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Happy New Year

This article first appeared on the OCD-UK forums on Saturday 31st December 2016.

A new year beckons and with that will come new challenges for us all, professional, personal and undoubtedly OCD.  My message for you all in 2017 is 'do something', please don't just sit back and wait for recovery to happen, get out there in 2017 and make recovery happen.  Do something, do anything that might help improve your chances of recovery.  Ok, you may not end up where you want to be, but sitting back and doing nothing 100% guarantees failure and more OCD, at least doing 'something' offers the opportunity for success and OCD recovery.    That 'something' may be to reach out for more therapy, re-reading a self-help book, or creating a list of 12 OCD challenges (one a month).

There will never be a perfect time to tackle OCD, and we have all been guilty of making excuses why we can't challenge our OCD, myself included. We are busy with work, I have too much stress in my life already, I have exams to study for etc, etc, but let's be clear they are all excuses!  The perfect time will never come if we wait for it.  I think this quote from the late Carrie Fisher is the perfect response (thank you for Facebook'ing this Kirstie).

Carrie Fisher Close

It can sometimes be scary to challenge our OCD, to take that 'risk' with ours or a loved ones life (that's what OCD tells us), that's something that's cropped up twice in the last two days. Earlier today someone posted that they can't feel where the balance should lie and whichever path they take feels wrong.  I think my response was helpful, so it's worth me reposting that here.

They were right, there are two paths... Path A is OCD and a life living how you feel now, with ever decreasing circles and dark clouds along the entire route, with heavy rain all the way, a pretty miserable journey, a pretty miserable way ahead and a life of misery with OCD.   

Path B is the non-OCD path, and yes you will have to walk through one hell of a thunderstorm briefly at the start of that path, but if you keep going through hell, you will come through the other side one day, remember what Sir Winston Churchill once said "If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going", he was right because if you get through that initial thunderstorm of OCD challenging anxiety you will one day reach a path that is free of OCD, and a bright beautiful sunny sky with a glorious multi-coloured rainbow above a glorious green meadow and a life filled with joy with no OCD clouds in view.  

Your OCD tells you can't choose path B because you need to protect your loved ones. But I suspect if you were to ask your loved ones which path they want you to choose I am pretty sure I know which one they would say!  Because they want you to be happy and healthy and living in a land of glorious green meadows and a bright beautifully coloured sky.

So 2016 may have sucked for many of us, make 2017 the year you do something, anything. just do 'something'!

The work of the charity continues, we have been answering support emails and forum posts all through the Christmas period. The forums are busy as ever. Well you will know that by the fact you're reading this post.  The charity pays hundreds of pounds each year for our server to host the forums, the licenses for the software.  So we do need your support in 2017, please consider helping our charity by becoming a member. It costs £24 a year, which is just £2 a month. We plan to add more benefits for OCD-UK members in 2017, some of which will be beneficial for overseas users too, so you will get real value for money and your membership donation ensures the forum and the charity continues. Think of it this way, if you spend around 10 minutes a day on this forum, that's about a hour a week, four hours a month. Surely that is worth £2 a month :)   You can join OCD-UK by using the store links at the top of the forum - http://www.ocdforums.org/index.php?/store/   (or you can pay monthly from our main website here http://www.ocduk.org/donate-monthly )

If you're not ready to do become a member just yet, that's fine, we will still be here to support you but perhaps you're in a position to make a one-off donation of £5/$5, that will help us too. For anybody making a donation please do let me know and I will email you (or post within the UK) a copy of our last members magazine, a fantastic 60 page A4 full colour magazine packed with articles, and some exclusive content not online.  You can donate online here http://www.ocduk.org/donate or via PayPal to paypal@ocduk.org

Finally, I want to thank all my volunteers, many of whom, are on the forum. I have volunteers who have helped OCD-UK run support groups, proof read the publications, create content for OCD Awareness Week and the list goes on.  But of course our moderators on here also. All of our volunteers give their time without requirement of wages or plaudits but it's important I acknowledge them because they don't get the thanks they deserve, and often they are struggling with OCD themselves yet give up their time to help the charity, to help you!   So thank you so much to all my volunteers, those in formal roles and some of you who unofficially do lots to help the charity and the forum. You guys are amazing, and such special people and I look forward to working with them, and new volunteers in 2017.

2017 is also an exciting time for the charity, after 12-years of it being run from my spare room, we are taking that step to get our own office in February. I will update you all on this once everything is confirmed, but it's a new professional step and will also allow me to work more closely with volunteers that are local to the office in the East Midlands.

So here's to 2016, a year that's been pretty sucky and lets raise a glass to 2017, a year that offers new opportunity to be OCD free... so don't sit back, get out there in 2017 and do something!

Good mental health.

Ashley. 

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