Thursday, October 16, 2014

OCD Awareness Week, Rock It Like It Is 2014!

Yay, the new sign for OCD awareness week is out! And I went to print it and guess what? I am out of ink in my printer....ugh! I am going to put the actual online printout super imposed onto my picture instead. (A huge thank you to my extremely tech savvy best friend!) Since I said I would use the UK sign, I will do both and since there is no "I am a PureO" sign, I decided to make one myself, with paper and pen because I am cheap and I suck at Paint Shop Pro and apparently, I suck at looking to see when I need to refill my ink cartridges as well.


OCD awareness week means so much to me. After having this illness for over 31 years, I can not explain how wonderful it is for it to be recognized and talked about. Growing up, I thought I was crazy. Now, I know I am crazy but I also know that I am not alone. There are thousands of us. Thousands of crazy, beautiful, magnificent, wonderful people just like me and I am not sure that there is anything more powerful than learning you are not alone. You do not suffer alone. You do not worry alone. That there are people who may not have the exact same rituals, compulsions, or obsessions that you do but yet they still know exactly how you feel. It is amazing and comforting and even, dare I say calming? It helps to know that I am a part of such a terrific group of individuals.


Thirty years ago, twenty years ago, hell even ten years ago, OCD was a nameless mental illness only known to those of us that had been diagnosed with it. There was no fanfare or special weeks set out for it. No t-shirts or banners to hang. It wasn't uncommon to have explain your diagnoses over and over again to the same person until they understood that yes, it was a real thing and that yes, you, in fact, suffered from it. Now days, people use the term OCD like it is the most fashionable thing in the world. They use it to describe everything from being neat and tidy to quirky and organized. This is probably the most insulting and irritating thing an actual OCD sufferer can hear but at the same time if people are willing to incorrectly label themselves as OCD than I am going to take their faux pas and turn it into a discussion with them of just why they are not sooo OCD and I am....I believe everything can be used as a teaching tool and we now have the voice to speak, teach, and educate just what OCD is about and how it affects us and the ones that we love.


Anyway, Happy OCD Awareness week my wonderful peeps! Hold your head high and be proud of not just what we have accomplished but who we are as people. Because honestly, we might be a bit different than the rest of the world but we are makes this world diverse and unique and beautiful. We rock, so let's rock it  like it is 2014! Yeah!

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things To Rant About....

I am thinking of occasionally talking about things that really piss me off. There is a bunch of them. I don't always rant about them, and I  don't always write about them, but they are there and they irritate me to no end. Here is this month's installment in no particular order....

OCD week....
I love OCD awareness week. It is my mental illness and I want to be a part of it. Last year I was bummed because I didn't have a printer and couldn't print the offical "I am So OCD" print out and take my picture with it. I went out and got a printer specifically, so I could participate this year and what happens? The site that usually has these printouts keeps saying that the new pic is coming soon, a week before OCD awareness week. Well, it is the second day of OCD awareness week and still no printout!!!! I am now obsessing about my OCD awareness printout. So yes, I am having OCD about my OCD. Wonderful....Guess I am going to have to just print out the UK one and take my picture with it. I love the UK but I am from America and I would like to have support from America about my mental illness as well. It baffles me as to why a simple printout is so hard to create. I am going UK this year so check out Thursday's post with me holding my OCD UK printout! And although I am happy to support OCD there it pisses me off there is nothing here to show my support....

Vertigo....
I was just diagnosed as having vertigo due to my ear drums and ear canals being severely scarred from tubes in my ears when I was a child. I no longer am able to drain the fluid out of my ears so every time I get sick or have bad allergies, my ears ears fill up with fluid leaving me to feel dizzy and unfocused. I now am taking 3 extra pills to combat this until the fluid dissipates. That means I now have to take 11 pills a day and I hate taking pills! I can't move my head without feeling weird and when I lay down the world spins like I am on some horrible theme park ride. Now, not only do I have bad eyesight that leaves me with poor depth of perception, I cant even tell now where the object I am reaching for actually is. I tried to grab something handed to me yesterday only to find I was grabbing for it about two inches to left of said object. I got up from the table at a restaurant and collided with an errant chair and table on the right side of me. Thankfully, no one was sitting there at the time and I just acted like it didn't happen but the thought of being even less able to walk and function on top of my blindness scares the shit out of me. Basically, I stagger around like I am drunk but without any of the pleasantries of being drunk. It makes me feel even more vulnerable, clumsy, and more of a burden than I have ever felt in my whole life. It sucks and it pisses me off.....

