Thursday, February 4, 2016

To See or Not To See...That is Not the Question...

I can not wait until bedtime tonight. I usually struggle with insomnia but I have only had three hours of sleep in the last twenty four hours so, I highly doubt this is going to be an issue for me. I am not tired...I am beyond exhausted. I needed a pillow and a blanket and a flat surface about three hours ago but I have responsibilities. Now that I did not have time to receive and utilize a pillow, blanket, and a chance for flat surface laying.... I am cranky.

             Let's talk about Punxsutawney Phil for a second. I don't know if the U.S. has anymore of a more bizarre tradition than bringing out a terrified ground hog and holding him high in the air for people to cheer at him and then quietly watch, what I consider to be nothing more than a rather large ground squirrel, to see if he looks at his own shadow. Shadows depend on light source, not ground rodents. I may not of graduated high school but I did pay attention in Science class.

For those of you not familiar, a ground hog in a small town in Pennsylvania (Punxsutawney Phil or Phil for short) is supposed to predict our length of winter weather by whether or not he sees his own shadow. Yes, I am being serious. Yes his "predictions" are then broadcast on the news. If he sees his shadow and returns to his hole, it means six more weeks of winter and if he does not then it means an "early spring". It is called Ground Hog Day. This has been a thing since 1887. There is a rather funny Bill Murray movie about it, for further reference.

Now, not to be a negative Nelly but I am highly suspicious of any rodent claiming to predict the weather. First off, good ol' Phil was wrong last year. He predicted an early spring and we instead ended up with one of the worst winters I have ever experienced. We are talking negative 29 degrees Fahrenheit at some points. Um, Phil your predictions suck.

Secondly, I realize that even our own weather people are not accurate. We have all been repeatedly let down by them. In fact, a few weeks ago we were supposed to get a huge winter storm that was going to put us under several inches of snow. Most of us got a dusting. For some of us, not a single flurry was seen.

And it begs to question if a human person with state of the art radar equipment and a weather balloon can not accurately predict winter weather, how the hell can an overweight rodent that lives in the dirt do any better?

And how, pray tell, do we really know what Phil sees anyway? It is not as if he wears top hat and monocle and strokes his handlebar mustache while speaking with a faint French accent, "I have seen my shadow, Monsieur. You shall have much winter this year". He doesn't speak....He is a groundhog. He eats, sleeps, rummages, and poops. He does not hold titillating conversations with humans. Although, he does occasionally bite them.

Believing a rat makes weather predictions makes as much sense as me holding my twenty two pound cat out of the first story window and claiming that if he meows at me, I will win the powerball lottery. It is absolutely ludicrous.

Who the hell knows what he sees. Maybe he sees psychedelic monkeys form the Wizard of Oz swooping down to grab Dorothy and her little dog too. Maybe he sees Julie Andrews dancing on the grassy mountainside singing "The Hills Are Alive With Music". Maybe he sees a giant delicious chocolate cake floating in the sky. I don't know if he sees his own shadow but I do know that what he does see every year on February 2nd is a bunch overly excited people acting oddly and praising an overgrown prairie dog hoping in vain that the dredge we all call Winter will soon cease it's icy precipitation. What Phil sees once a year is whackos. Crazy, nutty, whackos desperate for a little bit of sunlight and a smidge of warmth in the desolace we call February. He sees people that are clinging to a slim thread of the possibility that we may soon walk on the grass without getting snow in our shoes.  That's what he sees.... Desperation. It must be terrifying for him. Poor little guy.

That is a lot of pressure to put on a unsuspecting groundhog that has no idea why he is being carted around and cheered at once a year when all he wanted to do was eat some nuts and sleep in like all the other regular groundhogs get to do on this day.

So, in short Groundhog day is a tradition, albeit a weird and totally inaccurate tradition but a tradition none the less. However, that does not mean that I have to believe that my weather has anything to do with a hairy rodent seeing or not seeing something or rather what we imagine him to have seen out of our own desperation. Because it is silly and frankly, I am too tired to be silly right now.

If a college educated weather man can't accurately predict the weather with all of the gadgets at his disposal, I highly doubt an earth dwelling ground squirrel is going to do much better.....but stranger things have happened. So, we will see.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, January 28, 2016

She Believed She Could, So She Did....

