Thursday, January 31, 2013


I am not a doctor not am I medically trained in any way. this was my expierence with this disorder not medical adivce.
Sometimes in the life of  mental illness you come across something so horrible, so terrifying, that you are convinced that you are the only one experiencing it. No one in the world could possibly be as crazy as you. When I was pregnant with my first child I was ecstatic.  I got off my OCD medication with the approval of my doctor. Some how the hormones had made my OCD really go into a sort of remission. It was still there but much less bothersome. I had a normal pregnancy and I made sure to do everything the doctors told me too. It was my responsibility to make sure I gave this child the best chance at life that was possible. If they would have told me to hang upside down and paint my face green I would have done it. Anything that would help him I did.  I vaguely remember the doctor telling me because I had OCD I was more likely to get postpartum depression. I was twenty three. It never occurred to me that postpartum was a big deal. I thought of it as a slight depression. I have had some depression before. I wasn't worried. I do not remember any paperwork on postpartum being given to me. He never explained any of it to me. I figured if it was such a big deal ,he would have discussed it with me in detail.  Delivery was normal and after fourteen hours of labor my beautiful little baby was born. It probably should have occurred to me something was wrong when I wasn't in the mood to give him his first bottle. I was not up to it and decided it was probably exhaustion.  The first time I held him I was in love with this amazing creature I held in my arms.He was just beautiful.I couldn't actually believe they were letting me take him home. I was terrified that I had this little guy's life in my hands and I had never taken care of a baby before. I felt like I was stealing a chocolate bar and at any moment they were going to stop me at the front desk and say that I had to give him back. It was scary and beautiful at the same time. For two weeks I did everything the books said to do. I was content. Maybe this was the one thing I could be good at. This could be my calling in life. After I fed him and burped him I was snuggling with him. He was so cute. A horrid image went through my head. I saw myself putting him in a fire place. Now, we didn't even have a fireplace but I was terrified. I laid him down in his bassinet and stepped three steps back. I had just been mentally slapped across the face and needed to take mental stock of what was still mentally working. I needed help. This could not be normal. I was the worst mother, ever.I had finally done it. I had finally gone completely over the crazy cliff and was taking my whole family with me. I called my mother. I set up an emergency meeting with my therapist. I confessed my mental thoughts and she stood up and turned her back on me. She said she had no idea what was wrong with me but she could no longer be my therapist. I was too damaged to help. I was a danger to my child and myself and she could not be responsible for being my therapist any longer. I was crushed and now even more convinced that I was a bad mother. I loved my baby so much but yet I had these violent visions. I made sure that anything that would trigger these episodes I did with someone else in my house just to be extra safe. Then my mother found on the internet what I had. It wasn't postpartum. It was postpartum OCD. This beast had a name. I was no longer being attacked by the nameless. I knew it's name and so I knew how to fight it. It was my OCD turned into a horrible beast that would plague me with horrid images and fears of my child. I got a new therapist that had extensive knowledge of OCD. I saw a psychiatrist that put me back on my meds. It was a scary time but I refused to let it rob me of the time with my infant. It was my right to hold, bathe, feed, change, and play with my baby like every other mother could and I was not going to be denied that. I was never a threat to my child but I didn't know that till my diagnosis. I had forgotten the age old OCD rule. If it horrifies you you aren't going to do it.

 In contrast to non-postpartum OCD, the postpartum variant typically comes on rapidly, sometimes within a week of giving birth. Research also indicates that postpartum OCD most often involves scary obsessions related to harm befalling the newborn infant (in contrast to obsessions having to do with contamination, paperwork mistakes, order and symmetry, and hoarding). In some instances, sufferers report obsessions having to do with accidental harm, while in others the obsessions involve unwanted thoughts or ideas of intentionally harming the newborn. Some examples of the kinds of postpartum obsessions encountered in our clinic are as follows:
  • The idea that the baby could die in her sleep (S.I.D.S)
  • The thought of dropping the baby from a high place
  • The thought of putting the baby in the microwave
  • An image of the baby dead
  • Thoughts of the baby choking and not being able to save him
  • Unwanted impulses to shake the baby to see what would happen
  • Thoughts of yelling at the baby
  • Thoughts of poking the baby in the soft spot in her head (fontanel)
  • Thought of stabbing the baby
  • Thoughts of drowning the baby during a bath

