As my flight touched down in Austin, Texas this past Friday I felt a surge of emotion: excitement, anticipation and apprehension all rolled into one. Would I “fit in” with the OCD Texas folks? Would my talk be well received? Would I live up to their expectations of me?
Bobbi met me at the airport and my “would I fit in” concern immediately fell by the wayside. And once we arrived at the Scrupulosity event (after three u-turns, it’s true), I wondered how I could have been so self-centered. The upcoming weekend was not about me at all, or any other individual for that matter. It was about a community coming together to share, learn, and yes, even laugh, about OCD.
Chris Trondsen was the keynote speaker on Saturday and his amazing story of recovery and hope set the tone for the day. Every panel, session, and group was a success. From the young man with social anxiety who spoke with grace and humor about his OCD and ERP Therapy, to the newly recovered OCD sufferer who had the entire room mesmerized as she emotionally recounted being housebound for eight years, the simple yet powerful purpose of this conference was always crystal clear: to help those suffering with OCD.
How can we get the word out about OCD and the proper treatment? How can we reduce the stigma of OCD and improve the way it is portrayed in the media? How can we help those with OCD navigate school and college? How can we encourage people to share their stories of hope? These and other discussions swirled around me all weekend and revitalized me. While my commitment as an advocate for OCD awareness has never wavered, it can get tiring and lonely advocating in front of a computer.
So thank you to Bobbi, Dr. Irene Tobis, and all of OCD Texas, for giving me the opportunity to be part of something so much larger than myself. Your passion and desire to help those with OCD are truly inspirational.