Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Barn's My Mother Painted....

I have this faded memory that seems like it happened to someone else, like an old movie reel. I was around five or so and it was a hot sunny day. My mom, dad, and I had stopped driving in our old beaten down truck. My mother painted with oil colors so we would often stop near old dilapidated barns so she could take pictures of them. This time the barn was in a field of golden wheat. I remember looking at the barn ceiling and then twirling around under the sunlight dancing to whatever song had crept into my soul. It is just a jumbled memory of the sky spinning and the smell of warm dampened wheat all around me. With the sound of my mother's camera snapping pictures of a building that once was more than it had become. It is a warm and fuzzy and bright memory. I carry that memory around with me always. The time before I grew up and had to deal with the ugly things in life.  When life was simple. When all of the world hinged on what time of day it was.....

People might have looked at my mother oddly as she took picture after picture of broken down farms and disheveled buildings. They may have thought her strange to paint broken barns rather than the new shiny ones, or that she even dared look at them in the first place. Why not paint waterfalls or mountain ranges instead? But my mother has an affinity for imperfect things, much like myself. The things others take for granted or overlook. They are every bit as beautiful as everything else.

I think of my mother's barns. So many paintings that adorned our walls and hallways. Beauty in each one and yet everyone was so different. Sometimes we would drive for miles to find the perfect one to paint. Some with a rusted tractor still inside. Some solitary in the fields, some clustered together holding each other up, some with doors hanging by the hinges, some with ceilings caved in. They were remarkable. They were old beauties still hanging on even when everything else around them had gone. The houses that once adorned them had long been razed to the ground. The animals that had once walked their stalls had ceased doing so long ago. And yet here they stood, tall and lumbering, and so very stoic and honest. Standing in the face of the earth trying to reclaim what was once just fields of weeds. A marr on the view of the prairie. A perfectly lovely and glorious marr that proved of it's own existence. As if it were to say, I was here, remember me.

Sometimes I think we are like the old barns my mother painted. Strong but weathered. Tall but leaning. Stout but broken in places. Beautiful and graceful even after the pressures of time. Worthy of being painted in golden fields of wheat with the sun beaming down on our faces. We should be danced with, looked at, admired. We should be familiar and yet surprising. We should be understood and remembered fondly. We are common and yet completely unique. We are exactly what we are supposed to be....is there anything more beautiful than being exactly what you need to be. Exactly what you are.  No apologies for not being being what you thought you should be, just acceptance, and the knowledge that you matter. You will leave your mark. You will be remembered because you were here. I like to think we are all painted with oil colors and bright paints....that we are all as beautiful and unique like the barns my mother painted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pick Your Battles....

Some days I do well and some days I do not.... That is what I tell people when they ask how I deal with my OCD without medication. Not that with medication it is some easy pleasure cruise. It's not. It is hard both ways. Today was not going to be a good day and I could feel it from the tips of my toes as it shivered down my spine and churned in the pit of my stomach like soured milk. Today was going to be a disaster and I had better change my plans if I wanted to turn it around.

The man that has raised me since the age of 14 is in the hospital with a blood clot in his leg and I am worried about him. My youngest has been having night terrors. My internet has been rebellious and not allowed me to blog let alone stay on the internet. My grandmother just found out she might go completely blind. My sleep is virtually nonexistent and all of this shit just seems to keep piling on top of me until it feels like I am being smothered by fears and worries and an all consuming pressure. I do not do well under pressure. I crack. I break. I stumble. Pressure is my greatest enemy....Today was my three month check up for my diabetes at my doctor's office. As an OCD sufferer that has  germ a phobia as a  symptom, obviously a doctor's office is a big trigger for me. However, I usually manage to make it work and just push through my fears, albeit with my hands slathered in antibiotic gel and my shirt collar over my nose and mouth. I make it. I get through it. I go home. But now with my doctor's aggressive disposition and just down right rudeness, I am having issues not only forcing myself to be in my trigger zone but also in dealing with her on top of it. I worried all night long about it. I obsessed over her being mad at me, because she always is. Her inability to listen to me, answer any questions I may have, or allow me any type of human interaction besides looking at my vitals and telling me what to do (or in the last appointment actually yelling at me). She doesn't listen and I don't trust her and it all makes me highly uncomfortable. I cant change doctors until the beginning of the year so I am stuck having to see "Dr. Battleaxe" until then. I am pressured into to seeing her and she still has my prescription wrong on the bottle as it has been for the last seven months. Not to mention I couldn't get her to refill my diabetes medication over memorial day weekend even though I had called it in three days before and the pharmacy had to spot me some because they couldn't get her to refill it either. Apparently she was busy reading my chart so it took six days to get a refill of a medication I have to have...shameful. All of this plays through my mind and it just makes me want to scream.

