and periods of time where I felt unsafe or felt that my family were potentially unsafe too, my obsessive compulsive tendencies would return, yet it was at university where it became something that I knew had to be treated. By this point my compulsions and counting rituals had started affecting almost everything I did, I even developed a head jerk when I felt at my most anxious, which I would attempt to count but would never feel like it had ended on the right number. I realised that I was not only mentally tired but physically in pain too, finding it difficult to even calm myself enough to get to sleep at night. I was so busy counting my actions or words or compelling myself to think a certain thought in my head that I was losing focus in my studies and draining myself of energy. My loved ones were dragged into it too, because, on the whole, it was them that I felt anxious for. Knowing my boyfriend was getting on a 12 hour plane journey, or going on a trek up a mountain, or doing something else where I could not guarantee his safety, paralysed my rationality. I would have to have goodbyes on text ending with three words (I love you) and two kisses to count to five. I would count to three as I clicked onto and exited out of a conversation on my phone, I would make him promise that he would be safe and repeat it myself twice more to have that equal three as well. My OCD over time developed from something that I used during my exams to calm my worries about failing, to something that left me thinking that I was personally responsible for the safety of the people I loved the most: I was (and to an extent still am) giving myself a responsibility that no one could ever actually have, using rituals to neutralise situations that I deemed as dangerous for the people who I loved the most.

OCD is a self-perpetuating cycle that only worsens over time as the sufferer becomes more comfortable with relying on the rituals they have developed. The more I relied on these compulsions, in turn the more responsibility my brain felt it had to neutralise situations, and the safer I felt after I had done them. Breaking a habit is hard, especially for someone whose brain finds it extremely difficult to separate realistic worries that anyone would have day-to-day, from hugely unlikely and sometimes absurd fears about situations that are never really going to happen. To me my OCD is a case of ‘well, what if that were to happen…wouldn’t it just be safer to do this to cancel out the chances?’

So after having a mini breakdown with one of my best friends and an hour’s worth of on and off crying whilst I tried to explain to her what I was going through, I decided to go back to the GP. Long story short I was referred and fast tracked through to a specialist and luckily began treatment on the NHS within a week of my referral. I am now just over half way through my course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and whilst I have a long way to go still to undo thought processes I have used for five or so years, I have made significant progress from where I was a couple of months ago. Whilst my form of OCD has and still is an extremely frustrating and tiring aspect of my life, I think it is always useful to have some perspective in life. I know OCD sufferers who have at times been unable to leave the house, entirely crippled with paranoid thoughts about completely irrational fears, that in turn has spiralled into depression – another mental health condition that is often a spin-off from a condition like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

At the crux of this post is that battles with mental health can come to anyone, at anytime, for any reason, and the most important thing I could advise to anyone is to speak out about it. The first thing I learnt with my therapist is that unpicking the habits that I had developed would be difficult simply for the fact that I had grown up with half of them and been reliant on them for years, ingraining them further in my day-to-day life. Sitting in silence is never the answer regardless to what the problem is. If you saw someone being bullied, I would hope that no one would sit by and watch. If you had a health condition that was causing you physical distress, you would seek medical advice. At the end of the day we are human, and as humans we in turn have capacity to feel pain and to suffer, to show vulnerability. We are not built to be robots.

Lastly, it is so incredibly important to surround yourself with people who care about and respect your mental health. When it comes to family – things can be slightly more difficult, but from a friendship and relationship point of view, we are entirely in control of who we surround ourselves by. Opening up to my loved ones about my obsessive compulsive tendencies was hard and at the time embarrassing, and I cried multiple times during the process. Expecting them to get it straight away can also be sometimes asking too much, because at the end of the day my rituals do not make sense and do seem ridiculous, and the easy response is to say ‘well, just stop doing it.’ If they care for you, however, they will make themselves understand over time and support and encourage you to seek help, and if they do not then cutting them out of your life is an absolute necessity.

