Hello, my name is Ashton and I am 15 years old, and I am a Fighter. I stumbled upon this blog after I saw an infomercial about Jamie Grace while waiting for my shots in an allergist waiting room. I was intrigued by her motivation to share her story and help others, and so I researched a bit. The more I learned about Jamie and her incredible program, the more inspired I became to share my own story. I hope my story inspires all that hear it, to stand up, be heard, and be a Fighter.
I was diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Tourette Syndrome when I was 13 years old. However, my issues had been tearing at me since I was 5 years old. I realized that I had OCD and Tourette Syndrome when I was 9 years old, and for 4 years, I was ashamed of my disorders. I have always had severe anxiety, which is the root of most of my problems; which include those I listed before, and depression as well. I grew up in a harsh environment.
Drugs and abuse were a common thing in my family, and conflict was habitual. Some children could have looked past these issues and lived on, but I was what my mother called a “Worry Wart,” and so a lifetime of continuous hardship left a noticeable scar on me, but I tried my very best to hide it. But after years and years of shame and secret, my problems became too predominant to hide. My tics, such as blinking and swallowing until I was content, were beginning to be noticed by everyone, family and strangers alike. My depressed behavior was obvious, and my worrying was unbearable to not only myself, but also those around me. More and more often, I was caught in the act. My mom saw me carrying out absurd OCD “rituals,” which are like tics, but with relations to OCD.
Among the most common of the rituals I would carry out were consistently touching the floor, tapping the walls, and perhaps the most dangerous and disturbing, holding my head underwater or under a pillow for a certain period of time. However, every time she would ask my why I was behaving this way, I would lie and claim that I was doing something else. I was ashamed because I knew that these rituals and tics were absurd, and that the unreal consequences that I imagined to happen if I did not carry them out were nearly impossible. But at age 13, I broke down and confessed to my mom and my doctor the problems that I had.
To my surprise, they did not think I was crazy; they sympathized for me and suggested for me to see a therapist. But despite my issues, I never once saw one. I thought I could fight the battle on my own, and so I did. With my family’s acceptance and understanding, I gradually became open about my problems. But after awhile, my confessions became more than just a way to vent; they became stories of inspiration and understanding.
I now share my story with pride, and I call out to anyone and everyone in the dark, who is ashamed of their problems. As a Fighter, I do not only fight my own battles, but I also help fight the battles of others. And after fighting a long and seemingly hopeless battle, I am now stronger than I ever was before, and only because I fought. I fought for my self control, my right too choose. And so now, I have recovered from my OCD nearly completely. I am still battling my anxiety and depression, but I keep them under my control, instead of letting them control me again. My tics rarely bother me, or even happen at all. But when they do, I’m not ashamed to tell anyone the reason behind it. Because I am not only not ashamed; I am proud.
Along this road of faith, we walk hand in hand.
The road seems to curve and fork ahead forever.
It winds and turns and tilts, at times it seems to never-
Conclude itself to an end;
Just one after another bare and dismal bend.
Alas, the path is rough, and even more so long.
I’ll carry you along if your feet aren’t that strong.