Life with OCD: Feeling Thankful

Before I knew I had OCD and was in the depths of despair, I’d often ask, “Why me?” Why did I have to suffer through terrible and upsetting intrusive thoughts? Why couldn’t I be normal like everyone else? I’d always tried to be a good person, and I was being punished anyway. Where had I gone wrong?

I know now I hadn’t done anything wrong. Of course I’m not perfect; no one is. But no one deserves OCD, either. It’s just something that happens, and it doesn’t discriminate. Eventually I realized that life is too short to waste time on asking why. So I started to ask myself a different question: “Why not me?”

Someone needs to spread awareness about what OCD really is and how it affects people who have it. Why not me?

Someone needs to admit to even the most embarrassing and shameful obsessive thoughts so others realize they’re not alone. Why not me?

Someone needs to stand up to stigma. Why not me?

OCD molded me into the person I am today. I don’t want to waste another moment wishing I’d been diagnosed sooner or running through a long list of “what if” scenarios: What if I’d told my mom about my intrusive thoughts when I was a kid? Would I have been diagnosed sooner and moved on with my life? Instead, I focus on how much better my life is now than it was even 10 years ago, and on how I can keep moving forward instead of looking back in regret.

So this week in particular I’ll focus on what I’m thankful for:

  • The joy I feel when I spend time with my friends and family, because I used to feel pain, constantly reminded of how much I thought I was letting them down—and I obsessed about them, too.
  • The love and acceptance I get from those friends and family members.
  • My dogs, who will never judge me and will always love me unconditionally. Even when I don’t share my food with them.
  • The ability to experience all kinds of emotions, not just depression and despair: hope, fear, excitement, happiness, the blues, everything.
  • People who’ve dedicated their lives to helping people like you and me conquer OCD.
  • All of the other stigma busters and awareness advocates who also asked, “Why not me?” and have shared their stories. Every voice matters.

What are you thankful for?

Alison Dotson


*Sponsored by nOCD – an OCD treatment app that helps OCD patients get treatment when they need it most in a clinically effective way (!

Learn more about nOCD and our mission to revolutionize OCD treatment at  


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