Living With Me and My OCD Film Poster

Living with Me and My OCD By Claire Watkinson

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The film includes interviews with people who suffer from OCD. It puts right the public perception that OCD is about ‘just being tidy’. It is shocking and eye opening in all the best ways, and truly shows the many forms this disorder can take. I’d really like to praise and thank all the contributors, as well as Claire of course, for being so honest in their accounts and for allowing them to be shared. Some of the testimonies brought tears to my eyes because I could relate so strongly. If you have OCD this film will show you that you are not alone. If you don’t have OCD- this film will open your eyes and make you grateful you don’t. I seriously believe that this film is an epic step in the right direction for OCD Awareness and understanding.

I found out about ‘Living with Me and My OCD’ a couple of years ago. I was intrigued and excited to hear of a film exclusively about OCD and, even more excitingly, one that is directed and produced by someone who actually has the condition. I knew straight away after being in contact with Claire the producer that she would make sure that this film would give the best insight into OCD as possible. Recently the film came out and there was a screening event in Claire’s hometown of Sheffield. The film is now on OCD-UK’s youtube channel and has been praised by OCD Action.

A girl kneels on the floor. She wears a long sleeved green top with denim dungarees. She has pink and grey socks and long brown hair that reaches the floor as she sits on her feet. A mouse is perched on her shoulder running a large comb through her hair while a mouse on the floor begins to plait her long hair. Another tiny mouse supervises. Text reads ‘It’s okay to need help’.

I Know You Feel Down Right Now

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But I promise that it is okay for you to feel like this. You don’t have to pull yourself together.

I understand that everything is too fast and you feel too slow. The world hurts you every time you leave your bed. You feel pain as you bounce between every anxiety-made impossibility.

I want to tell you something: it will get better. Even though it doesn’t feel like it now and it sounds cliché: this feeling will pass. You couldn’t feel any worse at the moment so the only way is up. I can’t tell you when or how your mood will shift, but it will. Remember that you have a 100% success rate of surviving every tough day life throws at you. You are a fighter.

Look after yourself. The more you care for your mind and body the more likely they are to co-operate with you. It is like having a pulled muscle. Maybe you overdid it. There are ways to make the pain lessen and one day you will (at the very least) feel just a little bit better than you do now. Even if you think you will never heal completely because the depression is too deep, try to master the baby steps. Learn to doggy paddle to stop you sinking. I’m not going to tell you to do anything radical, or that there is a ‘cure’. I won’t instruct you to go vegan or try oils or ‘find yourself’ in a desert. I’m just going to tell you to fuel your body with good quality food, fluids and thoughts.

Make yourself feel nice. Get in the bath and wash your hair, brush your teeth and all the other things that you do before you go out somewhere nice. Don’t worry- you don’t have to actually go out. Just make yourself feel great in a clean pair of PJs with freshly-shampooed hair. Practice painting your nails or use a really nice moisturiser. Make your body feel special.

Breathe. Dearest person please breathe. Every now and again count your breath, breathe longer out than you breathe in and pause for a second in between. Get music in your ears, happy and sad. Scribble in a notebook. Re-watch anything you fancy. Do the things you often wish you had time to do. Invest time in yourself.

Find a cuddle. Even if it is just with a blanket or a teddy. A pet or a person, get a hug. You feel numb right now but other people can still feel you. You are still with the rest of the world, no matter how much it feels like you are not.

You are never alone. So many from all over the world, past and present, have been where you are right now. Find them. Get on social media, read books and watch documentaries. People are out there. The internet is a fantastic resource and people going through similar experiences can provide amazing support. There are people in the same dark place as you and people who have escaped it, using techniques that you might not know yet. Knowledge is power, so learn from them. Don’t cut yourself out of the real world though, keep talking to your friends and family even if it feels like you have nothing to say. Tell someone you trust how you feel and you will find even the most unlikely people have suffered with mental ill-health too.

