For many years of my life I have been a sufferer of OCD, anxiety and stress. I have found myself in some rather debilitating and self-esteem destroying situations, such as being trapped in a toilet at work for almost an hour and losing friendships because of my disorder, and I have watched myself lose who I am and those around me become tired, but never too tired to be there for me.
In early 2012 life completely turned upside down for me; my OCD was an all-time high; my anxiety had spiked to an all-time high; my life was falling apart around me, I was going through a divorce and in between jobs. The list goes on and this list directly affected every aspect of my life, especially my disorders.
While all that happened, was happening directly to me, I saw that what I was going through was affecting my family and my partner, even my closet of friends.
Enough was enough. I didn't have control of my life; I was being controlled by my OCD and anxieties; I didn't know how to enjoy life anymore and I certainly couldn't watch those around me suffer because of my lack of control. So I took a stand, I got help and I got a lot of it. I found out everything I needed to know that was only 100% relevant, and I looked at everything I had been taught about my disorders, crossed them with what I know personally, based on experiences and I helped myself. I learnt and continue to learn about controlling OCD, anxiety and stress, along with thriving on life every day.
I no longer see myself a sufferer of OCD and anxiety. I am a learning maintainer.
Getting help isn't always easy. The people that "know" the answer to your problems can be busy; the people that can help you a great deal in learning to manage your disorders are either too few, or cost a lot of money. Fortunately, I had money saved - my savings. I made savings to help me financially when problems arose with my car, or if I needed a new boiler fitted in the house, or in case there were to be a leak. My health, my mind, both of them are the reasons I have these savings, so I decided to use my savings to help myself in return.
Having the money, I had the chance to meet someone who isn't just very good at helping people, but is actually exceptionally brilliant at it. Of course, there is a price tag. I continue to see my specialist regularly, because I always have questions that must have answers in order to fulfill my need not to be controlled by my disorders, to learn more, to thrive on life.
To compare where I was in 2012, to just seven months after deciding enough was enough, my progress has been nothing but spectacular. I won't lie; I won't sugar coat it. It hasn't been easy and the journey certainly isn't over, but to look at me now, you would see me as a completely different person and importantly, I have the tools and know-how to never, ever go back there again.
When I saw myself getting better by the week, it quite quickly dawned on me that there are so many people out there suffering. If that wasn't bad enough, these people are not getting the help they so rightly deserve and if they are fortunate enough to get it, it's often from a stranger who doesn't really know them or understand them, but can only sympathise with them and of course provide some tools. This isn't ideal. There isn't enough support out there for fellow sufferers.
Having identified this, and it playing havoc with my mind, I felt and will continue to feel obliged to help people like me. To do this, I created Complex at Best, a blog about OCD, anxiety, stress and thriving on life.
My ultimate goal with Complex at Best is to help people help themselves. The only way to do this is to give them exactly what I needed - what it is that would help me. So I founded the website in late July, and it is helping more people than I believed would be possible, especially being that my only goal was to help just one person help themself. It has gone far beyond that one goal.
A connection is formed as soon as a visitor reads about Complex at Best and the writings, because it's not based on theory and it's not by someone that has a PhD. No, everything on Complex at Best is written by a sufferer or by a family or friend of a sufferer - people with the experiences, people who have been where the visitor has been, or is right now, people that have helped themselves and their family get through the most debilitating experiences they will ever experience.
The future of Complex at Best is bright; I am in discussions with OCD foundations to help spread awareness. The amount of people coming to the website is increasing daily and in turn, the amount of people who are getting the help they deserve is rising.
By the end of the year, myself and my partner will not be the only two writing for Complex at Best. We are in the process of getting other people on board to help others, to spread awareness by writing about what they know in the form of easy to digest information and self-help writings and videos.
Complex at Best will always remain a resource written by sufferers and family and friends of sufferers - for sufferers and their family and friends, to help others in the same situation get back in control of their lives, to help them thrive.
Follow @ComplexAtBest on twitter.