    My first therapist did me harm by turning her back on me not giving me any advice on where I should go to receive specialized help. My OBGYN failed me by not educating himself and then educating me on postpartum disorders.
     According to research 70% of women with OCD prior to pregnancy have resurgence of OCD during pregnancy or after delivery.
    I was sentenced to months in hell I did not have to serve. Research on postpartum depression and postpartum disorders is highly lacking and was virtually nonexistent  ten years ago. We need to get the information circulated about postpartum and postpartum disorders. It is important to our children. It is important to our sanity. After all, we are all women. We must stand and be honest. We must help each other. No one should suffer in silence. We must demand that our doctors know as much about these disorders as we can learn form a simple google search. We must arm ourselves with the knowledge that is out there. My son turned out to be the coolest kid. He is sweet and funny. I could have missed out on the best parts of him growing up because I was scared. After two months I was back to the mother I had been before  the postpartum OCD reared it's ugly head. I don't like to talk about this very painful time in my life but I feel if I do not I am letting down women everywhere.I am letting down my sisters.
    When I had my second child I was prepared for battle. I was ready to throw down OCD and kick it's ass. Thankfully I did not have postpartum OCD with that pregnancy  I have no idea why but I'll take that and run with it. If you have a mental disorder and are thinking about getting pregnant talk about it with your doctors and do some research. Never assume that it can't happen to you just because your doctor doesn't inform you that it exists.   You may not even develop a disorder but knowledge is always a good thing to have. And if you do develop one  get help,you have options and it can get better.
                                                                            Nelly Neurotic                                                                                  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Silence

When I am asked what about death scares me I usually do not know how to answer. I am a religious person so I am not sure how to answer the question correctly. I could say that nothing scares me but that would be a lie and I never lie. The real answer would be silence. You are always afraid of the unknown.Since I was old enough to be able to form words,I have had noise in my head. It never goes away. It never sleeps. There is a constant mumbling inside my brain that never ceases. I can hear silence in the environment around me but it never fully reaches my mind. I think silence would be the deafening quiet that happens when it is winter. The snow piles up on the ground and the big fluffy snowflakes tumble down and crash into the earth. It is like a blanket has muffled the world. I strain to hear the nothingness of silence over the talking of my brain. I have an idea of what silence would be and yet I truly have no way of knowing. I have thought about meditation. A lot of OCD survivors try and do meditation. Unfortunately, for me silencing my mind is not possible. The more you try the louder it protests, and I have accepted that. It is like giving a man with no hands a hammer. He may have always wanted a hammer. He may even have dreamed what it would be like to wield the hammer.But if given the hammer it would be useless to him.
If there were a magical pill to cure OCD I am not sure I would take it. I know that sounds crazy, right? It's not that I don't want to be cured. It is that I have no idea what being cured would entail. OCD and I are intertwined. I am more than my OCD and yet I am not more than my OCD. I would still get to be a mother, wife, daughter, aunt, niece, friend, and blogger without OCD and yet my life would not be this life without it.I could have finished school and went to college. I could have gotten a job as a CEO in a large company and made millions. I could have vacation time on a beach in a pagoda drinking Shirley temples if I did not have OCD. But, then this life would have never existed. I would have to have traded my precious children, my relationships, and everything this life has given me that I hold dear, to have had a life without OCD. How would I truly know what happiness is if I had never felt the anguish of suffering? How would I know how rich my life is without the experience of being poor? How would I know what it is like to feel whole if I had never felt hollow or empty?  How would I know what unconditional love is without hating myself first and then learning to accept and love myself ? If I had not had OCD my life would be a different set of circumstances. I would have different choices. They would be neither better or worse than the choices I was given in this life but they would be different. Right now,at this place, in this time I am happy. I would not want to change anything just to be able to be socially accepted, or normal, or be able to hear silence. It is just not worth it to me. I am the person I am today because I had to maneuver around the obstacles OCD has put in my life. Ocd is it's own entity in my mind and yet it helped formed my personality. I am funny because it has made me sad. I am understanding because I have been judged for having it. I am loyal because I have been betrayed by my mind. I am sensitive because OCD has scarred me. I can speak because I have had to live in silence for fear of the stigma around my mental illness. My mental illness does not define me and yet it does. I can not accept myself and my faults and not accept what makes me the way I am. I hate my OCD, but I am thankful for the person it has made me become.
                                                                          Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's All Relative...