Three months ago when my OCD was at its worst I would have been counting half of the words that I have just written. My OCD is still very much a part of my life and flares up more when I feel anxious about something, but seeking advice has helped me so much and I wish I had done it earlier: I urge anyone reading this to do the same if you need to, for whatever the reason or condition. Do not be ashamed to admit that you are not 100% okay, 100% of the time, because at the end of the day I think we would struggle to find many people who are.

Take the time to nurture both your physical and mental health, and look after yourself.

Love always, Kirstie x

 

 

 

 



74 thoughts on “it’s okay not to be okay”

  • This a great message about the fact that it’s normal to have problems thank you so much for this💕💕💕 loving your blog💕😘

  • Oh my goodness kirstie, to think that you went through this is awful and I’m proud that you are somewhat getting somewhere with your OCD and hopefully that will continue 😌 This is another amazing blogpost!! Love you 💙

  • Honestly from the outside i had absolutley no idea that you had/are suffering from OCD however i am really glad that its getting better for you and i admire your courage to post about somthing like this ❤️

    • that’s what a lot of people would say and fairly so- it is possible to keep things quiet, and I hope more people do feel comfortable to speak out. Thanks for reading love 💗

  • You are so brave Kirstie and it’s a big achievement to be able to write something so personal so you should be proud of yourself! This is also very encouraging for people who are suffering to speak up and get some help from either loved ones or from professionals! Big love❤️ Xx

  • So beautifully written and really opened my eyes to something I didn’t realise could be such a serious condition. I have social anxiety and feel as if the world is constantly waiting for me to trip up so it can ridicule me. Hearing your story really made me realise it’s ok to be human and it’s ok to not be OK sometimes. I just have one question and I hope you can help me find a resolution. I have been a dancer since I was 3 and have been for the last 12 years of my life. I’ve always enjoyed it but recently I find myself having panic attacks when I look in the mirrors or have to run our crying because I feel so fat and awful compared to the other girls. I really don’t want to give it up because it’s such a huge part of my life but I don’t know how to make the feelings go away. I’ve had counselling in the past and it hasn’t helped. Any ideas what I should do as I really respect you and what you think xxx love always Jude

    • thank you 😘 Sometimes seeking help doesn’t always work the first time sadly, but if you think you need to then I really would try again, be that with a different GP perhaps. Speak to your family or someone close to you that you feel comfortable with a see what they think the best route to go down is my love. Good luck and lots of love xx

  • Wow. This is so sad but inspiring. You are so brave! I just want say that I hope you can get over this and keep being strong, though you already are..

  • This has honestly helped me so much. I have a constant fear that everything I do is wrong or everything needs to be done better, it’s got to the point where I just lie in bed at night just numb. No thoughts go through my head and the ones which do aren’t very nice ones either. I’m constantly reminded by people at school that I’m not loved and that No one would care if I left, this started around 2 years ago which then triggered my anxiety, I can’t even go to the shops for god sake without looking at everyone and wanting to break down because I’m imagining their thoughts about me even when they’re not looking at me. Knowing that you’ve went through this has made me cry but it’s honestly just made me realise I need to tell someone, thank you so so much for writing this, I’m extremely grateful x

  • I don’t know why I’m sitting here, tears streaming down my face. It could be the fact that I’ve finally realised everything that’s been happening to me isn’t normal or it could even be the fact that you have opened my eyes up to a different type of anxiety I haven’t experienced. I have social anxiety and seem to have a regular occurance of anxiety attacks. I feel as if the world doesn’t accept me and that I’m constantly hated by everyone, the only person I’ve told is my best friend and she’s been constantly been trying to help me figure ways to get better. That not what I want you know? It’s all good people helping you but unless they’ve felt this constant worry and pressure this builds then they won’t understand how to help. This is why this has helped me so so much, I’m going to tell my mum what’s been happening, she won’t be happy with some things this has led to but I just hope that I can get better. Thank you so so much for showing me that it’s truly okay to tell people and that they won’t judge you, I appriciate it so much x

