The Compassionate Friend

Awhile ago I was reading Dr Kristin Neff’s website here, and one of the exercises I found most interesting was the one where she asks us to write a letter to ourselves from the perspective of an unconditionally loving, imaginary friend. This is an exercise in self-compassion and acceptance.

Her description of this imaginary friend reminded me of someone I actually know. And that made me think, what might he say if he wrote to us, particularly those of us who are coping with mental or physical illness of some kind? 

And so the poem “The Compassionate Friend” was written. I hope this is encouraging to you.


OCD Not Me #OCDweek

The IOCDF are running a video competition for OCD Week which is 11-17 October. So this is my attempt at a poem explaining some of my journey with OCD and hopefully clearing up a few misconceptions too. 

I was really nervous to film myself and put it out there online, as I don’t feel very camera-ready these days. But I decided the message was more important than my own vanity so I went with it. 

Here it is! It’s called OCD Not Me.

OCD Not Me by Nicola Stevens

Your Pics in a Mental Health Music Video! It’s Out TODAY! “Messages To People with Mental Illness”

This is a really inspiring video about overcoming mental illness from Rachel over at! Check it out!


I was so touched by the response I got from you guys (WordPress community) when I asked for selfies/pics of you with uplifting messages to people struggling with mental illness. So many of you put your game face on and went to work on photos to encourage, inspire, heal, and reach out to people who are struggling. They are such beautiful photos and brought me to tears (of joy!) You are so brave and kind and you are making a difference with this video, one YouTube viewer at a time!I hope you enjoy the song, which is from the musical I am writing about mental illness.
Here it is! Please share everywhere you can!

If you want to get involved with “We Have Apples” you can check out our website.

#teamapples #endthestigma

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Embrace Uncertainty

Mindfulness come and sit with me

While I face my OCD.

Tonight he’s being really loud
The obsessions are starting to crowd 

Out what is happening all around.

Sit with me, help me breathe

As I embrace uncertainty.

Self compassion, take my hand.

Tell me that you understand

What’s going on, and when I’m weak

Remind me that I seek

Freedom, and the end result is worth

Enduring all the hurt.

Courage, come and be my friend.

Hold me up until the tail end 

Of the anxiety has passed me by.

If I fall, help me up one more time. 

My three friends, please walk with me

As I embrace uncertainty.