There is a Fear Inside You There is a fear inside of you That whispers all day long I feel that this is scaring me And now I just feel wrong No fear, worry, or nervousness Can make you decide What’s right for you Just listen to Your heart that beats inside Face Your Fears Group member, age 11 Fear What is Fear? Why does it exist and why is it so mean? Does it have a personality of its own? Could you write to Fear, asking why it dances and pulls our nerves until they are about to break? Is its goal to make your heart beat so fast, Make you dizzy, Give you a headache, all in one second? Or to keep you up for hours on end, And make you wake up at one in the morning worry, worrying, worrying, I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I have. When you get the feeling of relief from the first fear, You don’t have a millisecond to even blink. Your face turns twisted, sour, you feel like crying. You have just come up with a new fear. First, you get this tingling feeling all through your body, You get quite lightheaded. Your teeth clench, as if trying to bite through a hard, cold, fat rock, Your fist is clenched, your whole body is tense, you feel like you want to let go, Give up. Let fear invade your mind and body, control you, Torture you, destroy you from within. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I have. Fear is a bully in itself, It makes you so angry! “Why do I fear this stupid stuff?! Why me?” Fear is just there, and a bully. Always there, never wanted, Go away, do not stay. Sometimes I wonder why pandora opened the box. Sometimes I wonder why fear exists. Sometimes I wonder why, why, why, fear exists. Fear hurts,fear stings, fear is a bulletproof vest for itself and if it had a soul… I would yell, I would scream, I would fight it ’till the end, make it sorry! I don’t know if you’ve been there, but I have… Face Your Fears Group member, age 13 The Pain This pain is a different kind of pain. It’s not like the one you get from a paper cut… This is a deep emotional pain, A deep emotional wound that you will have forever. Only growing, never shrinking. Always there, never wanted. This pain, it rips your heart apart from the inside out and rips you apart Leaving you wounded like a solder on an empty battlefield. Crawling around helplessly, waiting , wanting help, but is forgotten about. He is crippled but still has the will to carry on, He struggles, and tried, but no matter how hard he tried, he fails This pain, Makes you cry and just want to sleep, but you can’t even sleep,,, You can do nothing but watch it get worse. The repetitive thoughts making you do things, sutch things that you later realize do nothing. Absolutely nothing at all but make things worse. Worse for yourself, hard for others to watch. The nonsense I have to deal with makes me feel hopeless, Like a butterfly with a broken wing. He deserves to fly. But cannot. Face Your Fears Group member, age 13


…By Vin Z. STEP 1…To start, take an extra large mixing bowl and fill with COURAGE STEP 2…Throw in 3 quarts of HOPE STEP 3…Fold in 4 quarts of COMMITMENT STEP 4…Empty in a gallon of BRAVERY and do not shake while mixing STEP 5… Sprinkle in lots of KINDNESS by doing something for others so as to forget yourself STEP 6…Open up that bag of “I BELIVE IN MYSELF” that’s been hanging around for too long and empty into the bowl STEP 7…Now continue to stir day after day for as long as it takes until all the lumps are gone STEP 8…Last, but not least, build an enormous fire, as hot as can be, and throw in the OCD.

I’m the OCD Wizard

I’m the OCD Wizard and out on the prowl. I like to sneak up and give you a howl. I’ll always stand by you through thick and through thin-making life hard so you never can win. I’m a miserable cuss who wants you to worry. I’ll make you uneasy and in a great hurry. Germs are my friends along with much doubt. I’ll twist you and turn you and wring you right out! I love living life on only my terms, making you worry with unfounded germs. I smile when I see someone checking a door. They do it so much it’s hard to keep score. And how about the person who’s worried while flying? He ruined his vacation-did he turn off the iron? I know many who save and just can’t let go. They keep lots of stuff and it bothers them so. If people found out I’m just a big fake, I’d squirm and I’d wobble, I’d shiver and shake. I’d run like a chicken, I’d fly like a jet. I’d jump in a lake and get soaking wet. I’m really a coward who puts on a front. I have small skinny legs and I’m only a runt. So this is my secret-the reason to scare-I’m really just nothing-nothing to fear. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I’m starting to slump and starting to sag. I’m just an illusion who needs a new life. I’m tire of spooking and causing such strife. So, as you get better and start feeling glad, you’ll find that ”yours truly” wasn’t so bad. Almost sincerely, The OCD Wizard P.S. I’m more afraid of you than you are of me! Vin Z. 5/15/13

OCD=AKA The Wizard

OCD is a burden for sure, and all those who have it hope for a cure. You start out the race feeling just fine, but during the day he sneaks up behind. He’s a very strange thing, this darn OCD. I can’t understand why he’s picking on me. You try to avoid the herms and the dirt. It isn’t that easy-there’s just too much hurt. We all want to be just normal inside. But how can we know-there isn’t a guide! He picks on us all-the old and the young. If I had my way, I’d cut off his tongue! We turn to the left, we turn to the right. But who sees our struggle? The mind’s out of sight! Some of us wash and some of us check. One thing’s for sure-it makes us a wreck. The wizard we know is a fake and a phony. He scares us a lot but he’s full of baloney. The wizard is cool, he’s cozy and clever. He’s always around in all kinds of weather. He’s here and he’s there and never lets up. It’s time to take charge. We’ve all had enough! I could go on writing miles of verse. Let’s try a bit harder and get rid of the curse. So put on that smile when the wizard is near, and little by little, you’ll conquer your fear. Over the years, I’ve come to conclusion, the OCD Wizard is only illusion. Since we all have been prone to his lash and his strife, its high time we told him to “Go get a life!” Vin Z.

