Mothers Day: How becoming a mother made me confront my OCD
Shakira Akabusi has lived with OCD for much of her life. When she saw it was starting to cause her son to copy some of her compulsions she decided to take action.
My name’s Shakira Akabusi and I previously experienced OCD. I was first diagnosed at 16 years old, but I remember compulsions from as young as five. Navigating my way through my teenage years and into adulthood was a real struggle, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that my OCD became uncontrollable.
Motherhood has been the most wonderful experience but as my responsibilities increased so did my
anxiety, and my OCD. I reached a point where I was unable to go to bed without completing three hours of compulsions, my personal relationships began to struggle and then one day I saw my two year old son stepping back and forth over a drain… he said ‘look mama, you forgot to do this one.’
My heart sank and I knew then I needed to find help. I always saw OCD as a way to keep my family safe but suddenly I saw how it was quite the opposite, and I was desperate not to let my son grow up under the same cloud. So I started with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and hypnotherapy. I began to believe I could recover and realised that I had been confusing my OCD thoughts with my natural instinct. I used to think that intrusive thoughts must be my instinct warning me of danger… when in reality they were anxiety led.
Slowly I began to find the line between the two and separate real thoughts from anxious ones. Mental health recovery is a journey and although I still have a way to go, I would now consider myself about 80% recovered and I am able to enjoy such a positive parenting journey!
Mother’s Day in our family usually involves my husband rushing to find a last minute card, my son eating my Mother’s Day chocolate and lots and lots of cuddles! Mother’s Day is about celebrating the matriarch in the family but for me it’s also about appreciating my children, as they made me a mother in the first place.
Wishing all the mums out there a relaxing Mother’s Day!
Find out more about what living with OCD is like by heading here.