I went to the doctor two days ago. I had major side pain. I thought I had pulled every muscle in my right side. Turns out, I slept funny and the cartilage in my rib cage lost some blood flow due to my sleeping position, making little bits of my cartilage become necrotic (his words, not mine). Not to worry, it rebuilds itself over time but it is painful and will take a few more weeks to heal properly. So, basically, I slept so hard I killed my side...but just in tiny bits.....and I thought insomnia was unhealthy.

So, when I am not killing myself slowly by sleeping, I have been dealing with feeling like I am not good enough. It is something I have struggled with all of my life. My OCD plays a huge part in how I see myself but I also sometimes let other's dictate to me my own sense of self worth. My New Year's resolution was to let other people's batshit crazy and opinions of me not bother me anymore. To hold my head high knowing that no matter what, I am a strong person, an intelligent person, a good person. I know this deep down but sometimes I forget. Sometimes I slip up and forget who I am. Sometimes I let other's treatment of me make me feel like shit about myself. I don't know why I do that. I believe you let other's treat you the way you feel you deserve to be treated. The buck stops here and it stops today. I am worth more than how other people view me. I am no longer going to sit idly by, willfully hoping people will treat me like I deserve to be treated. I am going to demand it. If I can not be treated like the person I am, then I don't need to be around said person  or persons anymore. That's the beauty of being an adult, I can simply just walk away.

I don't need any more toxicity in my life. Lord knows, I have too much crazy in my life currently. I am already forced to deal with things I can not change but I still have things that I have to get done. I have a great deal of responsibility on my plate. I have kids and their school and their state testing and their future doctors/dentist appointments to make. I have an insurmountable amount of dinners to prepare and great friendships to rely on. I have a wonderful husband who supports me and needs my support in return. I have four cats that refuse to stop following me around the house in a vain attempt to guilt me into give them some catnip or extra pets. I have the house to clean, laundry to do, blogs to write, and long walks to enjoy the fresh air, tree lined streets, while tripping on cracked or no longer paved sidewalks while breathing in just a tiny hint of the occasional passing by car exhaust. I have so much to do already.....too much to think about and too much to look forward to, to let other people in my life that are supposed to have my back treat me like I am not good enough.

You see, I have recently discovered that I am good enough. Sure my husband keeps telling me that. Sure my friends have pointed that out to me several times, as well but I was unable to really truly accept that because it was easier not to. It was easier to just believe the little voice in my head that told me repeatedly all of the things I failed at. All of the things that I may not do just like I think I should. The little voice that made sure I felt ugly, untalented, and stupid. It was easier to just accept that I was broken damaged goods rather than to fight back and believe that I just might be something more than I ever thought possible. I just might be a worthy, intelligent, strong woman who is loyal and opinionated but not overly judgmental.  And not that I just might be but that I am. I am nothing that little voice says I am. I am everything that little voice says I am not.

So, why would I let other people make me feel like that the little voice in my head does? I don't, not anymore. I no longer listen to the negative comments or deal with being overlooked. I am not saying it doesn't hurt me when it happens. I am just saying I am letting it go because honestly, I deserve better. And if you let other people in your life treat you like shit then on some level, deep down, you must think you deserve to be treated that way. It is no longer acceptable to me to let those people dictate to me who they think I am or how I should feel about it.

I am over it.

I am reclaiming back my self esteem this year. Reclaiming the bits and pieces I have let other people carve out with their harsh judgments, silent treatments, and and skewed opinions. Because in reality, it doesn't matter what other people think of me. It only matters what I believe about myself. What other people think of me is really none of my business. I don't need to know and I sure as hell don't have to care.

The greatest prison people live in, Is the fear of what others think.....

I owe it to myself to break out of this jail cell...I never deserved to be locked up and I am tired of punishing myself for something I didn't do wrong in the first place. Here's your orange jumpsuit, warden. It no longer fits me anymore...and I want to walk in the sun again. So, I am going to....

She believed she could, so she did.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, January 22, 2016

How Dare You....

It's been a while since I gave a good ole' rant. If you were looking to read one today, then you're in luck.

Dear Daily Mail,

I recently read an article on your site trying to smear a political presidential candidate's wife and frankly, it pissed me off. I would like to say that I respectfully disagree with your posting of Mrs. Cruz's personal information but that would imply that I have even a shred of respect for your paper, of which I do not. Not that I am a supporter of Ted Cruz, because honestly, I can't stand the guy. I am angry because once again a public social site is using something personal and something that has happened to many people as a smear campaign. Something that only further stigmatizes and shames people that have the complete and utter balls to get help when they are suffering from something that most people are too afraid to even speak about.

