Introducing Julie as our Cinderella, who was once consumed by fear of contamination that lead to excessive cleaning and constant worry. No longer a slave to her OCD, she has traded in the rags and mop for the gown, crown, and glass slipper she's always deserved.
"When I think of Cinderella, two images come to mind: the iconic glass slipper, and her cleaning the floor with a mop and bucket. It seemed as if she could only have one life or the other, but not both.
For many years, I felt the same way. Fears about contamination consumed me and I was obsessed. Hours upon hours were spent pondering potential scenarios that would cause me to get sick. To relieve my anxiety and gain some semblance of control, I washed my hands until they were so dry they cracked and bled, used bleach on everything, and avoided whatever I thought carried germs.
I didn’t quite know why I had such strong feelings, especially when I had no evidence to substantiate it. Yet it was real to me and I found myself burdened by uncontrollable thoughts and engaging in rituals that I knew were ridiculous. My irrational fears brought on irrational behavior, but I couldn’t break the cycle.
My dreams included marriage, a home, and a job in which I could help people. I knew what kind of life I wanted and although I didn’t realize, I was choosing the mop and bucket over the glass slipper. My dreams were slowly becoming more unattainable and it got to the point where all I could focus on were my relentless worries. Eventually, something inside me said, ‘This is not the way to live’ and with that, I got help. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and began treatment.
Through hard work and perseverance, I got my life back and felt more free than I could ever remember. It didn’t take long before I began to enjoy things that I never recognized I was even missing out on. Life was much sweeter than I ever knew, and an entire world opened up to me. I felt free again. While my worry didn’t go away instantaneously, I had tools to cope with the thoughts that came to mind. Fear was replaced by strength.
Every story has a twist, but if you ask me, mine has the best kind. Thankfully, I worked through my fears and was instead driven by my desire to help others and comfort them in a time of need. I am now a nurse in a hospital taking care of people who are ill. I am a living breathing example that with perseverance and the grace of God, you can achieve any dream in your heart. I chose the glass slipper and work hard to wear it every single day!" -Julie