“Life Will Be Okay” — Kathy’s Story

My name is Kathleen. I am nine years old, and I have obsessive compulsive disorder. My mom figured out I had OCD when I was six. She knew what was happening since my older sister Bridget also has OCD. When I was six I had a lot of weird habits. Some of them I don’t even like to talk about now. The main habit that I don’t mind telling you about was that I would say “I think” before everything I said! I mean everything. It was making me and my mom crazy, and I was getting teased about it too. At first it seemed funny, but then I couldn’t stop saying it no matter what. I also did a lot of checking on things like in the bathroom, lights, and doors. I would worry about all of these things all the time. I really became worried about everything then. I did not like how my mind would race and my OCD would make me do stuff I did not want to be doing or worrying about. Most nights I would have to sit with my mom on the couch and try to get my mind from racing about my worries.

My mom found a nice doctor that helps other kids with OCD, and we started to meet at her office in town. She showed me ways to start to boss back my worries. We even named each ‘worry’ a funny name so that when I had them, I could say the funny name to take my mind off of it. After practicing this a lot, my worries would kind of go away.

Another thing I love to do to keep my mind off of my worries is write and draw and do art. When I was eight, I wrote a book using each letter of the alphabet about my OCD. I really liked working on a book project, and my mom said this might be able to help other kids with OCD. When I do my writing and art I don’t worry about things so much. I keep so busy with it I don’t have time to even think about my OCD. Almost every day after school I write and draw. I like crafts too! I keep my crafts near the kitchen so I can always work on something. The busier I am with my art projects, the less I remember to worry!

Now that I am nine, my OCD has gotten much better. On a lot of days I don’t even feel like I have OCD. I am very glad that I went to the OCD doctor to learn how to tell my habits to go away. Sometimes they are still there, but the habits don’t bother me as much because I know when I don’t think about them, they will not scare me. I like to say, “Life will be OK!”

By Kathy, age 9