Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Show me how big your brave is."

(Photo by author)

I like to reflect on some of the words of the song, Brave, by Sara Bareilles, regarding 'OCD' or any fear that sneaks into the mind and heart. 
These words seems so fitting:
Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is.

Yes!  Show the OCD and/or anxiety how big 
your brave is today! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My OCD Book Article in Local Paper at Publication

When my book first came out, the local paper did an article about me and the book. Risky to put it all out there, but beneficial to others hiding in fear with similar issues.
CLICK on article to enlarge for reading-

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Who Do You Say I Am?


We find these words in the Bible - Luke 9:20.

And the question got me thinking about how OCD can become an identity of sorts. Dr. Steven Brodsky  would often say (probably still does to his current clients) “you are not the OCD.”

This 'OCD identity' might come about through certain people in our lives who ‘think’ they know us well and sometimes voice a remark upon seeing us in a worrisome state. Such as..."It’s the OCD.” “You’re being Obsessive again.” "You're obsessed." “Remember, you have OCD.”  Grrrrrr….

And so we could easily assume that all they 'see' is...a germaphobe, an eccentric, the afraid-of-everything person, one who ruminates, a worry-ward, whatever…when in reality, not everything that upsets or bothers us is an OCD issue.  
The older I become the more I realize that it's important to be around supportive, nonjudgmental people. Because we all have inherited and learned behaviors and fears, some of which present a challenge. 
There's a difference in being told, "oh, get a grip" as opposed to "I'm sorry you're having a hard time, let's see what can help." But if all we receive is negativity and it about having OCD or otherwise...truthfully? Who needs it?
We are who we are, doing the best we can..
No like?  Hasta la vista, baby.

Yes, this is how I ‘take back’ who I am from being identified with OCD. This is one of the strategies Dr. Brodsky has taught me to use. 

So, it’s not so important to wonder what others might answer to: “Who do you say that I am?”  Paramount to that is how  we answer that question for ourselves. Because primarily, we need to KNOW that we are MUCH MORE than OCD!   

For instance, my reply is: I am a person who has capabilities, talents, the ability to have helped and continue to help others, a person who can be enjoyable company, who has long time close friends, a loyal husband, and certain accomplishments under my belt (however big or small.)  

And now I ask you to ask yourself that same question...Who do you say that I am?  Answer it by compiling a list of all that you are, have done, and enjoy, and leave the OCD out of it. Don't let the OCD 'bully' answer the question for you.
OCD is something we 'have' - it is not something that we 'are.' 

Believe it. Live it. Strive to be free of itone moment at a time. And if your symptoms are too powerful for the time being to even do this simple exercise (been there, know that) then call a therapist or read a self-help OCD book. 

My book is among the many out there. Here is the link:
Of course, you can just Google OCD and you'll have access to other helpful books as well as beneficial web sites.

Also, feel free to contact Dr. Steven Brodsky.
He's an OCD specialist in NYC and gives a free evaluation via e-mail, and will do phone sessions in most cases to those who cannot find a therapist in their area.

Wishing you the inner-confidence to know who you are, minus OCD. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OCD and Creativity-Go For It!

 While OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) usually runs in families and is claimed to be, in most cases, a genetic disorder, it’s no coincidence that a great number of highly creative, artistic people suffer from this disorder.
            The most logical explanation is that such people have minds that never stop creating, observing, and analyzing. OCD is the hallmark of the analytical mind. Artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and inventors…many suffer or have suffered from OCD. We can assume that we know about it simply because the lives of celebrities and notable persons are out in the open and such issues make their way to the media.
            This is not to say that people who are in the ‘arts’ or strive to create something new each day are destined to get OCD, and that those who are not overly creative, will not.  OCD is not picky.
            The point is that having such a disorder doesn’t mean that one is crazy, lacking in character, or intelligence. Some of the most brilliant minds have been afflicted by OCD.
            This also shows us that regardless of having this disorder, these people went on to invent, entertain, and contribute beauty, wisdom, prosperity, and new technology to the world.
            Those of us who suffer with OCD can do the same in our own little corner of the planet. Whatever it is we do, be it, parenting – teaching – writing – singing – nursing- dancing – building – driving – acting – photographing – ministering - farming, etc. We can do it well despite having this disorder, because we are not the OCD. 
           We need to just 'go for it' and give it our best shot, no matter if OCD comes along for the ride.
            Following is a list of just some of the creative people who have or have had OCD:

Albert Einstein  

Howard Hughes
Nikola Tesla
Donald Trump

Michael Jackson
Billy Bob Thornton
Leonardo DiCaprio
Cameron Diaz
Howard Stern
David Beckman

Justin Timberlake
Jessica Alba
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Howie Mandel
Martin Scorsese
Julianne Moore

Need some help to get moving? Check out my book: Confronting The Bully of OCD at:
Also check out Dr. Steven Brodsky's web site at:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cabin Fever OCD

Many of us who have a tendency for OCD symptoms flare up a bit when confined indoors, whether due to being sick or the weather. This is mainly due to too much time on our hands, or boredom. The mind will create its own entertainment, not always to our liking.
      Surprisingly, many creative people have OCD...musicians, writers, artists...So, besides creating masterpieces of art,  there is the creation of some pretty wild OCD thoughts and compulsions. (More on that in another post.)
       Others, who do not tend to be creative, might latch on to something fearful in the media while online or watching the News. Or, while reading a novel or scanning channels on cable, this outrageous fearful thought or an old ritual comes crashing in, and sticks like a fly to fly paper. Ugh! Don't panic.
     The key is to not remain idle. For example:
 Call friends.
  Chat online.

  Cook up a tasty dish you never prepared before.
  Exercise. No treadmill or exercise bike?  Put on music of choice, and walk briskly around the house, up and down the stairs, etc. to the beat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Start a journal and vent to it.
 Watch or read something that will make you laugh.
Take a look at the serious face you see in the mirror and smile back at it. (Stop being so serious about this.)
 Treat yourself special...manicure nails, moisturize skin, put on something funky, get colorful (whether age 12 or 80.)  Being stuck at home with OCD flare ups, can sometimes lead to not caring about how we look.
  Drink enough water and reduce sugar and caffeine. (Not many attribute this to aiding OCD flares, but sugar and caffeine make for a hyper body and brain.) We tend to indulge in sweets and caffeinated beverages when idle and stuck indoors. OCD loves this. Use decaf coffee and other sweeteners such as Stevia and Agave. 

 Breathe in some fresh air. Go out on the back or front porch, or in front of your building, and take a few breaths of air. Or just open the window and do this. A couple minutes of some outside air will invigorate and refresh.
  Pray. Prayer can often remind us that we are not alone.We are connected to something greater than us, and to others in our lives who also connect to this Source. I love the feeling I get in church when praying the Our Father along with everyone else, and when singing a beautiful song of praise together. I am not just 'little ole me' but part of every person there and something greater. If you are not religious or spiritual, just let yourself be connected to the universe and all its many wonders.
    Don't Let the OCD Bully You Today.  :)