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"My new post at OCD-UK is one that I consider to be an absolute privilege. I am co-ordinating the charities' new anti-stigma campaign, "Are You A Little Bit OCD?", to be held across the East Midlands over the next 15 months. My formal interview was a refreshing experience, being one of the first times that I could openly discuss my mental health issues, without fear of discrimination, during a recruitment process. I have worked in the voluntary and community sector for several years now, supporting vulnerable children, young people and adults with mental health issues, learning and behavioural challenges. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to invest my skills in an area of work so close to my own heart.
"I have experienced intrusive thoughts for as long as I can remember; as a child, I developed mental rituals in an attempt to supress the anxieties and fears that these thoughts created. As my confusion and misery grew, so did my OCD, and for a long time I felt trapped in a complex web of mental health problems and unhealthy and damaging behaviours. I suffered for years and did not connect with any form support until I was a young woman, receiving CBT in my mid 20's. This life changing experience gave me the tools I needed to manage my own recovery.
"Life is a long road, sometimes smooth, sometimes not so. My journey so far has taught me that I am brave, that I have the power to free myself from ill mental health, and I am strengthened daily by the knowledge that I am not alone. The past, present and future will continue to offer us all difficulties as well as opportunities. Knowing this inspires me to use my experiences and skills to help myself and others to manage the difficult times, to embrace the good and to break free from destructive cycles. I believe, indeed I know, that this is possible."
For more information about the East Midlands 'Are you a little bit OCD?' project, or to register your interest as a volunteer, contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org