Birthday Ban....
An elementary in Kentucky has banned cupcakes and cake or anything edible on children's school birthday parties. Nothing says fun and birthdays like the erasers, pencils, and bookmarks they suggest you give your students instead. Yum. I know as a kid I would be so excited to receive such yummy treats as a graphite lead covered in wooden tubes with brightly covered paint or paper pressed book marks! Not....They claim it is to curb obesity but let's call a spade a spade shall we? One cupcake or piece of cake will do nothing for obesity. No one is one cupcake away from being fat. ( Gee, I was so skinny until I ate that one cupcake. Sheesh now I am 300 lbs over wieght just from that one afternoon in science class, said no one ever.) This is not alcohol addiction where you are one beer away from losing sobriety. It's a fucking cupcake for God's sake. These are children. Can't children just be allowed to be children without people pushing their odd personal political agendas and overall ignorance all over them? If you are worried about children being fat then increase their gym time and recess. Don't feed them lunch at 10:15 a.m. right after they just had breakfast at 7:45 a.m. Make them eat lunch at 12 like normal people. That way they don't come home at 4 p.m. starving to death and raiding the kitchen. It isn't a school's decision on food anyway. That is the parent's job. A school's job is to teach. Teach about health and healthy eating habits and exercise. Anyone who has ever dieted knows that diets don't work because you can not possibly hold up to never eating a cupcake or a piece of candy. If you refuse to let a child ever eat such things then they will gorge themselves on it when they become adults because now they finally have the option to try them. In short, leave the damn cupcakes alone and let the kids be kids for God's sake and do the world a favor and get over yourself.

Welfare Ignorance...
If I had a nickle every time I have heard some blowhard say that welfare recipients on food stamps waste their food stamps on booze and cigarettes I would be able to take all of the people on food stamps out to breakfast. Listen, I know this is hard to understand but try and keep up. Food stamps buy........food. And only food. No paper products, or alcohol, or tabcco products. It does not pay for laundry soap, or the pencils you may be forced to give your kids at school for thier birthday parties. It pays for stuff that you eat and that is all. If you had the runs and were out of toilet paper and had no money but $400 in food stamps, you would go home without toilet paper and try to figure out how to drum up enough money to buy toilet paper or try to wing it with using banana peels or the plastic bag that bread comes in because food stamps pay for things like bananas and bread but not for things like the magical fluffy white paper you wipe your butt with. Hence why the word Food is in the word "food-stamp". There is no cigarette stamp or booze stamp so stop it already. Just stop. If you have never been on food stamps than you have no idea how hard living on such things are. I have been on them twice and not for very long, but each time it was a hard and embarrassing experience. The way people treat you and look at you is mortifying. The judgments you receive because maybe you lost your job, or your loved one was too sick to work is unbelievable. It hurts. Sure there are people that abuse the system but that is not everyone and no one wants to be hungry or starve. Not all people who are obese are on food stamps and not all food stamp recipients are obese. I wasn't. And as for the "you should buy healthier stuff when on food stamps" comments you see all over the place, that would be doable if the healthier foods weren't almost twice the price of the cheaper fattier options. It must be nice to have never been on food stamps or have struggled to feed your family, but unless you have been on them you really have no idea how hard it is to try and live on them. No one buys cigarettes and booze with food stamps, it is impossible. Could the welfare system be better and more functional and less costly, yes, but don't blatantly lie about what food stamps can be used for. That is just ignorant and when you say things like that it makes you appear ignorant and it makes you appear to have a strong lack of compassion.

