The other morning in the shower, I really, really wanted to open and close the shampoo cap just one more time. I was having anxiety about it, and I wanted to lessen it.
OCD checking in the shower has been a real problem for me lately.
Then I remembered Krystal Lynn. I remembered the way she was forging ahead with her OCD exposures. I remembered what she had written in her post “My ERP,” on her wonderful blog Sprinkle Some Sugar On Me: I Am More than OCD: “I know for the ERP to work, I need to do the opposite of what makes me less anxious and keep up the risk of doing what makes me feel uncomfortable.”
I thought, well, Krystal Lynn is doing it. I need to do it, too. So I didn’t open and close the cap a second time. I put down the bottle and went on with my shower in spite of the anxiety I felt. Pretty soon, the anxiety dissipated.
That is an example of the beauty of the community of bloggers and readers that I’ve been blessed to find.
I no longer feel alone.
I know I’m not the only one with OCD, with obsessions and compulsions that sometimes leave me at my wits end. I’m not the only one with depression or anxiety, or the only one that sometimes wonders how to get through the hard times of life.
I’m inspired daily by the blogs and comments that others write.
And I learn from what others’ are doing, from their experiences.
We all crave community, connections with others. Even those of us who are introverts need to be a part of communities.
They can be small communities and large ones. They can be in-person communities and online ones. They can be made up of people who are going through similar experiences, and they can be made up of people who are different from us but who bring their own light to the table.
I had a hard time in my “in-person” life admitting to many people that I had mental illnesses. And I didn’t find many others through the years who told me about their own mental health issues.
When I started reading blogs written by people with mental illnesses, and then when I started writing a blog, I made connections that have made a positive difference in my life, for the reasons above.
I also found blogs and made connections with people who don’t have mental illnesses but have a sensitivity about others and an understanding of how to be supportive of others. I’ve learned so much about the beautiful things in life from them.
This online community has been a true blessing in my life. I read what you write, I feel your support, and I think about you and hope for the best for you.
How do you define community? Why is it important to be a part of communities?