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Kim and her facing anxiety skydive

First published in the OCD-UK members magazine Compulsive Reading in April 2016.

By a strange quirk of fate, this weekend Kim Grant is jumping out of a plane to fundraise for OCD-UK, the perfect start to OCD Awareness Week! Kim shared with ourselves and her fundraising page exactly why she is getting involved.

For 6 years I suffered in silence and tried my very best to battle against ‘Pure O’, a living nightmare.

‘Pure O’ is a form of OCD where people mistakenly believe that it differs from traditional OCD, in that it features no outward compulsive manifestations; instead, the anxiety inducing obsessions take place only in the mind. However, a person with ‘Pure O’ will still have compulsions which mainly manifest as unseen mental rituals, and they will usually also engage in compulsive behaviours like seeking reassurance from loved ones, and avoidance of particular objects, places or people.

I was terrified I was going to hurt them in any way, shape or form that my mind could haunt and terrify me with.

For me I avoided my closest and loved ones because I was terrified I was going to hurt them in any way, shape or form that my mind could haunt and terrify me with. I moved out of my family home very young because the intrusive thoughts were beating me every day.

Of course, the more you try and not think about this the worse it gets. Your anxiety takes over and you feel trapped, sickened. I looked for reassurance from my friends and my work colleagues who noticed the change in me and the depression that I was suffering with as a result. It didn’t ‘act’ like a compulsion it WAS a compulsion, which is why the term ‘Pure O’ is somewhat imprecise.

I let OCD shape my whole life, avoiding certain situations, cancelling plans, and worst of all dropping out of college. I was too afraid and ashamed to admit that I needed professional help. I couldn’t cope anymore and the thought of my whole life being controlled by anxiety was terrifying.

Because of the stigma and biased opinions people have on mental illness, I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know how to explain what was going on in my mind, terrified that people would judge me, hate me and worst of all, disown me.

OCD is a tireless bully who beats you when you’re down and takes over your whole life as a result. It targets the most vulnerable and attacks your weakest points.

On the 1st of July 2015 I was diagnosed with OCD and provided with the right help and treatment I had so longed for. I’m so privileged to have the most amazing boyfriend, friends and family who have each researched the condition and are by my side at my hardest times.

The additional help I received from OCD-UK and other support groups was phenomenal. If it wasn’t for the support of OCD-UK I would still be living in the darkest place.

I truly believe there are still a vast number of people who are stuck there right now, with no understanding of what they have and ashamed to open up to anyone. Keeping it inside is the hardest battle, don’t let it torture you!

After facing up to my biggest fears I now feel I can conquer anything (oh god!) and I am jumping out of a plane 10,000 feet in the air in order to raise money for OCD-UK. If I can help just one person with my story I will have already reached my own achievement!

By raising as much money as I can, I hope OCD-UK can continue to raise awareness for the condition and help other sufferers to understand they are ok, and provide them with the right help and support!.

Editor: If you were inspired by Kim's story and would like to sponsor her, her sponsorship page is here:- http://www.justgiving.com/Kim-Grant4 Or if you fancy doing your own jump for OCD-UK, then please do get in touch.

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