Apparently Mrs. Cruz had a bout with depression. Now, I have no idea why this is anyone's business. It seems to me, that it is her personal issue and it should only be revealed if she wants it to be. Her bout of depression is her story and her life and it is not for anyone else to judge or in this case, slander, to make a headline or to try and destroy someone else's credibility simply because they want to try and make some kind of point.

I don't know the Cruz's. Never met them. I am not standing up for her because I have some familiarity with her. I am standing up for her because in doing so I am standing up for the millions of people that suffer from mental illnesses whether it be permanent or temporary. I am standing up for us because guess what Daily Mail? Mental illness is real. It is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It is not something to be ashamed of or something to use to smear someone's reputation. It is not something to be looked down upon. It is simply a misfiring of chemicals in the brain. That's it. That is all it is.

And how dare you imply, that because this woman had a small bout of depression, that she is somehow less worthy to be anything that she sets out to be simply because she had the guts to openly admit that she was going through something really hard to deal with. How dare you instigate the same tired old regurgitation we have all been force fed for decades that having mental illness means that you are somehow less than or untrustworthy. How dare you make her personal battle, that is none of your freaking business, something to poke fun at and use it against her and her husband, whether you agree with his politics or not. How dare you!

 At least, she was honest about it and honesty is what we need to fight such things as depression and other mental illnesses. Because honesty keeps it in the forefront. Honesty makes it real to the masses. Honesty makes people not afraid to speak up when they need help. It makes people sit up and listen when it is important to do so. We lose more people to suicide in the US than we lose in car accidents ( As I am sure  you already know since you wrote a article about that too). People that could be helped. People that could have been saved but weren't because they didn't feel like other's would be supportive. Because they didn't think other people would understand. Because of shitty articles like yours, that seem to make suffering from mental illness either a joke to be sneered at or political fodder to be ridiculed. You article isn't informational as much as it is biased. I am glad that you have never had to deal with something like depression. I wish we all had such amazing luck. Unfortunately, this is the real world and depression actually exists.  Your article is discriminatory as much as it is insulting to those of us who live with mental illness on a daily basis. It offers no helpful advice nor any real substance at all. All it does, and poorly I might add, is use this poor woman's struggles as a stepping stone to try and make your "paper" or "online news source" appear to still be relevant. Which for me, it no longer is. So, thanks for that.

You want to get into a discussion about mental illness, then do it. Don't be coy and beat around the bush. Don't slant the article to your point of view, which is completely ignorant of facts. Don't call people out and shame them with something they have nothing to be ashamed about it in the first place. You want to write real news? Then do so, but try reporting something that is actually news worthy and Mrs. Cruz's battle with depression isn't news. It is personal and it has nothing to do with you or her husband's aspirations to become the next president of the United States of America.

There is no black and white when writing about mental illness. Either your article aims to teach others about mental illnesses and lift up those of us that suffer from them or your article aims to damn us and stigmatize us further. There is no middle ground. You can not do both. In this case, you chose to humiliate sufferers simply to make a political point and not only is that despicable, it is is completely unnecessary.

Shame on you. Shame on you for being ignorant and judgemental and shame on you for implying that just because someone has had a struggle with mental illness that they are somehow less of a capable human being than those that have not.

 My only regret after reading such drivel, is that I no longer own a pair of pet birds so that I could print out your "publication" and line the bottom of their cage with it, but that would take time out of my day and be a monumental waste of printer ink. And, frankly, your articles aren't worth the five dollar ink cartridge replacement and I could use the five minutes it would take me to print such garbage, to do something more important than your news site, like darning a sweater out of cat hair. I would rather read the back of a cereal box. You suck....

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Dali Days...

The depression fog has lifted. The medical fears have not. I am not exactly sure why they are plaguing me right now but I am sure if I distract myself enough, I will actually be able to just live in the moment. Something that is almost impossible to do when you live with OCD on the brain. You have to learn to distract to be present. It's an oxymoron but such is my life. The thing is,  I keep feeling like something big and wonderful is about to happen. Not exactly sure what, but I weirdly feel like I am waiting on it. Maybe my piece will get published or the water bill will be super cheap this month. I dunno. What I do know is that I am beyond grateful for a couple of things that have happened so far this year. They are personal and don't actually have to do with me, so I am not going to go into detail about them, but I am so very thankful.

