EXPOSED is a virtual art space focusing on the experience of living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. We believe in the power of art to transform lives and change the world. We also hope that our exhibits can inform others on what it means to live with OCD. Our goal is to present a wide spectrum of expression, dark and light, serious and amusing. If you would like to have your work considered for display, please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a title and description of your work. We do not publish the identifying information of our artists, unless a featured artist specifically requests that we do so.
The author has made the .pdf of her book downloadable for free. If you would like to order a print version of the book for $12 (all going to the author), please contact The Center for OCD and Anxiety at email@example.com.
Portraits by Alli (Instagram: @allinovo)
“Art is my passion, but I wasn’t able to engage with this passion until I began my journey in eating disorder recovery. With more freedom in my life from obsessive thoughts and rituals, I have so much more space for creativity.”
I was inspired to design and crochet this afghan after our last session. It is called “Paths Crossing.” The first graph is a cross, which is the Native American symbol for “Paths Crossing.
We are like ants crawling on a ruler (our path of life). We cannot see what is up ahead. God is looking from above. He sees our beginning and our end. Every so often he places someone on our path that inspires us, teaches us, and guides us safely down the path.
Joy-Safety: This graph is my grandma and aunt holding my hand with love shining down on us. My parents separated for 6 years and we lived with my grandparents. My aunt lived next door. They provided me with safety, security, shelter, food, and clothing. Those were the most joyous memories of my childhood. They never raised their voice to me, never scolded me, never said a mean word. I was treated like a princess. I will forever be grateful for having them in my life.
My Voice: This graph is an adult helping a child up the stairs. This is for Esther Sandmeyer, Ph.D. I was 20 years old, getting out from under the control of my dad, when Dr. Sandmeyer gave me my first job. She was from Switzerland, had broken English but could speak 5 languages. She always wore a white lab coat, with her gray hair flying. She reminded me of Albert Einstein. Dr. Sandmeyer was kind, respectful, and appreciated my work. If I did something wrong, she would gently teach me how to do it better. Growing up my dad would not allow me to talk. I had to sit still and be quiet. As a result, I was extremely shy. My social skills were lacking. Dr. Sandmeyer gave me back “My Voice.” I will forever be grateful for having her in my life.
Health: This graph is a medical cross. This is for Margaret Meals, M.D. She was my doctor from the day she started her practice to her retirement 30 years later. What makes her special was her medical knowledge and how she applied it to her profession. No matter what ache, pain, or concern, Dr. Meals would not stop investigating until she found the answer. In a way it was her own OCD. She too was always kind and respectful. I will forever be grateful for having Dr. Meals in my life.
Peace: I designed this graph from an American Indian symbol for happiness. Indians believed in the balance of life (north, south, east, and west). The graph I made for peace is taken from their symbol. I had OCD all my life but never knew it until I was in my late sixties. I thought there was two sides to every person. Their person side and their counting side, working together 24-7. I thought that is how God made everyone until I watched a TV show on OCD. My world came crashing down. It was not the world I knew. I tried several therapists, but they were not helping me. While surfing Google, I stumbled across the Pittsburgh Center for OCD and Anxiety. I thought it pertained mostly to kids and not 70-year-old grandmothers. But I was desperate. This section of my afghan is dedicated to Michael Parker, LCSW. Mike, you were truly kind and soft spoken with a gentle voice. You gave me hope. You are a master at your profession. My life is at peace because of your teachings and guidance. I will forever be grateful for having you in my life as my therapist. As I have told you many, many times – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.