On the 27th July 2014 myself ‘Adam Cowell’ and my best friend ‘Jamie Fletcher’ will be taking on a huge challenge of walking the Cornish coastline from the Devon/Cornwall boarder at Mount Edgcumbe to the Devon/Cornwall boarder at Morwenstow and it should take two weeks to complete. We are doing this to raise money for OCD Action. My story (Adam) for why I am doing this is below.
In early August this year I received a text from my best mate telling me that for the last 5 years he has been suffering with OCD and depression. For me this was a shock and hard to take in as everything to me seemed fine with him but as it sunk in I felt that as a friend I should of seen the signs and helped him. However straight away I was texting back offering my complete and utter support for him and wanted to do everything I could to help him in this tough time.
So after a few visits to see him for a chat and obviously an Xbox night he mentioned about doing a sponsored walk for OCD, so straight away I jumped at the idea no matter what it was and how long the walk was.
We looked at a few walks that were good to do but settled on walking the Cornish coast from the Devon border in the south to the Devon border in the north. On another visit we worked out how long it will take and the distance we will have walk, so yeah, we have a nice 290 mile walk to do in two weeks working out to be around 20 miles a day!!
This is all for a great cause and for my best mate so it could be double the distance and I would still do it for him and everyone that suffers from OCD!!!
Also we are starting in a pub and finishing in a pub, got to have some perks for doing this haha!!!
The main reason for taking on this challenge is for my mate and this is his story.
I sit here on a Saturday night trying to remain positive. In order to do so I have done something that I very rarely do anymore, and that is listen to music that isn’t controlled by myself. See I only ever listen to music off my iPod, and you may wonder why. The reason is so I can control the tracks and never forget any of the songs that are played. If I was to forget one of those songs my world would crumble, it would stop in its tracks and change, anxiety would build, stress would build and my ability to function would be no more. As I sit here now while I am writing this I have a phone for my ‘normal’ notes and a piece of paper for writing down the songs that are being played on the tv.
I am trying to escape and relax, but you see, there is no escape. I am trying not to have to remember every word spoken and every thought created. The songs that are being broadcasted are ‘…hits of the 21st century’, they remind me of when I was 18 out on the town with my mates, maybe even dancing god forbid. I was happy then, it was the best year of my life, a lovely summer, the beginning of university and my partner came into my life. Things have since changed, and however much I try to remain positive sometimes it is difficult. Much of this is related to depression. You see for me the two go hand in hand, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Depression.
Now aged 23 my diagnosis reads OCD and Depression with Crohn’s Disease, the latter because I’m assuming OCD and Depression isn’t enough to cope with. A few things that this entails. The experience of negative and intrusive thoughts, combined with a chronic feeling of doubt. In order to suppress these feelings rituals are performed repetitively, over and over… Depression involves a feeling of low self-worth, a loss of interest and energy, a loss of confidence and increased anxiety.
So life is a battle and I have changed my ambitions. I see this as a positive though, really I do. I now know that money is not everything. I work at a university supporting students with disabilities. I donate money to many charities, and next year I will walk the entire length of the Cornish Coastline, in order to raise money for OCD Action. Added to this, I am in contact with many like minded people formulating a type of virtual support network. It does not stop there though as I have created a group on Facebook for people with OCD, with the intention of creating a get – together or two per year, because I believe I can help people and make a difference. I am soon to receive further support myself with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) starting in the new year.
All in all I am determined not to let OCD and Depression win. I will, and better for it. I just urge everybody to get behind me, but not just me. Show your support for everybody suffering from Mental Health because we need it. Let’s end stigma, let’s end discrimination and instead get behind each and every one of us because we are no different, we just have an illness.
This is why we are doing the huge challenge not just for my friend but for everyone else that suffers from this illness and to raise money for OCD Action which is a great cause that will continue to help those that suffer.
We have a Facebook page Operation Cornwall Devon: Call of the Rambler. It has posts about OCD and a link to each of our Just Giving pages that we post on the page regularly and also a main link to the team page of our Just Giving page. Anything will be amazing even if its £1 or even a like on our page as long as we raise awareness of OCD we feel that we are doing something great to help an illness that effects so many people!!!
Contributed by Adam Cowell and Jamie Fletcher