Monday, 4 June 2012 first blog and introduction. this is weird. Ok, firstly I know nothing about technology. I'm not even sure if this blog will post, or what it will look like. I apologise if it's the most simple design you have ever seen, but honestly it's just a revelation that I got my laptop to start. If you saw me yesterday you would have seen a rather crazy scene of me screeching at my poor husband "not to touch anything!" while I desperately tried to plug a dongle (never, ever, heard of such a thing) in, and get connected to the Internet. This is it, I thought, my way out of potty training my three year old-who still won't do a number two on the toilet-yes lovely I know-and finally connect with people other than on the school run or at the park. I was desperate to experience it all. Yes skype (oh my god I can SEE my sister) to facebook, to just web searching on something else other than my iphone 3g thingy that was on it's last legs thanks to the kids and sticky fingers.
So here I am...blogging. I have always written diaries, I have always loved to write. So when my sister decided to do one, I wondered, although rather meekly, if anyone would read mine? My story, my life, has been, well, a rollercoaster, really. I have days where you would think I was a regular mummy of two, rushing around, begging my five year old to put her uniform on, whilst desperately trying to grab my three year old who is jumping on the bed and also needs to get to preschool-I am more than aware at this point that we have half hour left and I haven't even showered and dry shampoo isn't going to cut it today. So this is me on a good day. Not in control of my hyperactive girls yes, but not crawled up in bed begging my husband to take me to hospital, the priory, anywhere...because i'm not sure I can be trusted. This is my bad day, my very bad days, that are even hard to think about because of the emotional damage I must have inflicted on my poor, innocent children who just don't know what is wrong with mummy. I can only hope that they don't remember these times as they are still quite young, but when they keep happening and my eldest is nearing six, I cant pretend anymore. This will affect them too, and for that, I will feel sorrow and guilt forever.
So from that rather morbid but very real, first couple of paragraphs, I guess I should give you history and a bit more of me. Well, I'm 30 (this has hit me hard, so lets not talk to much about it lol) I was married to my wonderful husband last year, although we have been together for seven years. He is my everything. Without him, whether it be his voice or just his physical presence, I'm sure I wouldn't be here in my home writing this write now. He gives me my confidence, my inner voice, my reality check. He is the love of my life. He gave me the other great loves of my life, my two daughters. The days they were born were the most profound of my life, it was the moment why I really knew why I was here, why I had kept fighting for all these years. They make me laugh, make me cry, make me despair, make me scream "I'm on strike!" but my god they make me happy. The love I have for them, wow who knew what that love felt like. Its undeniable, it's forever, it's painful. My girls. Even as I wrote that I had that eerie but wonderful feeling 'mine' sometimes I look at them and can't believe I was so lucky, that through all the pain I got through it. I will have two-hopefully three, who will love me forever.
I have fought my ocd battle for fourteen years now. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The disorder which haunts me-sometimes for days, sometimes for years. When I'm lucky I get a few months off. Many people believe this condition to be about hand washing, and cleaning/ordering things around the house. For some it is, but there are many different themes/obsessions which it can afflict. Every time a new one appears-I have had more than one 'worry' at once, but normally one takes preference as this is 'the worst thought ever' It feels like it is never going to go away, even though you are quite aware that it will. As somebody who has lived years' with this looping cycle, it is easy to be matter of fact about it and laugh at it even, but the smile will never reach your eyes, as although you don't believe you will truly do it, or that it will happen, it's the probability that it could that is almost incomprehensible. The fact it COULD have truth can bring you to your knees in terror. It can give you extreme panic, depression, a complete feeling of craziness, you're on the verge...its awful. Let me tell you of my type of ocd, in case this is confusing. I have drunk two glasses of lovely wine, so I'm hoping my words don't end up like this shfkjfhkaherghiq that was meant to look like gobbly gook but just looked silly :) Anyway, I have intrusive thought ocd, its actually called 'pure o' as I don't have any compulsions just horrible thoughts that I can't get out of my head, and have had me in hospital accident and emergency, looked after by a team of people at me home, and more familiar with SSRI's, SNRI'S, benzo's etc etc than I would ever like to be. Medication was my saviour, but lately it is failing me, and my over confident, niggling, ocd 'voice.' I don't want to put all my thoughts here, purely because they can make others worse and we can feed off each other, but alot of mine is confidence based, due to childhood stuff, well that's my thoughts, anyway. They form around 'what if questions, and are especially concentrated around fear of mental health (how ironic), harm to others and being seen in public acting strangely or inappropriately. I have never, ever acted on my thoughts, and we are all told we never will, but its the thought that we could ie 'what if I wasn't in control.' But, as ocders, we are. We must remember this. We fear the worst because we care so much, too much of being in control.
So next time you walk down the street and see a stressed out mum, dischevelled, but make up on, hair just about done, pushing a buggy and running next to a scooter-looking just like everybody else with a busy day ahead of them-it may not be like it seems. She may be having her good day, but she may also be silently suffering. She may be me, Annie Rose, or she may be you. Whoever she is, wherever she is, lets know we're in this together! Until next time...Annie xxxx