This is a brief story about a recent adventure I had while trying to Run OCD Out of My Life.

I woke up in an anxious manner and just wanted to take a lorazapam and go back to bed, but I knew that wasn’t good coping skills. I decided to go for a run, which I’ve been doing frequently to prepare myself for the run in October. I often run on a dirt road through a wildlife management area near my house. I decided to go there and figured no one would see me so I wore my green and yellow shoes, purple pajama pants and a very sheer white tank that prominently showed my hot pink sports bra. As I’m running along the wide main road, I see a beautiful path that I just had to go down. I repeatedly came upon predicaments like this one: Very fun at first, but the water was gross (that rust color is really the way it looked), much deeper than you’d think, and if I avoided the deep water filled ruts I would get cut up by thorns. I also ran through many spider webs, my biggest irrational non-ocd fear. At some point as I’m running, dodging and swimming around, I recalled the last time I was speaking at a motivation group at the OCD Institute. One woman asked me if I ever worry my past symptoms will come back or new ones will arise, and if so what I do about it. I replied, “Yes, I know there are certain life triggers to be careful about. For example, I used to have contamination fears. I do not anymore, but if a piece of candy fell on the ground, well, I might just eat it as a preventative exposure.” This run was quickly turning into a huge preventative exposure for all kinds of OCD fears! What diseases could be carried in this stagnant water? How about bacteria getting into my cuts from the thorns? How about that asthma I’ve never had but obsessed about as an adolescent? Could this be my first attack in the middle of nowhere? Will I contract Lyme disease or another tick borne illness? I’m not too familiar with Massachusetts wildlife, what if I get bit by something and die? Oh snap, what if I get RABIES??!! That was a long-running obsessive fear I had since I was 5. I could see myself delusionary demanding water while I foam at the mouth, knowing that my end would be soon. What if I see a fisher cat or a black bear? What if I got lost and had to be rescued in this outfit?! Well… I just kept trudging along through the thorns, spiders, mosquitoes and potential disease until I came to this row of power lines. I knew where I would come out if I followed them, but I could see on my phone that it would be about a half mile to the road. No big deal, except this water I was going through was deeper and smellier. It had a shiny rainbow look to it and I quickly found out it was whatever was running off of the nearby highway. I finally had enough of this when I smelled what I thought was sewage. Are my thoughts of getting flesh eating bacteria legit or is that ocd bugging me? I didn’t know, but I was done with this exposure. My shoes and lower legs were covered in mud and whatever else was in there. I went back to the trail and kept walking until I heard the highway. What should I do- find the highway and definitely be seen by people or go back through all that on the trail? I decided to risk someone I know seeing me dressed as a homeless junkie walking down the highway. But, I couldn’t find it so I went off the trail trying to get to it which caused many, many more thorn scrapes on the same spots that had just been contaminated with possible flesh eating bacteria. I pictured myself telling the doctors in my hospital room how I contracted this disease. They shook their head in disbelief that a grown woman would be this dumb. At this point, I was angry. Angry I got myself into this, angry that I could have actually caused my own death (a real ocd fear), and angry at whoever decided to disguise this human wasteland as a ‘Wildlife Management Area’. Disgruntled, I made my way to the highway. I was about 2 miles from my house, but at least I knew where I was and how to get back. I walked on the woods side of the guard rail, going through litter and more thorns. Blood was running out of my cuts and the open wounds combined with trash were probably creating a party of bacteria in my body. Woe, what about tetanus? Oh wait, I just had my shot two years ago. Is that too long? What if, what if, what if… Because of all these roadside obstacles, I was only looking down at my feet. When I finally raised my head I saw that a police car was stopped ahead. It startled me and I tripped over a house gutter someone had tossed out their window. I landed hard on my knee and rolled onto my back. At this point, I shamefully started to cry. My knee was immediately swollen, but I pushed myself up to see the police car right beside me. I’m sure he saw the whole thing go down. He asked what I was doing, and then asked if I had any ticks. I replied “probably!” Reluctantly, he said he’d drive me home. “I’m transporting the female to…” and he said my address. How humiliating. I took a long shower and thankfully didn’t have a single tick on me or any rashes! I’m living with the uncertainty that my body is harboring flesh-eating bacteria and in a few weeks I might be foaming at the mouth. I may even be in an episode of Cops. Or no one may ever think about the whole thing again. Either way, I’m so glad I went for a run that day. I got out of my head and even though I don’t ever wish to have this experience again, I think it’s pretty funny. That night I went to the support group and we had a good laugh. I felt like I really did Run OCD Out of My Life because I was dealing with life’s obstacles instead of avoiding the possibility of having any obstacles. Jenna S. via Cape & Islands Cognitive Behavioral Institute Facebook page