And I tried. I really tried to ignore the unease that was rapidly coursing through my veins. I did the pep talk with myself. I was going to force myself to go and just get it over with, like usual but this time it was different. I knew even as I was "talking myself down" out of the anxiety that it wasn't going to work. Oh,  I could have went but getting out of the car once we got there would not have happened. I would have cried and had a full on panic attack right there in front of God and everyone. Then we would have to had gone back home without seeing the doctor anyway and I would have been left feeling embarrassed and defeated at the same time. I would blame myself and be angry that I could not push through the fear and dread. Sometimes you just can't push over a brick wall even when you think you should be able to. I don't want to have to be angry with myself today. I have enough things going on to have to deal with that right now.

Usually I push through it but sometimes you have to know when to step back. You can't win every skirmish of the war and it is wise to learn when to pick your battles. This was one not worth having right now, so I rescheduled for another day. Hopefully, I will get some much needed sleep before I am forced to face my triggers again....for I am battle weary and too exhausted to fight tonight. Tonight I just want to sit back and pretend to be relaxed......I am picking my battles today and I think I am just going to sit this one out. I need a fucking break before I crumple to the floor. Time to let myself off the hook for a bit.


Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chameleon.....

I have been wrestling with some new issues lately and I am unsure what to do about it. I have lost about forty pounds in the last nine months. I was overweight. I carry it well and most people had no idea how much I actually weighed, and honestly I was perfectly comfortable being the weight that I was. I had no bad feelings about my body. I knew I was beautiful. I felt attractive. I was just fine with my weight except the lack of energy aspect. And then I got diagnosed with diabetes. Not necessarily from my weight, I have had several surgeries that affect your pancreas. I was on a liver medication for a while and there is a family history of diabetes in almost all of my senior family members. I also had it with both pregnancies and I was told that I would most likely get it when I was old. I didn't realize that old was translated as 34 but whatever.  And so in hopes to better control my diabetes and hopefully get off the medication, I have been healthily losing weight.

My issue is that now that I have gone down two dress sizes, I am uncomfortable with my body. I haven't been this size in years. I no longer know how to dress it in a flattering way. I still feel like I am the same size I was nine months ago. I am stuck in the fatself mindset. I know I have lost weight and yet I still think of myself forty pounds heavier.  I can't seem to accept my weight loss and if I am being honest, I am unhappy because it is new, and we all know how well new things go over with people that have OCD.

