Sunday, August 19, 2012

giraffe has come - and have you ever started an OCD support group?

Friday night, after the show, I decided that was the night to get my giraffe. Good thing, too, since there were only four left, and I decided to allow myself to carefully choose the exact one I wanted (yes, this means debating which animal is the cutest in my opinion - and yes, it could be another compulsion). Then I cleaned all my dishes (minus one that was left to irritate my OCD - I concluded that continuing to debate the issue in my mind was probably giving in to OCD more than making either decision of washing or not washing it - after probably 5 minutes of debate). And then, hurray! I took pictures of me and my giraffe. I'm still in my make-up and hair from the show. The last two nights, I have slept poorly, dreaming disturbing dreams (unrelated to the show this time) and waking up frequently. Long nights that leave me exhausted. But I managed to keep hold of the giraffe through it. I was surprised.

Saturday, I met a friend from when I went to community college (in person). I had decided I wanted to share with her a bit about my mental illness struggle. Surprise, surprise, she has OCD, too! I just keep running into people with OCD, two at the NAMI meeting on Wednesday, and then my friend on Saturday. So I actually voiced my thought with my friend. I'm thinking about starting an OCD support group here. I just looked on the OCD foundation's website, and the nearest support groups specifically for OCD are all over 400 miles away. It would be a peer support group, obviously, since I am not a therapist. But I think it could be neat and encouraging and helpful - at least sometimes, and isn't it unrealistic to expect something to help every single time? So here's my question; have any of you started OCD support groups? Any advice? I was thinking about every other week meetings. And I just downloaded Grayson's Manual on starting OCD support groups - still have to read it. link to Grayson's manual

Well, I have to go get ready for the last show! Hurray! I'm a little sad to leave the people, but so relieved to have this over. It did get better as I figured out how to handle criticism better -and simultaneously, I think they got more encouraging, too. So I'm glad I had the experience, and I am oh, so ready to be done. And I know that sentiment is shared by others in the show. TIRED!

"Talk" to you later!


  1. That's a cute giraffe. So glad you made that a goal.

    I haven't started a support group, but I think a couple of bloggers have, so hopefully you can get some advice.

  2. I have never started one, but I went to an OCD support group when I lived in Virgina. I'm sure Grayson's manual will be very helpful, he sure works hard on our behalf.
    To find a place to meet that is private so people feel free to talk, you might ask your doctor for ideas.In our case a therapy center offered up a conference room for us in the evening. I liked being able to meet with other people who have OCD, there was such a wide variety from an elderly and retired college professor to some young teens. Good luck and I will love hearing if you do it and how it goes.
    Glad you got your giraffe.

  3. Love the photos--you look great! And I love the little giraffe--so cute.

    I've never started an OCD group. If there's no therapy center willing/able to offer a site, maybe you could ask at your local public library. Sometimes they have "community" rooms that can be used.

    Good luck on that, and please keep us up-to-date.

  4. You look lovely!

    Your giraffe is very cute!

    I think an OCD support group is a great idea! I don't know that I'd be brave enough to start one or even attend a meeting but I do think it is a great idea! Keep us posted!

  5. Oh you look so, so, so pretty in your photos!! LOVE the giraffe! You've earned it. Enjoy him (or her?)

    I attend a bi-weekly GOAL (that is the acronym Grayson uses) in my town. You are very wise to realize that it will only be helpful SOME of the time. It is not a magic pill, but it is very helpful in that you make connections with others who have the same illness as yourself. At times, I have gone out socially with some of these people, and I've become friends with two of them outside of the group. It has been really wonderful for me. Sometimes it is very helpful though. And, sometimes, I'm able to help others. Good luck with starting your group!

  6. Oh - just a little piece of advice about the support group - I went to a workshop on how to start a support group by Elizabeth McIngvale at the 2010 OC Conference. One of the things they mentioned is make talking about medication a "no-no" subject. I totally agree with them about this. The reason for this is that some people (and I've attended other groups where this did happen and it was incredibly frustrating, and frankly, a useless and a waste of my time) will talk about their meds ad nauseum. Then other people want to pipe in about their meds too, and you basically spend the whole night talking about nothing else. This way, no one ends up setting any goals or talking about what really helps fighting OCD. Plus, what works for meds for you may not work for me. Plus, and finally, it can be a liability issue to talk about meds with no medical professional available to consult.

    Anyway, I thought it was great advice, plus from my own personal experience, I saw what could happen if this rule was not in place. Good luck!