To those wondering if recovery will ever come their way...

* This is the first post I haven't edited... and then re-edited. It's quite a raw piece, I just sat and wrote it straight up and I'd like the writing to reflect that. Please forgive the odd grammatical error or repetition* There was a time when my OCD raged so out of control that I couldn’t see any kind of future for myself. I was mentally, emotionally and physically beaten by my symptoms and was desperate for a way out. My life today is much better than that. Why? I think it’s because eventually I had to accept that something was very wrong and that I needed help. I promise you, the overall change that I saw in me, although life changing, did not happen overnight – there is no miracle story

A history of attempting to visualise OCD - aka the birth of Olivia!

***I’d just like to put in at the start of this piece that if you’d asked me to give my OCD a persona or form in the days before I’d gone through any treatment, I have done one of two things. I’d have either wandered away, muttering crossly under my breath about how your suggestion completely ‘belittled’ the condition, or promptly burst into tears at what a hugely impossible task that felt like for me. And it’s for this reason that I won’t always be referring to my OCD as Olivia. Sometimes ‘she’ll’ be there other times it’ll be plain old OCD. If you’re at that place now and find it as difficult as I would have done to identify your OCD with a character like Olivia please don’t be put off. Ig

Meet Olivia... the character helping me beat OCD.

I’ll have to do the introductions as she's not in the best of moods today... ​ This is Olivia! She came into being about a year ago, personifying a big, black void of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that, at times, threatened to swallow me whole. Olivia is: determined, loyal, imaginative, creative, sensitive and protective. She’s also a big worrier, irrational, unnecessarily over-dramatic and prone to the odd bout of nastiness, but more about that later... ​ Olivia usually extends her somewhat unconventional hand of friendship towards me and if I concentrate hard, like really, REALLY, hard, I can see that she’s often trying to be a good friend. Ultimately, although misguided, her loyalti

Come and meet me!

Hi, I'm Catherine. Welcome to Taming Olivia! ​ ​The first time I wrote ‘My Story’ it went on forever. Thankfully, this isn't it! I’ve tried to be as concise as possible yet still give you all the information you need to help you get to know me and what I’m up to at Taming Olivia. ​ ​So here goes… let’s start with the more general stuff. I’m 36 years old and live in East London with my husband and son. I have a degree in Psychology and a postgraduate degree in Primary Education. I've taught in various East London schools and loved every second of being with the kids. I am currently having a break from teaching full-time so that I can spend more time with my little boy and to work on different

London, UK

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