I have been thinking about why I was happy being my old weight and I have come to the conclusion that I was happier that way because it helped in not bringing attention to myself. I don't like a lot of attention about my body. I have a large bust and I always got rude or pervy comments that made me feel uncomfortable or dirty. I always got picked on because of my red hair and being poor. Suggestive comments make me feel uncomfortable. I don't know how to respond when hit on, it makes me feel strange. And losing weight makes my bust size more obvious and I am uncomfortable with the comments I know I will receive. Maybe I was fine being heavier because I felt protected by the fat. I felt safe. Because I have always garnered attention from my red hair, my OCD, my larger bust. Maybe being fatter was a way to hide myself from the world and not be looked at and commented on. Maybe it was my way of remaining invisible to the masses when I wanted to be invisible. It was my security blanket and I carried it with me everywhere, except I wore it on my thighs and stomach rather than in my backpack. Maybe, now that my security blanket is shrinking and I am uncomfortable with the loss of it. And I don't want to live like that. I want to wear cute clothes and feel comfortable doing so for the first time in my life. I want to be able to wear lower cut clothing and not feel embarrassed because I have bigger breasts. Not feel dirty or ashamed that people say things I don't ask them to, because when they do I feel like I did something wrong or I asked for their pervish comments. I sometimes wonder if my sexual assault made me shutter away from wearing more low cut or attractive clothing because I am afraid of the attention it can promote. I guess I am uncomfortable with being viewed as sexy because it means people will look at me and I have tried to avoid being looked at that way all of my life. I want to be free of feeling like my body is something to be ashamed of. I want to be able to be proud of my body and not be afraid of what other people will say about it.

Don't get me wrong, I love the new energy I have. I love that my diabetes is more easily controlled. It may not go into remission even when I do get to my target weight. It all depends on if my pancreas was damaged by the surgeries or medicine I was on. I may always be diabetic, which sucks. But I can be healthier and stronger with it so I don't get the complications that diabetes can have. I just find it strange that the weight loss makes me feel less beautiful and more objectified. I have lived in the shadows away from that for so long I am afraid of it and not sure how I am going to become comfortable with it.

I think all sizes and shapes are beautiful and I wonder why I can not equate that to myself. Why do I feel less safe skinnier than I did fatter? Why do I feel less attractive? Is it because I force myself to look at my body now that I have lost weight and I never looked when I was bigger? I also have fear of becoming obsessed with my weight and falling into the old anorexia pattern I had when I was a teenager. I wasn't full on anorexic but I was dangerously close. It scares me. I don't want to become obsessed with my body image again, but I also want to be happy with myself. Ugh, it is all so confusing to me right now.

So, I will keep trying to get healthier and stronger. I will keep losing weight in a healthy pattern and do what I am supposed to do as a diabetic to further avoid complications and remain healthy. I don't know what to do about figuring out what clothes look better on me, maybe I need to try everything on in the store till I find something that looks good. Maybe after time, I will get used to my security blanket being gone and I will learn to accept a skinnier me, a healthier me. Maybe I will finally stop being trapped in the " I am fat" way of thinking as I grow used to being less big. Maybe I can get over this fear of the whole thing. Maybe I can learn to love myself skinny, and accept my beauty with a smaller figure like I did with my bigger one. I don't know. Most people are thrilled when they lose weight...I am scared of the changes that come with it. Oh well, you know me, I will just keep trying until I get it right and learn to adapt. I have been a chameleon all of my life, changing as my life changes and adapting when I need to. Guess this will just be yet another thing I have to learn to adapt to.



Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Letter To A Husband.....

So a few weeks ago I was feeling down and under appreciated which comes with being married and a stay at home mother.  I actually think in any relationship we can get bogged down with feelings of being overlooked under the amount of work we do whether it be laundry, cooking meals, or being an office worker. As a mother I sometimes forget to feed both sides of myself, both the mother but also the woman.
As adults we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget to say what we need from our partners or that we need anything at all. And we all need to be reminded that we are loved and cherished. I wrote this to just get out my feelings and then after my husband read it, he said I should publish it. And yes he does find me beautiful and he is my best friend but like everyone else sometimes life gets in the way and we forget to actually say these things to each other.  He felt that the way I was feeling might be how other wives feel and maybe it would be helpful for their husbands to see that side of them. The side we often overlook and don't explain because we feel we are too busy to talk about it. So, I guess this is a letter from the perspective of the busy mother to the busy father to emphasize that no matter how busy life gets, you should always take time to say what you feel and feel what you mean because partners need to be honest with each other but they also should be the greatest supporters of each other.


