- You look forward to seeing each other. For people with particularly debilitating OCD, or during times of intense struggle, seeing friends at my support group reminds me that OCD isn't all there is to my life. When I can look forward to hearing about what's going on in someone else's life, it takes the focus off of my own.
- You don't always have to talk about OCD. At the group, of course, the tendency is to talk about our afflictions. But sometimes that can get old, and sometimes we just want to talk about movies, our families, or our jobs. When you're genuinely friends with the people at your support group, it's easier to relate to each other on these more personal levels.
- You can go "way back." A number of the people with whom I attend the support group have known each other from other support groups, therapy sessions, and the like. This history creates a feeling of "I knew you when," whether the "when" was a hard time in someone's life, a good time in someone's life, or a benchmark for progress. The longer you attend support groups, the further back you'll go with the people there.
- You can relate. I recently made a friend outside of my OCD group with whom I can share my OCD struggles. She doesn't have OCD, but she can relate. In that way I know she understands me and how my mind works.
Here's to a fun-filled picnic this weekend!