See what I did there? It's a pun. Today's post is going to be about relatives. Specifically, the correlation of your family history and mental illness. Your family members can not only pass down their good looks, their hair and eye color,  but their mental illness as well. My family has more mental illness in it than you could shake a stick at. It was a virtual Russian roulette game which one I would end up with. A couple of weeks ago I was reading up on OCD. I find it helpful to keep up with news that pertains to my specific illness. This person that was presenting themselves as a doctor claimed that OCD was not hereditary. They had the gall to say that it was from feeling emotionally insecure as a child....Really. I truly hope that this person questions his/her qualifications to comment on this subject. I know I question them.
My grandmother is cute as a button. She has a good heart and amazing personality.To say we are really close is an understatement. Her knowledge at seventy three is invaluable. When she was my age she was stunning. I'm talking movie star gorgeous. She was a terrific mother and raised four smart, entertaining, and well rounded children. Back then she would have been considered "quirky". As she aged "quirky" was changed to nagging or harping. When I was diagnosed with OCD we all realized that I wasn't the only one in the family to have it. Grandma was suspect number one. She wasn't actually nagging to be a nag. She had OCD. Her anxiety made her harp at others. She would worry and worry until it came out as nagging someone to do something that they needed to do. It wasn't done to aggravate or hurt others. She just couldn't help it.It makes since that she would have it, because I am compared to her all the time. Not only did she give me her beautiful red hair,we are both bossy, feisty  and stubborn as an ox. I take that as a compliment. If I can be half as strong, wise, or magnificent as her than my life would be more than complete.
 Suspect number two was my Uncle Woody. He was the oldest of her children. He was funny,sweet, and a lovable teddy bear of a man. Not only had Grandma's red hair passed down to him, Ocd had too. I don't think he ever realized that. He was fastidious. His appearance was always perfect. In the seventies when the unkempt look was in, he never had a hair out of place. If you smoked in his house the second you dropped an ash in the ash tray; he would grab the ash tray, wash it, dry it out, and place it right back in front of you. If you flicked another ash, the cycle began again. His house was so immaculate that I was afraid to touch the wall, lest the oil on my fingers make a smudge. I affectionately call it Woody clean. I have yearned and tried for years  to be able to master Woody clean but alas, I cannot.
I realize that it can't of started with her. Somewhere along the line we have passed OCD down like an invisible inheritance. No one realized this. Beyond a certain point, OCD was known by a plethora of other names. Terms like lunatic, neurosis, mania, odd, nut job, nutter,whack-a-doo, and quirky were passed around. Mostly it wasn't called anything because no one spoke of it at all. It was safer at that time not to talk about it.
I find it greatly amusing to think that four hundred years ago one of my ancestors probably had the cleanest, shiniest, hovel in the town or the most well groomed sheep. They may not have been clean freaks but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and bet that they were. If you look back in your family you can probably find keys to unlock the heritage of your mental illness.   Now that doesn't mean that I have the same OCD symptoms as my Grandmother or Uncle. She has the worry symptoms. My uncle had the contamination and germ a phobia. I have intrusive thoughts,checking, contamination, germ a phobia platter with counting on the side.   It has been freeing to talk with her about what she experiences with OCD. As we grow older with each other we realize that she and I are even more alike than we already knew. So if we were to call mental illness by the old names I guess I would be all of those terms  and yet I am none of those terms. I am just a person trying to get through life sharing my troubles and wisdom with the world. Give and take, live and thrive, grow and learn. That is her. This is me. This is us.
                                                              Neurotic Nelly

