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My Why

Nick developed somatic OCD in the summer of 2019. This picture was taken shortly after. I didn't know it at the time, but this was the start of some of our darkest days as a couple. He ended up suicidal, hospitalized, and addicted to video games, although most people didn't even know he was suffering.

We're the lucky ones. Our story has a happy ending. But we recognize not all stories are so lucky.

Throughout this whole process, though, I felt alone. When it started, I didn't know of anyone who had supported someone through such severe mental illness. I remember Googling things like "how to support a loved one through mental illness" hoping to find any helpful information from people who had walked this path. All I could find were the WebMD (or equivalent) pages of the world telling me things like "take care of yourself" and "take a break when you need to" or "see a therapist". It sounded so simple. But nothing was actually speaking to the experience of doing this.


I was silent about the problem for a long time. My family and friends didn't know this was happening until much later than its onset. I felt like I shouldn't share this story, simply because I thought it wasn't mine to tell. But the truth is, it is our story - both mine and his. This experience affected both of us, just in different ways. And truthfully, since I started sharing this story, I haven't felt alone. Since we've started sharing this story, we have met a startling amount of people who recognize what I went through.

So, I'm sharing my perspective. This was hard to go through alone, and my goal is to help anyone supporting a loved one through mental illness feel less alone.

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