OCD has been a part of my life for many years. It has taken me 33 years to accept that it is a chronic illness and it is a part of me. I spent my early teens and 20’s feeling out of control. My body, and mind were completely riddled with anxiety symptoms. The only peace I got was when I numbed myself with alcohol and let loose on the weekend.
Finally, yoga found me when I made the move once again to Queensland. As I sit in the class the teacher said “you are not your thoughts” I felt this freed me. I realised that if I’m not my thoughts I can get on with my life no matter what is going on in my head. Even though yoga has been my saving grace, it also flared up my OCD to, I was convinced that yoga could heal the monster in my head. I felt peace in class but once I left the space in was bombarded with repetitive noise in my head.
I spent 1000’s of dollars on natural therapies convinced that I may find the magic treatment to heal my pain. After years of being in an anxious mess I broke down, broke down till the only treatment was to have a high dose SSRI antidepressant. I didn’t want to go down this path because I worked so hard to be off them and find a natural path to heal my dis-ease. But I could not function with the scramble in my head. It was debilitating. After around 6 long weeks I woke one morning and the noise had quietened a lot. I could hear myself think, I could talk to my friends without being interrupted by compulsions that I would have to say a word in my head to bring myself back in the present. Anyone on the outside would not know that I was struggling, my warrior within was holding its ground even through the toughest times. Nothing could dim my light.
Each day I got better with the help of consistent yoga practice, self-love, friends, and my health team. I wanted to have one child but I couldn’t go off my medication it would be way too risky for the baby and myself. I got the all clear to be able to stay on my medication. We fell pregnant straight away. This little angel was meant to come into our life. The pregnancy went really well, I loved practicing yoga through the trimesters. I felt strong, calm and focused.
I knew my warrior within wasn’t going to let me down. Even though I was taking the medication I still had to do all the work to stay on path. It’s not a pill that magically makes my dis-ease disappear. It allows me to put all my healing practices in place to balance me and control relapses.
I really saw the stigma of mental health. The doctors were concerned I would relapse. One particular doctor swore that I would get post-natal depression. OCD and depression are completely different. I had a birth plan and was happy to wait even if the baby was overdue. But the doctor said that I’d have to be induced because my anxiety may flare up if I didn’t have control of the birth plan. I was horrified with the way she was talking to me. Putting me in a box of anxiety sufferers. Little did she know the warrior within me.
As time neared closer to the birth of my son. I went into natural labour, and birthed my son with no pain relief at all. I am proud of this because I worked hard and proved that yoga is the most amazing practice to help you through everything.
New beginnings, Nearly two years later I can say it’s been the most magic time of my life. I love being a mum and I have such a bright ball of light that is so bright being with my son. I am stronger physically, mentally and connected spiritually then I have ever been. This is thanks to the warrior within.