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mental Ward

When I was about ten years old I was admitted to a mental ward. I had no outward signs of my ocd but I was obsessed with death. I was always talking and obsessing about  morbid things. I do not remember this but I can see where it would scare the hell out of my parents. It was almost time for school to be out for summer vacation. It was hard to understand why I was there. The psychiatrist convinced my parents that I needed to be hospitalized.  It was scary. I had never been away from home. I was surrounded by strangers. I was really scared when I had to have a strip search during my processing. The lady was very nice and I could tell she felt bad for me. I got to share a room with another girl around my age. We were expected to write in journals once a day. I learned to clean up after myself and do my own laundry. We were not allowed to keep our toiletries in our bathrooms. When it was time to take a shower we had to ask for them. Apparently, they were afraid we would eat our under arm deodorant for the alcohol content, ew. We could not have anything with wire in it, no balloons, nothing with long strings.  I was the only kid with ocd. Most of the other kids were compulsive liars and kids that were street tough. Looking back I have no idea why they were there. Not one of us were suicidal. There was even an eight year old girl there because she threw fits. I have this horrid memory of this boy, about twelve,who refused to go to bed at bed call. He ran through the halls. They put him in leather restraints and tied him to the bed. I can still hear his screams in my head. I put my pillow over my head and willed myself to sleep. At night we all had to line up and take the same little triangle blue pill. Seems kind of odd that we were all there for different reasons but had to take the same exact medication. Group twice a day was absolutely unhelpful. How do you expect to have a useful group when none of us had the same illness? The psychiatrist would have his meetings with me. He never told me my diagnosis. Actually he never talked to me at all except to ask questions and check things off on his clipboard. I would always ask am I better yet? Can I go home now? He would always answer the same every time,"We'll see." At some point my mother was admitted to the adult ward. I was there a month. Later when I was about nineteen, I was talking to my therapist about it. He was shocked because that hospital had been shut down because of fraud. I do not believe that I should have been there. I believe that psychiatrist used my parents love for me and fear of my ocd to get insurance money. I highly doubt that any of those children needed to be there either. The hospital taught me absolutely nothing about my disorder or how to deal with it. I did, however, learn to do kick ass  laundry. Now, that is not to say that the nurses and staff were apart of this fraud. I do not know that. They were very caring and nice. The psychiatrist, however, I highly suspect had children, teenagers, and adults admitted for money. My parents were only spoken about my "progress" from the psychiatrist. They had no idea what was really going on.  I am sure most mental wards are better regulated on their practices now.When I was finally released,  I was ashamed about how I was going to explain my summer to my friends when I went back to school for the new school year. " Nelly, what did you do on your summer break?" Oh you know, had ice cream, went swimming, spent time in a mental ward....  And then came my saving grace. I have had times in my life when one person has said something profound. Something that changes my prospective.  Something that changes my life. We had a family friend named Michelle. She was a  biker chick. She was funny and smart but also really amazingly cool. I would spend the night every now and then at her house. While her kids were in the other room she sat me down. She softened her voice to a tone I have never heard before. "Nelly, I know where you were this summer. I want to you to understand something very important. You should never be ashamed of where you have been in life. You should never feel ashamed for asking for help. I had an older sister. She was really heavy into drugs and wanted help but never could get it. One day my father and I came home and we found her dead on the couch. If she had only gotten the help she needed she could still be here. You got help. You can never be ashamed of that." This changed my look on what I had been through. I have never since been afraid to ask for help. I wonder if she ever knew that her five minute conversation would heal me in ways that I could not. Sadly, when I was fifteen she died of epilepsy. She taught me more in five minutes than a mental ward did in one month. She is why I can hold my head up high when talking about my past. I may have stumbled along the way. I may have faltered  but I am never afraid to ask for a hand to help me back up. I can always ask for help. Thank you Michelle. Thank you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I have been ignorant of this form of OCD. I had not researched or even really heard of this mental illness until last year. I vaguely remember a friend I used hang out with telling me she "twiddled her hair until it came out" her words for it. I don't remember seeing bald patches, so it never occurred to me it was a problem. Geeez, I wish I was a little more observant sometimes....last year my sister-in-law confided in me my eight year old niece had trichotillomania. I was very confused. I had to ask her what trich was. She sent me research materials, websites, and vlogs on it. I was enlightened.

