Psychiatric hospitals are not new to me.
In all honestly, they are a place where I feel a sense of normality in my world of madness.
The chairs, the ticking of the clock.
The pictures on the wall, a place so serene and so still.
Yet this appointment changed me, The doctor, unsympathetic, reluctant to offer the solutions I was craving, sat there waiting to write the prescription for medication which could change my life. I sat there begging for answers as to why I felt the way I do, why the emptiness felt all consuming,, why despite all I did have, it still wasn’t enough for me. I was chasing it all, parenting which never felt enough or good enough, trying to become the perfect wife, friendships which were toxic, family dynamics which were compilated, a degree, a business, trying to maintain a home which never felt enough, chasing my perfect run. It always felt empty. Yet them thoughts keep taking over, the thoughts of perfection, of isolation of ‘never being enough’, anxiety and fear, and the killer of intrusive thoughts.
Her words still ring in my ears, “In about 5-10 years you will be out of the darkest part of this illness.”
5- 10 years?!
That is a prisom sentence.
It was at that point I realised how chaotic my life was. How I ensured my life was so full that I never had time to be still. To stop. To be present. Everything I did was an attempt to silence the pain, the thoughts, the emotions which had enveloped me.
A few months before I had begun following some blogs, Instagram accounts and reading some books about simplicity, simple living, minimalism and the power of being present. As I left the hospital, I realised what I had to do.
I had to simplify. I had to stop. I had to be present.
I was not going to be given a sentence of 5- 10 years for a mental illness I never wanted. (OCD is one of the most known but most misunderstood illness.) It was down to me and my family to make a change. So here I am. Making decisions to move away from those people and places which don’t support, nourish and feed. Making those difficult decisions to step back, to let go, to put time with family instead of earning ‘extra’ money to buy things. To simplify, to minimize possessions, minimise my calendar, let go off some clients, to be present (no phone or work!) and to cultivate gratitude.
Our journey to a simple life has begun and this is our journey!
“And then one day I decided that hurry and stress were no longer going to be part of my life. Stress is self created; I decided to stop manufacturing it. We can choose an internal calm and joy amid the chaos.”
– Brendon Burchard
Please contact Mind the mental health charity or OCD-UK, the national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD for more information or contact us to find out more about living with OCD.