And finally the last thing that is pissing me off right now is:

Columbus Day....
I refuse to acknowledge this day. Christopher Columbus was not a brilliant, brave, fearless man. He was a murderer, thief, swindler, and liar. The reason this day is a supposed holiday here, mystifies me. Banks are closed and the mail doesn't run all because he "discovered" America. How in the hell do you discover a place that already has people living on it? That is like me going over to my neighbor's fenced in  yard, hammering a wooden stake in the ground and claiming that I have discovered their yard and it is now mine. Then we could have Nelly day and people could build statues of me and change my history around in the history books so I come out smelling like a rose and not be remembered for the things I actually did and how I actually did them. The only thing redeemable about there being statues of Christopher Columbus anywhere in this country is the fact that birds get to fly over him and defecate on his head everyday....He didn't discover land, he stole it. He found indigenous people on his "discovered land" and those people were raped, murdered, turned to slavery, and had all of their gold taken from them. Their lives were destroyed because he was greedy and corrupt, not to mention a tad bit full of himself. Wow, if that isn't someone to look up to and call a hero, I sure don't know what is. (That's sarcasm, folks.) I mean the man thought that he had reached India instead of America which is why Native Americans were called Indians for a very long time, and even the Caribbean Islands are often called the West Indies. But yea, he was sooo intelligent and an overall nice guy....cough...cough...bull shit...cough. Columbus day is a farce and I refuse to lower myself to the regurgitated bologna they try and teach about such a man and I certainly refuse to act as if what he was, is in anyway noble or worthy of being celebrated.

These are just some things that really irritate me and make me annoyed or trigger my OCD and make me rant. They aren't the first and I am sure they won't be the last. So, it got me to wondering what really bothers you guys?


Neurotic Nelly



Thursday, October 9, 2014

OCD Saved My Life...

As annoying, frustrating, and agonizing OCD can be, it literally may have saved my life last night. I won't venture far enough to say OCD is my hero but this is one time I am thankful I just can't stop obsessing about stuff.

Earlier this year we had a total of four gas leaks.....yes I said four. The first two were from my faulty and old water heater which we had replaced. Let me just say, that I have one of those incredibly sensitive noses. It has been a bain of my existence that some small smells literally drive me insane but one of the things my senses pick up on is natural gas. I am not sure if my sense of smell is so uncanny because of my OCD or because of my bad eyesight, but I can smell a gas leak, even the tiniest of gas leaks from far away.

The furnace went out right after winter this year. I smelled gas outside and called the energy company. My husband at this point was sure I was crazy as he didn't smell it. He thought I was imagining things, even though I was right the two times before with the water heater. The energy guy told me someone's furnace was about to go out.......sadly, I found out three days later it was mine. Yay me (sarcasm). My furnace was over thirty eight years old, so it wasn't a huge surprise. I went down to the basement and and sure enough, I smelled gas and it was bad. The energy company had to get come out and turn off the gas running to my then defunct furnace. It was scary and I decided that this was just not safe. We had to get a new furnace before this winter. Especially, since last year we had temps of -20 degrees Fahrenheit. This year is predicted to be worse. Most of it was arctic blasts from Canada......thanks Canada......I love Canada but it was sharing a little too much last winter, if you ask me. It's beautiful there and the people are wonderful but in the winter it can be frigid. Please for the love of God, keep your arctic blasts up there where they belong...brrrr.

So, a new furnace was put in two weeks ago and for the first time all year, I finally felt like the leaking gas debacle would be over. My family would be safe. My house would be free and clear of noxious and poisonous air......I was finally able to rest peacefully that we would be safe sleeping in a house that wasn't a virtual death trap. In fact, the furnace installer had told us had we continued to use the old one, we would have gone to sleep one night and never have woken up.

As for the two carbon monoxide detectors we have, never once has either one of them gone off. Sure the hybrid one will scream at you if you try and cook a hamburger patty on a skillet and declare that your house is burning down around you but have four gas leaks in a six month period and it is bupkis. I am not saying they don't work...I am just saying I don't fully trust them. I mean, if my nose smells gas shouldn't the detectors?

Which leads me to how OCD saved my life and my family's lives. Last night...err early morning, about 2 a.m. I remembered that I had forgot to switch over the laundry so my youngest would have pants to wear to school today. As we all know, pants are kind of important for leaving the house. I went down to the black hole (the basement) an started to switch out the clothes and BAM....gas. It was more of a strong grease odor at first, with a tiny sliver of gas smell underneath. I thought I was going insane. I mean, it is a two week old freaking furnace for God's sake! How in the hell could we have yet another gas leak???!!!