Trichotillomania, a hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disorder that involves an irresistible urge to pull out hair. This behavior occurs to the point of noticeable hair loss. The most common areas for hair pulling are the scalp, eyelashes, and eyebrows but may involve hair anywhere on the body. - webmd

Harley Rose is an amazing, beautiful little girl. She is bright, funny, and charming as all little kids are. And now as she is starting to learn what life is all about she has to add this to her plate. Her mother is amazing and very supportive. They live in a small town. She has made her daughter a web page, watched videos with her,and reached out to other families with trich. Because of that Harley gets to enter act with other little boys and girls just like her. When she first went to school she had a terrific teacher that would wear her own wigs when Harley would wear hers. She went out of her way to teach Harley that she was accepted and beautiful just the way she was. Then as Harley went to first grade her new teacher didn't approve of Harley wearing a hat or wig in class. She would go out of her way to shame and make this little girl feel inadequate. My sister-in-law complained at even went to the school board but nothing was done. If Harley had needed bulky leg braces it would have been approved to wear them. If Harley had been going through chemotherapy she would have been able to wear the hat or wig, but because Harley has a mental illness she was no longer allowed to do so. She was discriminated against at this school at the age of eight. Her mother ,rightfully so, is now home schooling Harley. The wig and hat are not just to make her feel less uncomfortable with her appearance but help keep her from pulling. The fact that adults reacted towards her like this is just disgraceful. Because of the love and support of her family and web community she decided to shave her head. It helps to stop the urge to pull and helps her hair to regrow evenly. She is gaining confidence and now has been going everywhere without a hat or wig. She is not afraid to accept herself the way she is. And she expects you to do the same. She has more bravery in her at the age of eight than I have at the age of thirty three. Please don't let her down. Educate yourself before you judge her or someone like her. According to research one in fifty people are surviving with trichotillomania. If you would like to learn more about trich you can go to this website
You can also view many videos on YouTube. Lets all make an effort to understand each other , and maybe accept our differences. As for Harley Rose I want to take a second to tell her how amazing she is. I love you Harley. You are a beautiful and brave little girl.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Mother's Song

First off let me say that I am not medically trained in any way nor am I a therapist. I am just someone who has been dealing with my own mental illness for thirty three years. This post is hard for me to write because it is not really my story. It is my mother's story. It is her story and therefore it is her song.  My mother had a very rough childhood. Why her childhood was rough is another post at another time.         My mother is a beautiful soul. She loves with all of her heart. Gives with all of her ability. She is not just my mother but my best friend, and she has clinical depression. I don't like the world clinical. It sounds like a sterile version of a very dangerous affliction. To me, it some how lessens the tragedy of the term, making more safe sounding or neat and tidy. There is nothing safe or neat and tidy about depression. My first memory that not all was right with the world was when I was around seven. My mother cried. By cried I don't mean the occasional boohoo of something sad. She cried all of the time. She broke dishes and hid in closets. She stopped taking care of her personal needs.  Once she was a woman who worked out, put on make up, and danced around the house. She no longer did that. Then around the age of eight, my mother tried to commit suicide. She took an overdose of pills. I do not know how my father found her but it was in time enough to get her to the hospital. Unbeknownst to her, the pills she took could not kill you if you overdosed on them.  I was in the room when they pumped her stomach. I was told she "accidentally" took too much of her medication. I later figured out what really happened as an adolescent. When I asked her she admitted it. We have a rule. We do not lie to each other.  After her attempt she made a promise to never leave me by her own hand. I am grateful for that choice.  My life would have been hollow and empty without her. I would not have had the one person who understood my mental illness better than anyone. The person who kissed my scraped knees and held my hand when I cried. The person who taught me to be good,to be strong, to be kind. The person who would not let me belittle myself for my faults. I would not have had the support I needed to become the woman I am now. I would not have my best friend.  Growing up with someone who has severe depression is hard to explain to one who has never experienced it. It was like watching the one person you love most in the world  drown in a vat of  tar. The more they struggle to be free the more exhausted they become. She suffered and there was nothing I could do to help her.  And, yet she still would go on. For me, because she made me a promise. Because she is strong.  She still goes on. She struggles through everyday. Some days are better than others. She is on medication and has had therapy. And, I am here. I am here for her phone calls. I can share in her grief. I am here to support her like all of the times she has supported me. I am here to hold her hand, if that is what she needs. I will never let her belittle herself because of her faults.I am here Mom.
      Depression should not be belittled or sanitized. It is a dangerous mental illness. It is a killer. It is not a sign of weakness. It is not an imagined illness. It is not a cry for attention. If you know someone with depression, give them a hug. Give them your time. Give them your support and most of all get them professional help.They are worth it.
                                                                 Neurotic Nelly