Victor-A Friendly Flea to Fight OCD

I’m Victor the flea and I can’t stand the Wizard. If I had some scissors, I’d cut out his gizzard! Compared to my size he’s really a moose-so get out of the way-I’m now on the loose! I’ll run up his back and crawl in his hair. From the time I arrive, he’ll be living in fear. I have stood by and watched how he treats all the folk. It’s not very funny and it isn’t a joke. I’ll crawl up his neck and sit on his nose-and tug at his ears and squirt with a hose. I’ll tickle his feet and tickle his chin. He’ll be one big mess when I’m through with him. I’ll use my lawn mower to cut off his locks, and pull off his shoes and burn both his socks. I’ll walk through his eyebrows, use his ear for a cave. I’ll chain both his legs and make him my slave. The Wizard, I hear, likes to scare all the youth. When I’m done with him, he’ll smile with one tooth! It’s a good thing that I’m tiny-I can hide anywhere. I love crawling on him to give him a scare. What kind of a man is afraid of a flea? He’s really a coward and afraid as can be. Fleas are so tiny and look kind of weak. But we’re not like the mice that can run, jump and squeak. So when the skinny legged man starts showing his face, just laugh and be happy-he’s nothing but space. If he is afraid of one who’s so tiny and small, look him straight in the eye-he will climb up the wall! So remember the flea when the “WIZ” comes a calling. Give him a kick and send him off crawling! If you do all these thing I mentioned before, the Wizard will scamper and run out the door. So try to be happy when the Wizard appears. He’s just a big sissy with his own silly fears. And remember each day from one who’s so small, “The Wizard”, who is he? He’s nothing at all. Sincerely, Victor Flea P.S See you at the Flea Market

Love Her Anyway

Over time we have learned what the stress and worry are about it is called OCD we now have no doubt. My daughter has struggles and now so do I I often ask God for the answer to why. Constant worry, anxiety and fear please god can you help us, we pray loud and clear So many signs from such a young age all pieces to the puzzle that is now finally made. We thought it was anxiety, others called her a brat people called her a freak, can you imagine that? Now that we have learned so much about OCD everything makes sense from the tantrums to the worries. Too much anxiety about negative things creates angry outbursts, depression and lots of mood swings OCD sufferers are not always in a good mood they live a negative life and often tend to brood. Believe me, they would love to smile all day if all the negative thoughts and worries would just go away. Worrying about losing earrings, about love and about germs about texting, athletic ability and can she transform? Worrying about her physical appearance makes her skin crawl believing she is fat, unattractive and a emotional burden to all. Hating herself and obsessing this way make her life so complicated and so she struggles all day Struggling to undo thoughts and things that were done the constant mental rituals and internal battles can not be fun. Magical Thinking is a part of my daughters long fight She can’t do so many things if it just doesn’t feel right Thoughts that aren’t realistic get in the way They can ruin a moment, a night or even a whole day. OCD sufferers are sensitive and feel insecure People don’t understand the disorder of that I am sure OCD is not only about germs and washing hands it is the obsessive thoughts that go on internally that no one understands. Living in a world full of negativity and worry causes rituals and actions some people think are funny. The laughter is hurtful, it makes them feel bad but it’s the thoughts inside their head that make me feel sad Living in fear that their thoughts can become real Causes anxiety, intolerance and emotions that need to be healed They push people away because they feel misunderstood, embarrassed and insecure they don’t share details because it is too complicated for even them to endure Unconditional love, patience and emotional support are some of the things that make them feel some type of self worth. Coming Out of the Closet Been suffering in silence for so so long feeling lonely and unknown. Monsters of fear, shame, and what ifs paralyze. My career, my job, my reputation, my family. If they only knew. I couldn’t bear the thought of it. I finally admitted to “stress…” It’s everywhere, right? Felt sicker and crazier talking about 1975. Out of control and helpless. I’m crazy. Must be losing my mind. I was finally told “it” was “severe obsessional anxiety.” “OCD?” I asked. But, “no, you don’t have any compulsions.” Hunted for answers; reached out to experts. By chance, found my Therapist. Trusted her with my darkest thoughts and fears. She smiled And didn’t seem repulsed. She connected me with someone Who understood. Finally not alone… Finally not alone. So, I’ve joined her group Via Skype… Sometimes sitting in my closet. Heart beating fast trying to catch my breath. But with people who understand on the other end. Not staying in this closet forever. Coming out day by day. Getting stronger And refusing to be silenced Or shamed by this any longer. Fighting my way out Gradually bending open These prison bars. I will be free. By Hope