I decided, as I sniffed around like a bomb sniffing dog, that maybe just maybe it was all in my head. The smell had ceased so I went back upstairs. Where I sat and obsessed. And worried. And freaked myself out only to decide to go and sniff again to make sure....Something I don't normally do. I usually refuse to give into my OCD reassurances. But in this case I decided that I would not be able to sleep if I was laying there pondering whether or not gas was filling up in my basement making my house into a poison fueled, ticking time bomb.

As soon as I opened the door and went down three steps I smelled it again. It was faint but obviously there. I went to the new furnace and bent over and sniffed. The smell of natural gas was so strong that it made me light headed for a nano second. Thankfully, the new furnace people had made shut off levers on my gas lines when they installed the new furnace for me, so I went up stairs, woke the hubby and we turned off the gas...again. Ugh...did I mention how much I fucking hate having natural gas as a fuel source to heat my home? Well, I do, I hate it passionately.

The furnace people will be here soon to see why I have a leak and maybe just maybe I will finally be able to get some sleep because I haven't slept since last night. Even with the gas turned off I am paranoid about it.

And although, I hate having OCD, I am so thankful that it made me go back into that basement last night. Otherwise, I have a strong suspicion that we would have had a much bigger problem than a restless nights sleep.

So OCD, I sometimes hate your obsessing, compulsing, anxiety ridden guts....but sometimes, like last night, I am thankful that you are an actual thing and not just something I made up in my head. Thanks for bugging me relentlessly and making me go back into the basement to check for the second time.  Thanks for saving me and my family from carbon monoxide poisoning or from being blown to smithereens. Thanks OCD, thanks. My family and I appreciate it.


OCD saved my life, so today I am a little more thankful for it and just maybe, I hate it just a little bit less.

Neurotic Nelly








Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's Not An Addiction...Rant...Rant....

A Small Update:

A couple of weeks ago I updated my blog's background to this awesome vintage fabric my grandma made one of my favorite shirts out of. I thought it was funky and would make a cool background. I like to update my blog look every so often or it bugs me.

I also have added a new blog link section on the side to include other OCD blogs. I figured it made no sense to make finding us all so damn difficult. There are literally thousands of OCD sufferers walking the earth. Some of us are doctors. Some of us are teachers. Some of us are taxi drivers and some of us are bloggers. We are here and if people want to read about OCD to better understand what we go through or maybe even want to read  our blogs because they are also sufferers, than it should be easier for them to locate such blogs. So I hope this list will keep growing and more people join in. Please keep checking in for more OCD blog links! Or if you are an OCD blogger and would like me to add a link to your blog please let me know in the comment section. I only ask that you add a link to my blog somewhere on your site as well, to keep the "OCD blog ring" going. Now on to today's post....

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It Is Not An Addiction...

I was looking up news about OCD because I like to stay informed about what is going on with my diagnoses. What I found instead was a blog post talking about OCD, rituals, and the fact that the author believes OCD to be an addiction. I was irritated to say the least.

Of course this author discussed OCD as only being the touching of door knobs, germ-a-phobia, and cleanliness of OCD sufferers. At this point I had ceased to be irritated and had moved on to becoming angry.

In this day and age to learn about illness, almost any illness, all you have to do is do a simple google search. To write a blog post without any semblance of information about the illness in which you decided to write a post on is not only ignorant and dare I say lazy, but also negligent.

It just goes to show the sheer ignorance and judgments that follow a mental illness diagnoses. It uncovers the stigma we face on a daily basis. How many times have you heard that your mental illness was something you faked, something you use an excuse, or (according to this author) not a mental illness at all but just an addiction to doing weird things?

Listen bub, an addiction means that at some point you had a choice to do something (unless you were born addicted which sadly can happen). You have a choice the first time you put a cigarette to your lips. You have a choice the first time you snort a line of coke or stick a needle in your arm. You become addicted and then it becomes less of a choice and more of a need.

I didn't just clean my house one day and just couldn't get enough. I don't have a desire to cry myself to sleep at night because my youngest had a nose bleed and my OCD makes me terrified that he has something horribly scary like Leukemia. Nor do I crave the feeling of washing my hands til they are raw and bloody because I can "feel" the germs on them even though I can see that they are perfectly clean. That isn't a need or desire. I wasn't given a choice, I was born this way.