    • Good luck lovely girl and well done for having the strength to realise there is an issue and to have acted on it. Things will get better from here on out love but it might just be a hard process to get there. Good luck 😘💛

  • So brave of you to write something that is such a personal topic. You should be proud of yourself for being able to write such an incredible blog post on a topic like this. Your blog post are always very well written and I always enjoy reading them.
    Lots of love 💛Xx

  • this is such an inspiring post. thank you so much, I’m so glad somebody cane forward and spoke about how people should not suffer alone and although it may not seem like it, people will always be willing to help and are there for you. thank you, love always xx

  • It’s very brave of you to post this, I really do understand how difficult it would have been to write this so thankyou so much and I am proud of you for doing this, it’s a big step! Also umm I’d prefer not to write my personal endeavours on here but I really need some advice, could you please follow me on Twitter so I can dm you?? my Twitter is @cloudsbliss xx

  • This was a really brave thing for you to do and this even made my respect for you grow. This must have been very difficult, to open up about something so personal. But I think you can be very proud of yourself. It is not easy to search for help and you did and you should be proud of yourself for improving thanks to that therapy. I don’t have OCD, but I do know what it’s like to live with an anxiety and there are times where I’m afraid it might take over my day to day life. I have constant doom thoughts that I know I shouldn’t have, but it’s like they automatically pop up in my head. At a certain point it was that bad, that I had to start taking medicins for it, somewhere last fall. Being a student in Brussels, the March attacks have been no good for my anxiety. I was nowhere near a point of attack that day, yet I did fear my life at some point. I still do, especially when you hear things on the news that they are planning new attacks on the city. Every time I hear things like that, I get slight panic attacks when I’m on the train to Brussels. “What if this, what if that,…” constanly goes through my mind. A couple of weeks ago I almost started crying because of it, even though my fears have always been irrational. I’m afraid to talk about it, cause the one time I did, they just waved it away, as if it were nothing. I don’t want to live with this and try to overwhelm the doom thinking with positivity, but it doesn’t help most of the time. It feels like my medication stopped working. Yet I do live with it and you live with your OCD and for some reason we should be proud of it. It makes us unique, it makes us not belong to the crowd of ”normal” people. We need help and we’ve found it. We’ve somehow found a way to control it a little and we should be proud that we can live a life that is everything but easy. Thank you for such an inspiring post, Kirstie <3

    • Thanks so much for this lovely comment Chloe 😘 I’m so sorry that you have to go through days feeling like this, and sorry too that you have to feel afraid living in your own city. The world is a scary place but at the end of the day it’s an incredible place too, filled with a lot of love and a lot of people that want us to feel happiness. Sometimes it’s difficult but we all need to try and remember the latter a bit more – that the light in this world can drown out the dark and hopefully if we remember that enough our lives will seem a little less daunting. I hope you get somewhere soon with feeling better, do seek help again if you feel whatever you received last time isn’t working. Thanks again love 😘💛

  • I honestly have so much respect for you, and the articles you are writing are so important and you are so brave. Even though i dont know you personally, i am proud of you and you are such a wonderful person. Thank you for adressing mental health issues, its something i have been battling for a few years and have no idea what to do about. There is a lot of awful stigma as assumptions are made when it comes to mental health and i guess that can make it worse. Thank you, good luck and lots of love xx

    • Thanks so much bub. If you take anything from this post I hope it is that speaking it, regardless who it’s with, is so vitally important and worthwhile. Good luck my love 💛X

  • You are an inspiring woman and so brave to write this! I hope with whole my heart it wil get better!! Keep doing this!!
    Much love!❤

  • This blog has shown how strong you are and my love and respect for you has grown. It’s amazing to see how such few people can open up to people. This must have been a huge step for you. Keep up the good work Kirstie xx

  • You’re so brave for writing and open up like this, you don’t have idea how much this post helped me! You’re an amazing and strong woman who deserves to be listened so please don’t stop writing.
    Much love from Uruguay and a big gracias, xx

