I have battled with my mental health for as long as I can remember and so I have had plenty of time to come to terms with my mental illness, to learn what it is and ways of managing it. That being said, I suppose my mum has also had a lot of time to come to terms with it, to come to terms with having a child that suffers with her mental health and as a result needed extra support.
I was 18 the first time I was completely and utterly whacked round the face by anxiety. It was the summer before I was due to go to university. I remember being at work and suddenly feeling like the world looked different, people became blurry and I felt disorientated- it was terrifying. I left the shop I was working in and my Dad came to meet me, where he took me home to my Mum.
"Well, now you're not alone. We'll get through this together."
These were the first words my dad said to me after I completely broke down and confessed all of my darkest thoughts about myself and explained the true extent of my mental illness. He didn't run, he didn't scream and shout or get angry, he didn't question me. It felt like an out-of-body experience, like I was watching myself tell him about a part of my life that had plagued me for so many years.
I want to tell you about a manifestation of OCD that isn’t well known about, so that more people can understand it. I used to experience an obsession of constantly apologising to people, even for things that I hadn't done, things that were in my head. I would even apologise to random strangers.