Not every OCD sufferer has germ-a-phobia, or contamination fears. Not every OCD sufferer counts or touches things. There is literally hundreds of symptoms to this mental illness and not all of us are preoccupied with cleaning or washing our hands. I don't know how many times this has to be said but apparently it has to be said constantly because ignorance is everywhere and it spreads faster and easier than the cold hard truth.

The cold hard truth is OCD is not a choice. It was never a choice to anyone that has it because no one , NO ONE would choose this pain, this self doubt, this agony. We learn to live with it and use it to our advantage sometimes and we are proud of how far we able to overcome but we would never choose to suffer on purpose. Nor would we wish it on anyone else. That is just a silly statement not to mention an uneducated one.

I mean, no one would write a post and make up half truths about heart disease. No one would write something as uneducated and wrong as claiming heart attacks were an addiction. No one would write a post about diabetes with misrepresented symptoms and misguided attitudes. That would unacceptable to the public and yet it seems to be perfectly acceptable to write such misconceptions about mental illness. It just goes to show the differences in how physical illness is viewed vs mental illness. There is no stigma in having diabetes or heart disease. There is nothing but stigma when you suffer from mental illness.

I guess what I am trying to say is, if you are going to write a post about any mental illness, get your facts straight first. Otherwise the post is about your opinion that is based on other's opinions and only further promotes ignorance and stigma. If you do not know what you are talking about, it should be your duty to educate yourself. If you don't and you write misleading posts than you are part of the problem of stigma that we face daily and I don't think you mean to be. I just think that you are misguided and ignorant of just how mental illness works. We are not addicted to our mental illness, we suffer from it.

Neurotic Nelly




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's Like A Disease....


XXXXX..................WARNING POSSIBLE TRIGGERS...............XXXXX

It's like a disease, a poison that drips it's sickness down onto generation after generation. The abuse that happened to my grandfather and then the abuse he inflicted on his children, has harmed us all. It affected my mother and aunt as well as their children and in time it will affect ours as well.

They may not see it yet, the dysfunction. One day they will notice as the talk to their friends about their families, that ours is much different...The fact that we do not call him by his name. We rarely speak of the years he was abusive. We are a broken family. Maybe not broken but more twisted like a tree that has been struck by lightening and healed but now grows more sideways than up. We are that tree, healing but still struggling to grow past the damage that was done.

With the recent loss of my aunt I struggle with the renewed anger and disgust of my grandfather's actions that made her turn to drugs in the first place. Now, the huge holes that are in my family have gotten bigger. There is no denying that the things he did affect us all and will for many generations. No one wants to describe their grandfather with such horrid words as pedophile, child abuser, molester...but that is what he was. He was a preacher, a father, a husband and behind all of those smiling family pictures full of false family togetherness, he was a monster...

I grew up being told to watch out for Grandpa. Never be alone with Grandpa. If Grandpa ever touches you in anyway that feels funny tell someone immediately. I was never left alone with him but I was warned just in case. I grew up knowing he did bad things to my mother and aunt. There was no way to shield me from that when my mother was in and out of mental hospitals, shattering all of the plates in the house by throwing them on the floor, hiding in closets, crying like a wounded child in the corner.  There was no denying it when my aunt was in and out of prison, turning tricks for money, or on the street with a needle in her arm.

I always knew, it was my way of being protected. My mother made damn sure I was aware that this secret would never be a secret that would make it possible for him to hurt me. He was supposedly a changed man by the time I was born. He did not molest after my aunt and mother grew up. I knew him as a different man and my mother said it was okay to have love for him because I did not know him like that, and I do but I also have hatred for him too. My mother forgave him but she forgave him so she could let go of the bitterness and hate. She will never forget and although she managed to have somewhat of a relationship with him, she still has to deal with the destruction he caused. Even though he is dead, his abuse will never fully leave her. It will never fully leave any of us. She still suffers from it.