    • thank you so much! I definitely won’t stop writing I can promise you that 😘 Thanks for the love 💛 Xx

  • Kirstie this has helped me so much, you are such an inspiration to me. It really touches me when such amazing people write blogs like this because even the ones that seem so strong and have amazing life’s, on the inside they are only human and I understand this so much it relates to me in every way. Personally my self I have anxiety issues and it is hard to be able to deal with the fact that sometimes the things I worry about seem so stupid to others but to me it’s a big deal. I have now found ways to cope with this and I am finding my anxiety is not as big as it was.
    Keep strong Kirstie we are always here for you xx
    Much love p

    • It’s so easy with social media to forget that people are people and no ones life is as simple as picture a day on Instagram! Mental health is scary in that was really isn’t it, it’s very easy to keep these things tucked away. I’m so glad you’re beginning to feel a little better – thank you for the lovely comment 😘💗

  • you’re extremely brave for opening up to us and I admire you for doing so. you’re an inspiration for us that suffer from mental health issues and I hope you continue to make progress because you really deserve to have you mind at rest xxx

  • I love this and you! It’s great when I read people open up about their mental health! I write a blog also and some are about my mental illness or what I’m going through! It’s like helping me and hoping it helps people who going through the same thing! This blog is something I can relate too with my social anxiety/depression. It’s good to talk to family and friends about it! They love you know matter what you have! I have to gone to therapy and it does help! Knowing someone wants to help you and want to see you succeed! I still get anxious about certain things and specially in large crowds or people I don’t know! You are amazing Kirstie and know I’m always here for you xxx we can get through this together! I love that I learned about ocd thanks love xxx

    • Thanks for reading and sharing this with my doll, and I’m glad you looked for help and that it’s helping to some degree too 💗 Good luck in the future with it all and with your blog too 😘 X

  • I honestly commend you for writing this, it’s not something easily done as many people may not understand! I suffer from Social Anxiety, for example, when I go out shopping, I’m always afraid incase I see someone I went to school with whom I was bullied by, or I constantly wonder if people are staring at me, it is most likely because I’m out of my comfort zone. I have horses & anything to do with them, like horse shows etc I’m completely fine with but it’s when I go out of my comfort zone it starts. Thank you for writing this, it makes you feel better knowing it’s not just you that’s going through some sort of anxiety 💕 X

    • I can understand why that would be hard for you – youre definitely not alone there love. keep your head up 😘💗 x

  • I feel so bad saying this but I’m so happy you wrote it down and shared your experiences although I wish you didn’t have them! I always thought something was wrong with me. I’m mentally unstable and as you said paranoid in some situations. I might have the same disorder as you since my daily habit is to make my parents/siblings promise that I pass my exams or that something is gonna be fine and I know that I drive them crazy with it. I’m really trying to make changes and control my thoughts and calm myself down whenever I freak out about something but then it starts to grow inside of me and takes over my brain. I just can’t get rid of it until someone says I’m gonna be fine. I also think that my family doesn’t consider it as a mental disorder and it makes it harder for me to open up for them. At the moment I’m okay but I’m going to move to the UK next year and I’m afraid it’s going to get out of control again. Your post, however, makes me want to talk to a doctor and try to find out more about my state.
    Thanks again for being so honest, I wish the best for you! I know I’m not a professional but what I’ve experienced is that the best way of overcoming your fears is facing them, may it be a super cliche. Try to count to four once and maybe when you see no difference counting will stop being a day-to-day habit. This is just a tip. Have a lovely day! xx

    • Hi Sara! What I’ve found as I’m coming to the end of my CBT is that ‘thought-suppression’ won’t ever work..what i mean by that is that when we try and tell ourselves to stop thinking about something or to calm down and relax, its never going to work! It’s like me telling you theres a giraffe in the room and then telling you to stop thinking about the giraffe. Basically there are deeper things that we need to learn to control, its not our thoughts that are the issues as such. I really would recommend seeking medical advice because learning things like that ^ have helped me so much. Also youre right with the four thing! My therapist has been telling me to do the same thing, i’m getting there slowly but surely 💗. good luck doll and thank you for opening up 😘💗x