I guess this post is more about hope than anything else. Sometimes it is really hard to imagine good things coming your way when you are wrestling with mental demons. Sometimes the world seems to be a great mass of dark matter. A black hole that burrows deep beneath your veins. A rot that seeps into your cerebral cortex and decays any happy thoughts that may have nestled there thinking it was a safe place to nap. It devours the light. It snuffs out any optimism. It leaves you feeling devoid of anything positive. Sometimes we live in the secret void between everything else and everyone else. It is a very lonely place to live. It is a very difficult place to dwell, even if you dwell there for only a few seconds. It takes it's toll. It feels like holding your breath while under water. Everything is muted. The light is dull. Words and conversations are merely garbled sounds.  Nothing is in it's place and everything seems like a snarled disconnected mask. This world could make no more sense or be any less confusing if Salvador Dali painted it while drunk riding on a donkey. It is a room with no corners and a sentence with no words. Everything that should be clear and understandable is muddled.

But eventually, the dark mass lifts and the sun comes out again. It warms the frostbit fingers of hope. It thaws the frozen ice sculpture you feel you have become. Allowing you to reach out and breathe again. To renounce the secret void you have become accustomed to living in. To see yourself as how you really are, magnificent. To feel like a living breathing human being again. Hope is a powerful thing....

So, thank you all for your well wishes and supportive comments during my "Dali" days. It meant a great deal to me to see such support and positive comments. It helped push me to fight back against my depression and anxiety and to never ever give on hope. I really do appreciate that. Here is to hoping everyone's week is going well and is full of hope.

Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Afterglow...

Christmas was great, New year's eve has come and gone with minimal excitement. We watched the ball drop on television. I was hoping to have a wonderful day but alas, the afterglow of Christmas is gone and depression has set in.

I could think back and blame it on the after affects of the anxiety of the Christmas season. I could consider the fact that my OCD has been spiking the last few days and it could be related to the fact that now that the anxiety of the holidays are over, I am falling apart. That is, after all, how I work. I am great under pressure while the pressure is on. As soon as the pressure dissipates, I completely fall apart.  Or it could be that my small bouts of depression are seasonal. Usually they hit me in the winter time. Usually when it is freezing and snowy outside. Lack of proper sunlight and such. But the weather here has been unseasonably warm and no snow has befallen our town, yet. I could sit here and think and regurgitate a million excuses of why  I am wrestling with depression right this second, but that would require more energy than I am willing to give. It doesn't really matter why, anyway. I have a good life and a wonderful family, and terrific friends, and great support but honestly, depression doesn't really care about all of that. Having positive things in your life doesn't mean that you won't get depressed. It happens. I am not going to make excuses or explain to myself why I feel the way I feel. I just do....the afterglow is gone and what is left is an empty hole. I am numb and whatever vestiges of my emotions that aren't numb are sad. There is no reason why..... I just am and I am dealing with it. Slowly and with as little energy as possible. Because with all of that numbness and sadness, I am depleted of energy. I would go lie down and take a nap but even that seems like too much of an effort. Hell, I am surprised that I am even able to write this and it be comprehensible. I hope it is, anyway.

So thank you all for the comments on my Christmas post. I promise I will get to commenting back on them soon. I am just wading through this fog right now and trying to find my way out. I know I will, because I always do. It just might take a few days. By next week, I should be better and back to doing mundane things like brushing my teeth and showering without it seeming to be a monumental task. Hopefully, anyway because school starts next week and  common core algebra 2 is hard enough with me using all of my brain. It will be impossible for me to figure out while depressed.

I hope all of you guys are doing well and Happy New Year.....
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Hope....

Christmas is upon us....

I hope whatever holiday you celebrate this season, that it is filled with love, compassion, friendship, and peace. I hope that the holiday stresses are slight and few. I hope that you enjoy this season and the coming next year. I hope that loneliness and anxiety are absent for you during the next few days.

I hope because that is one of the greatest human emotions a person can feel. We as humans must never lose hope.

I know that this holiday season can bring out a great deal of stress and anxiety. I know that for some people it can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. I know that some people have to spend the holidays with family members that are jerk faces. Some people do not share the holidays with anyone which can also be tough.

For all of those people, I hope that you know what great people you are. I hope you know how much the world needs you and how important you are. I hope you realize that the holiday season is for you too. Even if you struggle through it....

