Obsessive-Compulsives are Brave.

bebraveSometimes I think we OCs view ourselves as the antithesis of bravery because we experience so much anxiety, so much fear … and often over things that no one else seems to be struggling with.

But here’s the thing: we do it.  We battle this anxiety every. single. day.  

We get up.  We go to work and school.  We battle our way through days and nights like warriors.  People who don’t have OCD can rarely understand the terror that we stare in the eye every day.

And, most importantly, we seek out treatment– and that is the bravest thing of all.


For more about the ERP therapy that set me free, go to jackieleasommers.com/OCD.

Image credit: Kelli Murray


When I think of words to describe myself, brave is not one that comes quickly to mind.  In fact, I think I’m actually kind of a wimp.  A chicken.  I read books about crazy adventures because quite often I’m too scared to tackle them myself.

If I’d have gotten my letter for Hogwarts, I’d so desperately have wanted the Sorting Hat to put me into Gryffindor House.  But, let’s be honest, I’d have probably been in Ravenclaw.  Or Hufflepuff (gasp!).


Movies scare me … sometimes even when they’re not supposed to be scary.  Change scares me.  Public speaking scares me (although not as much as it used to!).  I’m scared of needles, writing criticism, driving in the snow, and going to parties alone.

But last week I was emailing my friend Kyle about various opportunities in my life, and he wrote to me: “It will be a brave decision to stay, or a brave one to go, and for different reasons. You’re a brave person.”


But I thought about it more.  I am scared of change … but I am willing to take risks I feel called to take.  I am scared of public speaking … but I force myself to accept opportunities to share with crowds (and have really honed my skills!).  I’m scared of needles, but I get shots.  Of writing criticism, but I invite it, ask for feedback all the time.  Of going places alone, but I suck it up, paste on a smile, and meet new people.

Driving in the snow … yeah, okay, I avoid that and just stay in. 🙂

But even more than all of this, I lived for over fifteen years under the tyranny of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and I stood up to it.  I tackled cognitive-behavioral therapy, which was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and came out with OCD under my foot instead of the other way around.

Know how I feel?