Dear Husband,

I love you with all of my heart and I am thankful for the things you do for me. Understand that I do know that you do them for me. You go to the store for me. You buy my pads. You buy my favorite kind of cereal or my favorite pop. You make sure the bills are paid after we discuss when to pay them. You work a very hard job and you don't get paid enough for the crap you  put up with there. I know your body hurts, and you are tired, and you are hungry. I know all of this and I try my best to support you and make you comfortable when you are home. I try my best, which I understand may not be always enough to make it better.

Everyday while you are at work I am up to my eyeballs in laundry, filth, dishes, and cat litter. I wash and clean. I kiss boo boo's for the kids and settle disputes. I do homework and windows. I don't get much sleep. I am up late at night to stave off nightmares and answers the universe's questions right before bedtime. I read stories and sing bedtime songs. I often times forget to brush my teeth as I prepare lunches for school and fill out field trip slips early in the morning. I make doctor's appointments and coffee. I am literally both physically and emotionally exhausted but I still make time for you as much as possible. Maybe it isn't always enough time, but I try. I am so much for other people. I am mom to our kids, and wife to you, and daughter to my parents,  but I am more than that. Used to be, I was a woman. I was a person. I forget sometimes, what it  was like to be just a woman, just a person. I try my best and at a lot of things I fail. Like that one time I burned the bacon so badly it was literally black strips of char. Or the time I cut up our oldest's homework into a Christmas snowflake because it got stuck in with the throw away paper we were using to make crafts with. I can't drive because of my eyesight. I am unable to hold down a "real job" because of my anxiety. I am flawed and I am imperfect and I own up to every single thing that makes me that way. And I hear all of the things that I don't excel at, but rarely do I hear the things I do well and it makes me feel like I am unable to accomplish anything of worth. Like I am terrible at everything and that makes me feel bad. I need to hear that I am worth something to you.

The truth is while I am covered in cleaning products and cat hair and whatever drink our youngest has spilled on me I am still just a woman underneath all of that. I still need the same things all women need. I need to feel respected and understood. I need to feel loved. I need to feel beautiful. I know that we got swept up in life and kids and work but I honestly can't remember the last time you told me I was beautiful. No, I don't need to hear it everyday but when I am at my worst on the most busiest or hardest of days, hearing that you still thought I was beautiful even underneath all of the things I achieve at or even better, the things I fail at would certainly make all of this easier. I have forgotten what feeling beautiful feels like from your eyes and I miss that. I need to know that we have not become just habits to each other. That I have not slipped into just the role of maid, butler, laundress, and mother. I need to know that I matter to you. Not just because I do things for you but because you love me. Flaws and all. Greatness and all. Completely.

I need you to be compassionate when I am hurting like I am with you. Otherwise, I am left feeling alone and that hurts a great deal when you give everything to everyone else and have nothing left for yourself. Understand, I am not asking you to coddle me or put me on a pedestal. I am simply asking to be held, or to be caressed, or even to just be said I am sorry to. It goes a long way to hear from my partner that you heard me and that you feel for me. That my pain means something to someone else besides myself. Because many times I feel like it only matters to myself and that feels lonely. I don't want to feel lonely in a room full of people that I love. I want to feel like I am important. I know that I am, mind you, but I need to know that you feel that way too. Sometimes we caught up in our daily lives and we lose sight of each other's needs. I don't want to lose sight of yours and I don't want you to lose sight of mine. Before we were parents we were friends. We loved to love each other and I feel like we have forgotten that part of us. I don't want to just go through the motions I want to actively be in this relationship and I need to know that you are there for me. That I matter to you and yes, that after twelve years of diapers and formula and pets, and bills that you still find me just as beautiful as you did the first time we met. I need to know that you still see me, the real me underneath all of the layers of our daily lives.  Because right now I am not sure that you do anymore and it breaks my heart.