I don't drink alcohol and I hate eggnog so this Christmas I will lift my glass of sweet tea for you all and say a prayer for you, and that you all make it through this holiday season no worse for wear. I will send positive thoughts your way and pray that you too, will have a happy holidays. 

Happy Holidays, my dear readers. May it find you healthy, happy, and hanging in there. After all, the holidays are just a few short days and then it is on to a new year full of new possibilities and new experiences. And we all could use some new positive things in our lives.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It Lies....

I am just going to be honest here.....there is no cure for OCD. That doesn't mean that medications and therapy can't significantly improve the symptoms, because they can, but there is no cure. There is no special diet clean enough, no snake oil potion potent enough, no prayer strong enough to cure OCD.

It gets better and it can be managed. It can be managed really well. It can be a side issue and not your pressing intrusive ever there companion. It can, but as of right this moment, it can not be cured....

And what do you do when you are doing  the things that help but it pops up and makes you feel guilty, or shameful, or afraid?

You reach out to someone or several people, that understand. Because as OCD sufferers no quite gets it like we do. We understand each other even if the triggers are different or the symptoms aren't the same. We know how it is to suffer with this disorder.

I am very blessed to have several people in my life that either understand me because they too have OCD or they understand me because they have loved ones with it. And it helps, insurmountably to be able to discuss with them the bad times, or the rough times, or the guilt ridden scary times. And without these people in my life, I have no doubt my life would way harder to deal with.

Because I am good and I am managing but I am not cured, sometimes, my OCD gets the better of me. I don't like to admit it. I certainly will not cow down to it but sometimes I need to be reminded that my intrusive thoughts aren't who I am as a person. Sometimes I need that little extra boost of someone who understands exactly how I feel even if they haven't had the exact same trigger. Sometimes I just need a reminder that I am a good person and that I am not what my OCD tries to have me believe. And having that as an option is powerful because I grew up without that option and I really struggled with those negative emotions.

Maybe I am crazy and horrid, and a horrible person. Maybe I am capable of what my intrusive thoughts tell me or show me. Maybe I am a murderer/ rapist/ thief/ or satan worshipper in disguise and I just don't know it. Maybe I am gay, or if the person is gay...maybe I am straight. Maybe I am all of these things that don't seem right to me but since my OCD says I am, maybe I am because my OCD is my mind, after all. And who knows you better than your own mind?

This was my mind set years ago. The doubt of who I was a person because the OCD made me doubt my true self. Arguing with it was like trying to save myself from drowning with my hands tied behind my back and weights tied to my feet. The more I struggled the deeper I went under. And it wasn't until I reached out to a really good therapist and some wonderfully understanding family members and friends that I realized that I am NOTHING like what my OCD was trying to make me believe. Nothing. And it doesn't matter what my OCD shows me or tells me, because I know that deep down I am a good person. A loving person. A strong person.

And it doesn't matter how ugly or stupid or gross my OCD says I am, because deep down I know that I am a beautiful person. An intelligent person. A lovable person.

It took me years to understand that just because OCD is in your mind, that doesn't mean it in any way represents you. It is a mental illness not a magic eight ball. It has no bearing on your personality or your worth. It does not predict your future. Just because you have harm fears or sexual fears does not mean that you are some kind of ax wielding murderer in disguise or closeted sexual pervert just waiting to jump out and proclaim your pervertedness. Just because you have blasphemous fears doesn't mean that all of a sudden you are going to leave your home and take a bus to the middle of nowhere to go join a  sock worshipping cult. Just because you have relationship fears does not mean that you will cheat on your spouse or that you don't love him/her enough. That is all a lie... because that is what OCD does. It is the original  liar liar pants on fire.....It is not to be trusted.

No, it can not be cured but that doesn't mean life can't go on and it doesn't mean that you can't be happy. You can. It just means that sometimes it might pop up it's ugly head and do it's best to make you feel miserable about yourself. And when that happens, if you have friends or family that get it or a really good doctor that understands, you might want to reach out to them because OCD is hard and no one should have to try and deal with that by themselves. Especially, since you are nothing like what it is trying to make you believe unless it is telling you how much of a magnificent of a human being you are. And let's face it, OCD never says anything nice. If it did then having it wouldn't suck so much....and it does suck.

Hang in there my dear readers and stay strong, although in reality you are stronger than you even know, right this second.
Neurotic Nelly