I never considered that at some point I will have to explain this to my children. My oldest asked me about my grandfather the other day. I felt my mouth go dry.....what do I say? How much should I say? Oh my God what do I tell him? These questions hung in the air so thick and heavy I felt them choking the life from me. I do not want to tell my sweet innocent children that we are all related to such a creature or that such horrible things happened to the people they know and love. I don't want to tell them this stuff and yet I will have to eventually. I mean, they have questions about this person and I refuse to lie.  I refuse to keep up the lies he made my mother and aunt tell when they were his victims and not his survivors. At some point my children will notice how strange and fractured our family is compared to other families and they will ask why.

I just told my oldest that his great grandfather was a not nice man who had been abusive to his children and that is why we do not say his name around my mother when we discuss him.  He asked me his name and I told him. He asked what he did and I just said that one day I would tell him in better detail but that he did bad things and it hurt the family but it was too hard to describe right now. One day it would all make more sense but he would have to wait until he was a little older.

I don't know what else to do at this point. He doesn't need adult situations in his life right now. He needs to spend time enjoying being a child. I figured it would be best to just tell him that my grandfather was abusive and leave the details for when he is older. That way it isn't a total shock when he does find out later on but it doesn't screw him up right now. This is so hard. I never thought this would be something I would have to discuss with my children.....It changes one's perspective of life and I just want them to not have to deal with that perspective yet.  I wish I never had to tell them but there was so much more about it that I haven't written about that will make it necessary for them to know when they are adults...ugh. Sometimes, I wish my Grandfather hadn't been cremated so I could dig him up and punch him in the face. Abuse is so devastating. Not just to the one's that it was wielded at and onto. It doesn't just hurt those in the years it was inflicted, it hurts the generations afterwards as well.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Delayed

Sorry I didn't write on Thursday, we were all sick.  Still feeling kind of crappy. I have a huge migraine forming. The words are starting to blend together, so instead of  my usual post, I am delaying it and I will write tomorrow. Until then, I hope you all have a great day and sorry for the inconvenience.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stronger In The Broken Places...

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places...Ernest Hemingway

Mr. Hemingway, besides being a famous and talented author, was also one of us.  He suffered greatly from his mental illness. He suffered from depression but it doesn't matter which mental illness you have. This isn't necessarily an exclusive club of individuals. The only requirement to be one of us is to suffer like one of us. All mental illnesses apply here....


If we had a badge, I would like to think it would be bright and shiny. It would have the word "Brave" on it because to face everyday, we are brave. We walk this world with so much on our shoulders and we keep going in the face of stigma and ignorance, and that my friends, takes bravery.

 We have a ribbon and it is lime green, but I kinda hoped it would be green with large red stripes. I like the stripes idea because we are unique. Each and everyone of us, so our ribbon should reflect that we are....magnificent and we stand out. (course I tend to air on the gaudy side, be thankful I didn't say it should have glitter on it because I looove glitter). Green represents renewal which makes total sense, we grow everyday. We renew everyday. We live each and every day. The red would represent that we are here and we stand in the face of misguided judgement and false preconceived notions of who and what we are. We are us and we are nothing to be afraid of. We are not bad or scary or freaks.

If we had a flag, I would like it to be big and bold. I would like it to have the word "Strong" in huge black letters. Because if nothing else, if we are nothing else, we are strong. We carry so much, do so much, feel so much and yet we get out of bed every morning and have the strength to face the day no matter what it may throw at us. We get up and try over and over and over again. Knowing we might stumble. Knowing that we might fall. Knowing that the world will see us differently. Knowing that somethings may seem absolutely impossible and yet will we do them anyway. And even if we can't do them today, we can try again tomorrow  because we are powerful in our own lives. We are the masters of our own journeys. We are intelligent, we are beautiful. We suffer and struggle and yet still continue to push back and fight against not only our own illness but also against the discrimination and stigma that we all face daily, and that makes us strong.

I guess if you had to call us something we would be a club. A club of amazing, creative, intelligent, and wonderful people that just happen to have mental illness. We are unique. We are magnificent. We are great people. If the world saw us as we really are, they would see that we are just like everyone else except that we suffer from an illness. No different than a physical illness because it is a physical illness. The illness just happens to be in our brains. There is no shame in that and it is high time we start understanding that. No one is ashamed to have heart disease or diabetes. No one should be ashamed to have mental illness. We are not less than we are equal to.  We are virtually exactly the same as everyone else except maybe, just maybe, we are just stronger in our broken places.


Neurotic Nelly