I love you. I am loyal to you and I want to be closer to you. I want you to know that you matter me. You are not just the father of my children and my husband but you are the man I love with all of heart. You are beautiful to me. You are worth more than you know. You are my partner, my friend, my love and I am blessed to have you in my life.

Love, your frazzled exhausted but always loving, wife.



Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Choose To Win.....

I try and take inspiration in all things around me. As I was sitting here trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today this song popped into my head. I like the message and it inspired me to continue to get help for my OCD after my divorce.  Which was scary and it was hard because it had meant I had to admit to myself that I was not okay and that I still had more work to do on myself.

I am so glad I went through that journey. Pain and all. Blood, sweat, and tears and all. The ups and downs and everything in between. Getting help is worth it. It is hard but everything in life that matters is hard. There are no short cuts when it comes to doing what is best for you.


I still wrestle with my issues but it is always going to be a work in progress. I have accepted that. I am okay with that. But I have learned that I am worth the fight. And so my friends are you. You are worth the journey and worth the struggle. It can be done. You can learn to manage your mental illness and live. You are not alone. You do get to choose whether you will fight or deny. I urge you to take the steps to get help, because you can come out of that tunnel of darkness and start living in the light again. It will not be easy. It will not always be roses and rainbows. But the alternative is so lonely and so very frightening.  SO if you are wrestling with choice of getting help or not, I truly hope that you will choose the help. Because this is your life and this is something that you can do. I know sometimes it seems like that you can not do it, but that is just the negative self talk. You can reach out and take those first steps. You deserve to be better. You deserve to be the best you can be. It may not be like everyone else, but you don't need to be like them. You only need to be you.

"In life you get to choose whether you win or lose and I choose to win" is today's motto for me. I choose to continue to open and out there. I choose to continue to work on myself each and everyday. I choose to not let my mental illness beat me by keeping me silent and afraid. This is my life and I choose.....and you do to, whether you know it or not. So choose wisely and choose greatly because you deserve to be happy. You matter. You are worth it.





Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teeny Tiny World We Live In...

I know that as mental illness sufferers we often times feel like we are the only ones out there suffering. That only we know the pain and struggles we go through. I am guilty of this kind of thinking as well. I know I am not the only one and yet sometimes I feel like I am...I think everyone struggles with these kinds of thoughts.

A few weeks ago something happened to remind me that I am not alone. Not just one something but two somethings completely unrelated to each other and yet very much the same. It was an eye opener for me, to say the least.

The first "something" was a few days before my last scope/surgery. I got the usual call from the hospital asking me all of my latest medical information of what I do and don't suffer from. I should have caught on when the lady went into a big spiel about the personal will question and how it was a question they had to ask but not something that that meant they felt my life was in any danger. And while I appreciated that sentiment, as I hate that question because it creeps me out, I felt she was trying to not only calm any fears I might have, but also because she was uncomfortable with asking it as well. And then it was on to the do you have anxiety issues question. After I chortled for a bout five seconds I went on to explain that I had severe OCD and while I would try my damnedest not to have an anxiety attack while I was there I could ,in fact, not make any promises. As she looked in my chart she saw that I do not currently take medications for my OCD and she asked me about that. After I explained that the only medicine that has ever worked for me was dangerous in large doses and I had become immune to lower doses than the huge amount I was used to taking she was quiet for a few seconds. She did something unexpected, she confided in me that she too had OCD.

"How do you do it?" She asked me....and I thought about it and I answered as honestly as possible. I told her that some days I do okay and some days I do not. That it was one day at a time for me. That I have learned to push through as hard as I can simply because for me, right now, there is no other option. I would do medication again, if I was able to find one that worked but apparently I seem to have, medication resistant OCD. At least for the time being.


After the call ended I felt really good. No, she didn't have to tell me that she was also a sufferer. I don't know her name or what she looks like. It was simply an exchange of two sufferers saying that they understood each other because we have the same disorder.

