“About three or four years ago, I started doing really strange compulsive behaviors and it’s all because I contacted one of my exes. My first compulsion was that I had to look at the ceiling and blink in sync perfectly so that my eyes would align. My OCD kept telling me that my left eye blinks slower than my right eye. I would have to get them in sync ten times in a row. I started from midnight and stayed awake until 7 AM; I had night sweats the entire time. Another compulsion was that when I burp, I had to perfect saying ‘excuse me.’ Throughout the night, I would try to do two things at one time –blink perfectly and say ‘excuse me’ perfectly. My parents started noticing my weird behavior, so they contacted a psychologist and took me to therapy. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the right psychologist until three months later. During those three months, it was literally hell. I couldn’t leave my room. I stayed in my room for a week and only left to use the bathroom. It was my support system that kept me going. No one understood me, but they were all there for me. In my mind, I thought if I didn’t do this, something bad would happen to me or my family. That’s why I kept doing it because I wanted to protect myself and my loved ones.

Fast forward four or five months, I met my current psychologist. It was probably the hardest thing I had to do in my life. He started me on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy along with medication. My psychologist introduced me to the exposure technique. Once I mastered it, I was so happy. I finally recovered, but it’s still an ongoing battle. Every day is a fight; that’s the beauty of life.”

-Tyler (Irvine, CA)