Friday, January 25, 2013

To Thine Own Self Be True

Relationships are complicated. Having a mental illness, any mental illness makes relationships more complicated. My first marriage was wrought with problems. It was the definition of a toxic relationship. I was too young to know myself, really excited that someone wanted to be with me, really excited that someone wanted to objectify me, and too stupid to know the difference. On top of all that I was dealing with my mental illness by leaving my awesome therapist, moving three hours away, and trying to use St.Johns wort to battle my OCD. Apparently he had read somewhere that St. Johns wort could cure me. And worse yet I believed him.  I am highly surprised that I did not have some kind of overdose after taking thirty tablets a day. I lost weight like he wanted, grew my hair out like he wanted, and dressed like he wanted. Unbeknownst to me he was slowly stripping away my ability to say no. I lost little bits of my self a piece at a time until I was someone I no longer recognized. I was a puppet and he the almighty puppet master. I had ceased to be me and became some sort of a stepford wife. He manipulated everything I said and did and then managed to make me feel guilty about it. Worse yet, my OCD kicked in. I was convinced I was not good or pretty enough to keep him. Real or imagined I accused him of cheating on me. How could anyone love me? I was damaged, ugly, stupid, and codependent. I could no longer stand up for myself. Which makes total sense because there was no longer any self  to stand up for. Since there was no real me left he fell out of love with me. I was thrown away like a piece of garbage. Not only was I devastated, I had to take stock in what was left of my broken life. No friends, family too far away, no money or home, and most of all no idea who I was supposed to be now. I was hollow inside. I believed as a lot of mentally ill people do, that I was unlovable, undesirable, and worthless. Loving me was too hard for anyone. I was too damaged. Who would want someone like this, like me?  I needed change. I moved out of state,got a new therapist, cloaked myself with the love of my family, and flushed the St. Johns wort down the toilet.
It took over a year to get reacquainted with who Nelly was. What I liked, what I desired. I had to learn to love myself or at the very least learn to accept myself. I had to relearn my worth. I needed to understand that I am not unlovable,ugly,or stupid. That I actually have opinions.  Strong opinions and it is ok to voice them. I can say no anytime I don't like something., because I am a person. Every person has the right to feel, to trust in themselves, and to believe in their own personal worth. No one should ever strip you of these rights and you should never willingly let them.  I met and am now happily married to a wonderful man. I am a testament to the fact you can find real love. You can be loved and accept that love, but you have to love yourself first. You have to accept yourself and all of your faults. Wear them like a badge of honor. They are your battle scars. Testaments of the wars you have gone through in life. Things that have changed you into the person you are now. They remind you that you are strong, you are worthy, and you are beautiful in your own skin. We are all walking wounded trying to go on with our lives. We are all damaged in some form.No one is perfect. No one is worthless, and no one is unlovable.
                                                                       Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Judgement Day

