Listening to: Англо-Русский Словарь -СПЛИН
(That’s “English-Russian Dictionary” – Splean)
I didn’t expect to come to UT and immediately find a cause to throw myself into. And, truth be told, I didn’t throw myself into the cause so much as it threw itself into me.
When I wrote my blog post about being obsessive-compulsive last October, I wasn’t even sure if it was a good idea. I had never disclosed on such a public level before. I had never put OCD out there in a way that other people could comment on it. That post was, in all honesty, a huge risk with the potential to blow up in my face.
Somehow, it didn’t. My other friends with OCD told me how glad they were I had posted. I got only positive feedback. I was even asked if I might be interested in having the blog post published. And this, my friends, set me on fire. I realized that I WANT people to know about this disorder. I want to reach out to others living with it — particularly other students, who might be having the same problems I have. If speaking out about my experiences can help others living with OCD, then that is what I want to do.
More specifically, what I want to do is start a campus group for OCD peer support, awareness and advocacy. I want to grow this group into something that can be replicated at other colleges. I want to found a National Organization for Students with OCD. I want to fund awareness campaigns and research. I want to find sponsors for scholarships. I want to set up programs that train people how to be effective support group facilitators and that match older students with younger ones to help them navigate the system. I want to DO something.
And so, I am.
Luckily, I’m not doing this by myself. Last week, I was given an amazing opportunity to interview with Dr. Michael Britt for his podcast, The Psych Files. I wrote Dr. Britt about eight months ago asking him about OCD and research. While I hoped that my e-mail might spark his interest, I didn’t really expect an answer. What I got was a conversation that eventually led to me giving an interview for his show. Working with Dr. Britt was a wonderful experience and I am so thrilled to have been able to do it. What is even more exciting is that, since giving this interview, three separate people have expressed desire to start groups on THEIR college campuses as well! Thanks again to Dr. Britt for helping set the ball rolling!
The interview can be heard here: The Psych Files Episode 117: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – An Interview With Bobbi.
In addition, I’ve started conversations with Services for Students with Disabilities and with a few other groups on campus. I went to a forum on Disability at the beginning of February, where I had the chance to meet some other students, as well as some faculty members, who are on board with my cause. There is a great deal of red tape that one must go through even to start a student organization, but slowly, and with help, I am cutting through it. By next fall, I hope to have a group started at UT.
As far as going national — I absolutely believe that it is possible. I know that the process will be slow and painstaking, requiring things like federal grant proposals, administration support, and a lot of time — but I’m willing to keep beating on my battle drum. I have a five year plan, and I’m willing to do the work to make it happen. I also know that many people will tell me I can’t do it. That I’m only a freshman. That I’m in over my head; too young to do anything great. To them, I say just this: Watch me.
I can do this and I’m not giving up until it is done… I am, after all, just a little obsessive.
Until Next Time