A couple of days later I was playing a computer game still in beta that I am seriously addicted to right now. In it I was typing to another player who is working to become an addiction therapist. We were in game messaging each other about something in the game when I made the comment that I thought his choice of career was a wonderful thing, since I have so many addiction issues in my family. He thanked me and then he said something that just blew my mind. He wanted to be an addiction therapist not because he has addiction issues but because he has OCD and he wanted to work with people with OCD as well. There it was, a second person with OCD that I had run into totally by accident and totally unexpectedly. We ended up talking about OCD for an hour and totally forgetting about the game. I was just so surprised and honestly, excited to have the chance to talk to someone else who totally got what I go through.

And there you have it.... the proof I needed that I was not only not alone but that fellow sufferers were everywhere even in the most unexpected of places. Just a click from a mouse or a answer of a phone call. None of us usually lead conversations with the declaration of of our mental illness, for obvious reasons, but when we find fellow sufferers it is a relief to be honest about our diagnoses without the fear of judgment or misunderstanding.  I can't describe how freeing it is to talk with others that share your same disorder. Even if the conversation never goes past the "I also suffer from that" phrase. There is a knowing. An understanding. We share the same demons and even if our particular demons are different they come hand delivered to your door decorated with the same ugly ass gift wrap. We get each other. We know.

And so it got me to thinking that on days when we feel very lost and totally alone maybe statistics could be helpful.

One in five Americans have, will, or are currently suffering from mental illness.

About 6.3 million American people suffer from OCD in a given year.........

http://psychcentral.com/library/ocd_facts.htm


More than 2 million Americans suffer from Bipolar DIsorder.......

Disorder....http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/bipolar-disorder

More than 2.2 million American people suffer from Schizophrenia...

http://www.schizophrenia.com/szfacts.htm#


And there are so many more mental illnesses and statistics out there to share that it would take me all day to cut and paste. Statistics that show no matter what mental illness you may suffer from, there are so many others that share that same illness with you. You are not alone. There are people that understand. It is not as vast of a void as we tend to think it is. In realty, it is a teeny tiny world we live in and it is populated by a great number of people just like us.


Neurotic Nelly



Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's An Idea Though.....

Tuesday was not my day folks. I wrote and I cleaned but I also suffered self inflicted boo boo's. Not on purpose mind you, but due to my ever present clumsiness. I often wonder if I was meant to be the fourth of the three stooges. I am still recovering and mad at myself for being so......me.

First I was cleaning the litter box and stood up without realizing I was under the valley of the ceiling and hit the back of my head so hard, I literally saw stars. I didn't know that could actually happen. I always thought that was a cartoon thing not a real life thing. Well, it is and it hurts. Then I managed to bump my head two more times on the table and cabinet door while picking up things.....wonderful.

The worst part was when I made dinner in the wok. I was cooking pepper steak and I had failed to realize that the meat was still frozen on the back side. When my oil was hot and ready I dumped the frozen meat into the wok and instead of it being chunks falling into the oil the whole slab of frozen meat clunked into the  pan. The frost on the back side of the meat hitting the hot oil coupled with the force of the meat hitting the pan made it splash all on the underside of my left arm.....wonderful. Now I have several red angry burn marks and a headache. Tuesday was just dandy.

Wednesday was better albeit sore and that leaves today. Good ol' Thursday.

I was checking the news and reading about mental illness as I usually do. I like to know what is being done or rather mostly not being done to help with our cause, our issues, and our treatments. I'm obsessive like that. Anyway, I was reading a really good article from USA Today called, "People With Mental Illness Face Legal Discrimination" and my initial reply to the title was, "no shit Sherlock". I mean, the article is great but this is hardly news. All of us with a mental illness are aware of this fact. I like that the article is bringing to light how the U.S. government views mental illness but I am not sure that articles and news stories will change a great deal. They are often overlooked and ignored, sadly.