I might not see your face or know your name but I care about you. I don’t know if you are like me: with the knowledge that you will to and fro between this place and a better one for the foreseeable, or if this is the first time that you have ever felt this way. Either way it is frightening. I can validate here and now that what you are feeling is really tough to deal with. I don’t know the details of your situation but I know you feel broken and that really hurts. You have survived every day so far, even when you thought you couldn’t. I know that you can do it again today.

A still from the film I am borderline of a lady silhouetted in a window

I AM BORDERLINE: A Short Film

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Potential Trigger Warning:

This is a very powerful short film depicting what it is like to live with borderline/emotionally unstable personality disorder. This disorder is widely misunderstood and stigmatised. I particularly like how it highlights ‘positives’ that can come from having the disorder.

“You are resilient and you try again. You’ve suffered so deeply, so much of the time. You push on; searching for love, hope and compassion.”

A picture of a fatigue information sheet

Stickman Communications’ Pacing Pack Review

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This post is a review of some awesome products from Stickman Communications– a fantastic company that supports disabled people through a range of quirky designs and sassy explanations.

I use their line of communication cards on a daily basis and was lucky enough to be sent a ‘Pacing Pack’ to review by the genius behind the designs, Hannah Ensor.

After a couple of months testing here are my thoughts…

Pacing Magnet Set

These magnets are really quite groovy. They cover all the days of the week, times of day, intensity levels of activities and also meal, snack, and exercise prompts.

I found being able to timetable my day really useful and the magnets acted as good reminders to add on easily forgotten essentials; like exercise and down time. There are enough magnets for you to either plan a day in detail or block out a full week. Included in the pack is a black dry-wipe pen and eraser. The magnets are quite small so can’t hold much detail, but I would suggest writing in the pen around the magnets if you want to add additional information. These magnets are really fantastic for seeing what a day or week will look like when you are planning. They stick really well to magnetic surfaces and are beautiful bright colours. They were originally intended for fridges but I like to stick mine on my whiteboard in my room so I can see them during the day.

Picture of the magnets which are small squares on a whiteboard

Pacing Post-It Notes

The second part of the pack is this cute little post-it note stack.

A picture of the post-it notes, they are split into three: 'easy stuff', 'Okay stuff' and 'challenging stuff'

They allow you to divide your day into three activity levels: ‘easy stuff’, ‘okay stuff’ and ‘challenging stuff’. I find these notes really useful because it encourages me to balance my day so that it is manageable. They stick really well to walls, boards, paper- anywhere you might need to be reminded about your plans.

Pacing Pack Crib Sheet

This is a handy little resource for people with fatigue problems and their friends and family. It is easy to understand, colourful and illustrated. Stickman Communications prides itself on its no-jargon resources, and this “Getting The Best Out of Life” sheet certainly follows that ethos.
A picture of the information card provided with the set. It describes different levels of fatigue 

I found this pacing pack really useful and I’d particularly recommend it to anyone who is newly diagnosed with a chronic condition or just learning to manage their illness. I’d also recommend it to any parents of disabled children who might need help with teaching their child how to plan around and for their condition. Good pacing and planning skills are vital for anyone with a chronic illness. I love the pack and would like to thank Hannah for allowing me to review it.

You can buy the pack here

For the whole range click here

Living With Me and My OCD

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'Living with me and my OCD' banner

As it was Mental Health Awareness Week this month I felt that this topic should be represented in SSS. This Month’s cause is ‘Living With Me and My OCD’. It is a project which was put together by Claire Watkinson. It started in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness of the disorder through a film which would eventually be sent around the world. Claire herself is a sufferer of OCD and has interviewed 29 people, travelled 7,000 miles and has done countless phone and skype chats with other sufferers.

Having spoken to Claire I can feel the immense passion she has for this cause. She has a burning desire to spread awareness of this highly misunderstood condition and to help people diagnosed with it.

‘Living With Me and My OCD’ needs funding to have the final film assembled. This money will also help with distribution and production.

You can donate here.