  • Kirstie I know this feeling it is horrible I had recent exams and conditions got so bad I had to revise like 24/7 because I thought if I didn’t my whole life would be ruined even though these are END of Year tests! When I was revising I worried things like what if I don’t understand anything, what if I revise the totally wrong thing, what if I am late for an exam or don’t finish it in time, what if I write too many words in my essay and I counted them as well ! What if I copy by accident and I get disqualified, I got to the stage with these point where I couldn’t revise because I was too ill to concentrate , I was crying and shaking not being able to make revision notes cause my handwriting was too bad and my hands were shaking too much, and the worst thing was I felt like all of my friends were not talking to me because I acted so weird and sometimes still do but not as much. Thank you for this blog and say hi to your family and James for me and thank you as this has helped me to open up about my experience as well even though this is probably not as bad as your experience 😚😚😚😍😍😍

    • Hi love, I’m sorry 🙁 exams are so intense and they really do have the potential to mess us up. I really would urge you to speak to someone about this though because you dont want to have to get in that sort of state every exam period because its not fair on you! thank you for reading and I hope things improve 😘💗 xx

  • Kirstie this is such a great post! You have made me and everyone else understand it’s okay not to be okay and we can tell people our problems and the will understand. Thank you for being such a great role model to me and loads of other people xx😘

  • I admire you so much for writing a post about this. After having been in rocky places before myself it was interesting to see how others coped and dealt with the situation. I can definitely agree that speaking out is the right thing – talk to anyone. I told a friend and they helped me tell other people who helped me with my state in which I had done stupid things so I can definitely agree with you there Kirstie. Keep going!! ❤️❤️

  • Just got back from my holiday in Spain and the first thing I did was read your blog 😂. Once again, a lovely post that really gets you thinking. 💗

  • This was a hard post for me to read, purely because it was so relative to how I’m feeling. Mental health is a such a large part of many people’s lives yet they feel it’s such a taboo subject to speak about. For me, trying to explain to my parents that I wasn’t okay was one of the hardest things to do, at first they didn’t understand it ‘because I have a perfect live and a loving family I shouldn’t feel like I want to die.’ Although, for the most part that is true, I couldn’t quite comprehend why they didn’t understand why I was feeling so low. It took me trying to end my own life to realise that I had many people around me who care and it wasn’t just my own life I was ending; it was everyone else around me.
    The nhs is helpful for some, but for me they had such a long waiting list that I felt they purely didn’t have enough time for me.
    I’d be lying if would say that I’m okay now even though that was 3 years ago, but it takes a while to feel ‘normal’ again.
    Thank you for writing this and spreading awareness.

    • Hi casey. I truly am so deeply sorry to read this. Something as troubling as what you went through does take time to move on from, youre right, but the fact you are here right now, reading this post is a testimony to how strong you clearly are, whether it feels like that at times or not. I hope you can find a health practitioner that can see you and help you along with recovery, you’re right the NHS is great but waiting lists and administrative rubbish really can slow it down to a dangerous degree. Please do persist with it though my love. Sending you loads of love, 💗💗 xx

  • Kirstie this breaks my heart. I would never wish this on anyone else because it is living hell!!!!! I have had Severe OCD for almost two years now so I understand you!!!!! My CBT is really helping me (I hope!!!!!) and I hope yours is as well. Last year, when my OCD manifested itself in to much more than ‘a little problem’, it got so bad I missed 4 months of school. I really understand where you are coming from and it is so so so so so hard. It’s impossible to explain to someone that hasn’t had it, and my friends find it impossible to understand me!!!!! I have the exact same compulsions as you though. It’s 3, 5, 8 and 20 that are my ‘magic numbers’, and who the hell knows why????? It’s so nice to know that you have been brave enough to break the taboo on Mental Health Problems!!!!! Thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone in this scary battle!!!!! Lots of love and keep going girl!!!!! We’ll do it together 💪🏻☺️💗