What do I think we should do to change this? Well, I have some ideas, keep in mind I am crazy, but my main idea is to be counted. In the past when a group of people were openly discriminated against they protested. They held parades, they made flags, they were and are public and open. There is a gay parade. There is a Martin Luther King day. The reason many of these ideals and discriminations were changed was by the sheer force of numbers of minorities standing up and being proactive. Being public. Showing that they were out there and they were tired of being ignored and judged.

Yes we have walks, but they are not broadcast on the news. Yes we have mental illness month but it is largely ignored. We are not represented in a way that is positive enough nor are our protests heard as much as they need to be to make said changes to our broken system. We are still very much afraid. Don't get me wrong, news articles help but it is not enough.

Yes, even though there are parades and special days for other minority groups that have been discriminated against there is still some discrimination going around. But the big difference is that it is now considered politically incorrect to talk negatively about someone because of their religion, race, political affiliation, or sexual preference. It is looked down upon and is considered to be rude and ignorant and yet, it is perfectly acceptable to talk despairingly about people with mental illness. It is done in books, movies, and even on the nightly news. There is no political correctness  preventing people saying that we are worthless, scary, dangerous, or broken.

It's okay to deny us medical coverage when we need to be hospitalized for long periods for mental reasons. It is okay to say that we aren't employable or productive. That we are a plague on society. It is okay to arm chair diagnose people with supposed mental illness on television when they haven't even been seen by the diagnoser. Or to promote the idea that all mental illness sufferers are homeless or vice versa. It's kinda crazy out there folks.

And no one shames them for it. No one stands up and calls them on their obvious ignorance and misinformation. It is left where it lies and we are the ones that have to deal with the negative labels and false misconceptions.

We need a peaceful showing of solidarity. A walk through cities and towns with not just thirty or forty people but with thousands. We need our own color shirts and our own support ribbons, our own flag, our own representation that is positive. Just like how AIDS is looked at now. Where it was once treated with stigma and shame people now openly discuss it and wear support ribbons for it. It is no longer shrouded in ignorance and left under the shadows of indifference. It is remembered and recognized, mental illness is not.  And in many ways it is our fault because we let the fear and stigma hold us back. We do not convene by the thousands and walk so we can be positively promoted on the news. We do not hand out pamphlets that promote acceptance and understanding of mental illnesses. We are covertly operating when we need to be openly active. We have to demand change in this country and the only way to do that is by being seen and heard not by a few articles when the news is slow or a post or two as an after thought but by large numbers, by masses of sufferers and their supporters saying,  'We are here and we matter". We need to erase the stigma and shame that the title mental illness has draped over it. We shouldn't be ashamed. We have no reason to be. We shouldn't have to live fear. We shouldn't have to hide ourselves from the rest of the world. Mental illness should be viewed the same way as every other ribbon represented illness. It should be viewed the same as diabetes or heart disease. It should be viewed the same as lupus or cancer. It is an illness not a crime. It is not evil. It does not make you a threat no more than having HIV and yet there is plenty of support for all of these other medical issues. There should be no difference in support just because our issues are mental rather than medical.

And if you really think about, mental illness is discriminated against but it does not discriminate who it affects. It affects all races, all incomes, all religions, all sexual preferences. Statistically, that would mean it shouldn't be a minority, There are literally thousands upon thousands of us and that is just the people that have been diagnosed. What if we are not a minority group? What if we are just led to believe that because believing that we are small makes it easier to ignore what we go through and easier for us to not stand up and ask for our rights as human beings?

Every group that has changed the way they are viewed has had to do this and if we want things to change than we have to peacefully do it as well. We can't just hide behind our fear. It changes nothing when we do.

I don't maybe I hit my head too hard and I just over thinking things. I just feel like if we want things to change we have to be more outspoken and more visible....maybe this headache is taking it's toll and I am just rambling on like a mad woman. It's an idea though. What do you think?

Neurotic Nelly