Over the last couple of days I've gotten together with two of my oldest friends, both of whom I hadn't told about my OCD. They were both long and detailed one-on-one chats, and they both very loving, curious, accepting, and caring. These conversations were both very empowering and relieving to have with these people.
As can happen in this situation, once I start talking about my symptoms, I realise how many there actually are, and don't go into detail about all of them. I talked about the basic driving forces of my OCD, like fear of being responsible for someone else's harm or death, or my own. And I also focussed on how the epicentre of what OCD attacks is whatever I hold close and dear to my heart, and consider important in my life, such as their friendships (both of these lifelong friends have been the subject of different guilt obsessions of mine at different times).
These are both loving and caring friends, and I was never worried that they were going to shun me for having these problems; my only concern was that they would sort of symptathise, and then try and move on to another topic without acknowledging the breadth and weight of this topic (this has happened before with another lifelong friend, who's reaction, to paraphrase, was sort of, "Oh that must be really terrible for you. Listen, I'm really busy and absolutely exhausted. I've gotta go home, but let's catch up soon again for a drink"). But these two friends I'm blogging about really engaged the topic, being curious, and allowing me to work up a flow and spin off some examples and anecdotes.
What really made me thankful about these friends was that they both asked me the exact same thing in almost exactly the same way towards the end of our chats, which was "I have just one more question: How Can I Help?" My answer was the same both times, of course; "You've already done enough by listening; and just keep being my good friend." What else could I want?