  1. Welcome to the blogging community. I'm wondering if you have ever engaged in Exposure Response Prevention Therapy? My son had OCD so severe he could not even eat. He also suffered from Pure O (compulsions are there, they are just mental) but ERP Therapy saved his life and he is doing great. Please look into this if you are not familiar with it. Good Luck!

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear your son suffered for a while, but what amazing news to hear of his progress.
      I have never done ERP, although have always been keen to do so, as I know it would really help me. It is very hard to get ERP where I am, I would have to go private which costs alot of money. Also only specialists do this sort of therapy, and they are hard to come by. Are you in the US? In the UK we just have our gp service and they are not very knowledgable on ocd (you will basically get asked if you hear voices when you talk about intrusive thoughts-which is definately not helpful!)we can get referred to a psych but the main therapy I would be offered would be basic cbt, which I have found hard. It got to the point where my brain was confused-they overloaded me with things to do when the thoughts came and I wasn't sure what technique to use. Needless to say I gave up. Perhaps I should have given it more time, but after three months I wasn't getting any further. I rely on medication but this hasn't been easy since I came off my prozac after 6 years last feb (I 'thought' I was well again, how silly). I have since then been on five different SSRI'S to try and get me back to where I was and pretty much stable. Nothing has worked and now i'm on low dose of paxil and klonopin. The paxil again worked wondered years ago but now doesn't do much. My higher dose at 30mg made me spaced out and more anxious, and the klonopin I think makes me depressed and so I'm at a 0.5 dose which just keeps me from withdrawal..
      I struggle to know what to do from here, but will never give up the struggle to get back to happy me.
      best wishes to you and your son, love Annie

    2. Hello Annie,

      I am in the UK and found my sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy very helpful indeed. It was available for free on the NHS so there really is no need to go private, just make sure that you are registered with a normal NHS doctor. Speak to him about your concerns and make sure that you are honest and say that you would like to be put forward for a course of CBT therapy for your OCD behaviours.

      One thing that is important to remember when dealing with CBT is that the course of treatment must work for you. YOU are the leader in the therapy sessions and the basis of treatment is lead by you under guidance of a CBT therapist - If they are overloading you with information then tell them that you are confused, tell them to go at a slower pace and, if they do not listen, you are within your right to request a different therapist.

      Those words are right out of the mouth of my CBT therapist.

      He also said that medication will help out but it is the CBT that will give you the most progress as it will help change the way in which you process your thoughts and the significance that you place upon them. Exposure therapy is part of CBT so if that wasn't included before then you weren't receiving CBT or the therapist wasn't following procedure for OCD - Insist upon it when you start your new sessions as it is designed, by you, to slow test the basis on which your OCD is placed, and subsequently, to prove to you that those irrational behaviours are unnecessary to proceed with a normal, happy life.

      You are able to overcome OCD but you have to work, work, work at it. And it is very, very hard. Especially at first. But it does get easier and that's what you need to remember. By leading your course of CBT, by talking about your experiences and your anxieties, and by determining how your exposure therapy will progress, you will steadily break down those OCD rules that you have made and placed so much faith in, and will begin to lead a more free and pleasant life.

      I recommend that you buy this book which is what my sessions were based upon and it helped me understand what I was doing to exacerbate my OCD behaviours and how I could begin to break them.

      But remember, guided sessions with a trained cognitive behavioural therapist is key to making progress.

      I hope that this might help a little and feel free to contact me as a fellow UK sufferer if you have any questions.

      Best wishes - OCD Anonymous x

  2. Hello, I just found your blog, and welcome to the blogging world! I have OCD, too, along with depression. I, too, am on meds and am in the midst of therapy. I was doing cognitive behaviorial therapy with some ERP but got sidetracked by some therapy for chronic depression.

    Have you read the book "Brain Lock" by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz? It's very helpful even for those who are not able to see a therapist. It has helped and is still helping me.

    I look forward to reading more posts from you! :-)

  3. Hello!

    I've just found your blog (I have my own here: and I wanted to say hi.

    I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of your posts because there aren't many UK-OCD bloggers, so it's nice to have someone else this side of the pond.