When I was talking to a behavior therapist about my OCD she gave me one large piece of advice and over the past few years, I’ve been taking it

She told me to deal with my anxiety and my OCD obsessions and worries/fears and phobias, I needed to step out of my comfort zone. I needed to start doing what makes me uncomfortable so I could see it isn’t as bad as my half black and white and half grey mind told me it was. That way, I could see the grey that I know is there instead of thinking in extremes. I consider OCD a black and white disorder where you know life is grey, you know there is no black and white but your brain tries to make you think it is.

I have read tons of blogs, sites, magazine articles and books about OCD. I have read about mindfulness, meditation and I try to practice mindfulness meditation daily. I also am learning how to talk myself down from the anxiety induced thoughts- embrace them then disprove them.

One of my biggest anxieties is how I look- the weight I have gained over the years and the difficulties I have with finding good workouts and the perfect diet. At my biggest, I was a size 20 and 220lbs. I am now down to 170 and a size 14/16 and am working on trying to get to an 8/10 by the end of the year. I’m finally out of plus size and 20lbs away from my goal of 150 (I was muscular when I was a teen- heavier but not too bad overweight. I was in shape and everyone thought I was about 20lbs lighter because I had more muscle). At my smallest, I was a size 5 and 125lbs- what my BMI said was ideal, but told I needed to eat (concerned friends- NOT people trolling me) and was told how sick I looked- I achieved my ideal BMI for 5’5” BUT lost a lot of muscle and couldn’t hold the weight because I barely ate at that particular time.

I have promised myself I will never look at 200lbs again. It adds about 10 years to my appearance and unlike some women, I cannot pull off being overweight. I look messy and much older.

Thanks to the insecurities and issues I have with my weight, I hardly have any pictures of myself without something covering my face partially or blocking me somehow. I hide behind my kids and I hide behind other things. I do not use beauty filters and when I post videos, I will not edit them- that way it’ll push me even more. I have been doing this for a while. I am able to hand select pictures and I don’t have to use picttures at all but yesterday, I started Vlogging on Youtube. I had always thought it sounded fun, but mixing talking in front of a camera (my speech impediment prevents me from even using the intercom at work) and showing my face, it pushed me past my comfort zone. I have posted one as an introduction to who I am and the other is about growing up and living now with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I was made fun of a lot growing up because of how I talk. I have a speech impediment and had to go through years of speech therapy. Now, it sounds like more of an accent than an impediment and I do not sound like a West Virginian.

I also still get a lot of comments about it now. A lot of times it’s “I love your accent” but it can never sound sincere to me. It reminds me of being mocked all through school. I have had people refer to me as “sexy exotic” (cue laughing after saying it). I also had a kid say he liked me “except the way I walked and talked” back in middle school. I still get asked on a weekly basis where I’m from and almost disbelieved when I say I’m from here. I try to not let it get to me but after being laughed at and mocked, it’s hard. For the first time, I actually have used an intercom system in the store I work at and I did my first video. I know I’ll never get fully over the anxiety of being heard aloud, but maybe as I get older I’ll be able to handle it better.

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