    • Hiya Helen -it’s so interesting hearing that people are struggling with things so similar. I’m so sorry that it impact your life to that degree, I can’t imagine how hard and tiring that must have been. I am so glad that your CBT is helping you as well though! good luck with future doll, we’ve come a long way so far so we should both be proud 😘💪🏻💗 xx

  • Hi, Kirstie. I really enjoy reading your blogs. I can really relate to this post because, no, I don’t have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve never told that to my friends or best friend because you know… I thought that it was embarrassing to talk about. But then I read this, and now I think I have enough courage to tell them. Thank you so much for this post, Kirstie, you’re my role model.
    Love you lots! x

  • Hi, Kirstie. First off I would like to say I think your just an amazing person in general, and very helpful. I want to thank you so much for creating this blog, there are seriously (more than) a vast majority of people suffering with these issues, and I’m sure you have changed so many minds by doing this. This has definitely helped me so much, I am suffering with OCD however I really didn’t know how to open up to anyone before I saw this. This has changed my mindset a little, therefore made me think more positively about various things. I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression- these three (including ocd) things have had a massive impact on my life as they still do today, and has changed me as a person. So thank you- this was highly relatable, and this made me feel not so alone/isolated with my thoughts because its seems as though you have experienced the same problems I am going through right now, and you have explained how you’ve coped- which I think is somewhat brave,and very thoughtful. Mental health issues are a massive problem, and with so many dilemmas and tragedies happening in the world right now, nobody’s main focus is really on mental health, even though it is a big part of what affects our daily lives. Thank you for doing this- I’m sure you have helped a lot of people- you’ve helped me out, for sure.
    Lots of love 💚xx

  • Hey Kirstie !

    I just want to thank you for adressing OCD’s as what they are : mental illness. I’m so tired of people using the word “OCD” lightly, because it is not and you said it very well. I found you article at the right time, I think I needed it to realise that I’m not okay and that anxiety is really ruinning my life. I don’t know if I’ll have the courage to do something about it right now, but it’s in the process and it’s all thanks to you !
    I’m also very very sad to know that such a funny, smart and beautiful young lady like you is struggling. I wish you luck, and send you ALL my positive thoughts,

    Love, x

    • you and me both gal!! hope you find yourself able to speak to someone my love. you’ll get there in the end. sending lots of love ❤ xx

  • Hello, I somehow reached your blog through google although I am a stranger to you.

    I’ve been there and I wonder how did the white coats helped you? Your ending paragraphs suggest that you are now fine. What procedures/medication did they give you/apply? Did they persuaded changing any of your beliefs? How do you feel now – why would you no longer count 5-3, even-odd, etc.

    I see in the comments other people also suffering.

    Thank you!

    • I did a course of CBT that focused on detanfling my thoughts and finding what was at the core of them, to make sense of the actions and thoughts I had a result. I’m not sure if my beliefs changed as such, as it wasn’t that I really thought counting five and three would stop something terrible happening. I knew it was silly really, yet couldn’t stop. It’s more that it meant I understood more the futility in it as I recognised the causes and reasons for thinking it to start with.

      I hope that makes sense!
      Best, Kirstie

  • I’ve re-read this blog countless times honestly aha. This was so brave of you to post, and I’m happy you stated that OCD isn’t something to be thrown about, proud of you! X

  • This is amazing, i love your blog, i love how you make us stronger. I’m literally crying whilst reading this, you are such a strong, smart and amazing woman. Thank you so much for this. I love you xx

  • Kirstie thank you for writing this it made me tear up.. as someone who is dealing with mild Tourette’s which gets worse when I’m nervous/alone this has motivated me to get help especially since I am in my last year of uni
    Thank youuuu 🌟🌟💕💕💕💕

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