“It’s not me, it’s the thought”

In episode 22 of The OCD Stories podcast I interviewed Mary. Mary has been an OCD advocate since 2006. She is a co-facilitator with Paula Kotakis of the San Francisco OCD Mutual Aid Support Group. At the 22nd annual OCD conference last year in Boston Mary facilitated a support group called “Overcoming Obstacles During Treatment and Beyond” with Dr. Joan Davidson, and she is a contributor to Joan’s latest book: “Daring to Challenge OCD”.  Mary recently participated in Dan Fenstermacher’s photo exhibit “Overcoming Challenges Daily”, a photo series featuring a variety of people with OCD and their personal stories.

In this episode I chat with Mary about contamination OCD, emotional contamination, the importance of finding a therapist that gets it, practical advice for leaning into the fear, how flow helps her cope, finding the resources to beat OCD, and how your brain is creative enough to find a way out of OCD. She also shares the importance forgiving yourself. Enjoy…

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Show notes:

Mary’s OCD Story (2:20)

The power of hindsight on viewing your obsessions (9:10)

How to lean into the fear (12:30)

How acting helps Mary remove OCD (15:40)

How willingness helps you cope with therapy better (19:10)

“Lean in” (28:00)

How Mary uses mental imagery to lean in (30:40)

What to avoid if you have OCD (37:20)

What to do if you have OCD (41:10)

Tips to running an OCD support group (45:40)

Mary’s one piece of advice for someone with OCD (47:50)

Mary’s advice for living a good life (48:30)

What Mary would have on her billboard (51:10)

Find out more about Mary:

Daring to challenge OCD by Dr Joan Davidson (Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com)

Resources mentioned:

Fred Penzel’s podcast episode

Dr Chad LeJeune’s podcast episode

Dr Joan Davidson’s podcast episode

UCSF Langley Porter

My rOCD podcast with my fiancée

Filthy, Dirty, Love film

Mindfulness workbook for OCD by Jon Hershfield (Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com)

To your success,

Stuart and The OCD Stories team

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Comments (2)
  1. I really appreciated Mary’s advice on maintaining your recovery. The insights she shared about having a toolbox of ways to combat OCD when it triggers you before it turns into a relapse was helpful.

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