Judgement: the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind:
          I have a problem with judgment. Not a problem with judging but with being judged. Why as humans are we so hateful, negative, and spiteful to others? What is this fascist need to place everyone in the same box. Why do we constantly try to hammer the square peg into the round whole?Why does the large woman at McDonalds bother you so much? Oh you probably won't say anything to her face, but you know darn well you are saying snide remarks under your breath. Like she really needs another cheese burger, shouldn't she opt for the salad instead? Why do you feel repulsed by her? Why do you feel superior to her because you weigh less? The sad part is she is probably the most nicest person you would ever meet and yet you have judged her to be inferior. You of course are not fat so it's obviously her problem. How dare she eat where you do! Or what about the dirty homeless man walking beside you on the street. You know the one you refuse to acknowledge as he shivers in someone else's ill fitting coat. You turn your back on him in fear that he will ask you for something. Haven't you already given enough? Never mind the fact that he is someone's father, uncle, brother, or son. Never mind the fact that 20-25% of the homeless population have severe mental illness. Mental illness that goes untreated because to receive help you must have a job or get on welfare. To get welfare you must have a place of residence.This man that so disgusts you could even be a war vet. A man that could have sacrificed everything just so you could stand on the street and look down on him in your work suit. Or the drug addicted prostitute on the corner.  Lets look down upon her as well. She is uncouth and diseased. She obviously is used to the abuse and likes it or she would go out and make something of herself.  Never mind that most prostitutes were sexually abused as children or how much of hell was her home life that to be cold, starving, and drug addicted seemed to be the better option? Of course though you are right we should judge her as well. In fact while we drive by her, lets throw our McDonalds cup full of soda at her, just so she knows how low we think she really is. And now, because we are all so adept at using the internet we don't have to localize our hate! We can spew it all over the world like a hate filled radio active sprinkler system! Not only can we bully the unpopular kid at school, we can rush right home and create fake profiles to abuse him with the world wide web. We can even attack him on the cell phone. That way he has no option but to understand just how much we hate him. Because he isn't like us. Because he doesn't fit in. Because he makes us uncomfortable.  Because he makes us look at ourselves and despise what we see. And why stop there? Why don't we dole out our judgments and opinions on everyone? We can embarrass and hurt our friends and acquaintances online for the world to see. We can humiliate and crush their dreams in front of everyone! We can tell the world just what we really think of them!And, just so we don't look too harsh we can put something like "just saying" on the end of it! That ought to cut them down to size.I mean it's not like we have to take responsibility for our opinions.  Everyone is allowed to have them and therefore we should expose everyone to them. Because obviously our opinions are far more important than their self esteem. They shouldn't be so sensitive. We would never be sensitive to other people's judgment of us. It's not like we could ever be one of those people. If life had dealt us different cards we would still be exactly as we are now! We have never had a mental illness or been dirt poor with no options. We have never been abused, mistreated, or had a situation that we could not control. We are righteous. We are infallible.We have never gotten side tracked , made any mistakes,or had a problem we just couldn't fix because we are perfect and we know everything.  

                                                                                                  Neurotic Nelly                                      

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Doubting Thomas

OCD is one of the many things in life that can make you question yourself. Along with the shame and guilt, doubt is another one of it's weapons. After all, OCD is a warlord. Your mind is a war and your life is a battlefield. It seeks to destroy all of your beliefs. It steals away your life one obsession at a time. It can ruin your relationships with people. It crushes your dreams leaving them as broken bodies of what they once were lying on the cold hard ground. It is a liar. It is a deceiver. Make no mistake OCD is not your friend. It is not your helper. It is Satan in mental illness form. It uses it's weapons to distract you, to torture you, and to cause you harm. It is so powerful it can even make you doubt what you know to be fact. It can actually make you think you liked something you don't or make you believe you might have done something that you know you have not. It is adept at gauging your emotions and attacking when you are at your weakest. It is your enemy.
 Doubt can be a complicated thing to discuss with someone. You know that you have checked the lock on the door and yet you don't clearly remember actually locking it. Or you do remember but your OCD is telling you that you did not. You at this point have two options. You can argue with it and try to go to bed or you can go and check the door lock again. I used to choose the latter. Often I was too stinking tired to argue inside my head. I just wanted a moments peace to try to go to sleep. It seemed the easier of the two choices. This was my folly. I would give in. Finally at three in the morning after unlocking and re locking the door for the third time that night, it hit me. I am a pretty intelligent person. I know that I have locked this door three times and I am not, repeat not going to lock this door one more time. I'm just not going to do it. If someone wanted in my house that badly, is some measly lock really going to keep them out? I mean really? How is staying up all night pacing back and forth to the door making my house any safer? Wouldn't that person just kick it in or smash a window? What is the point in doing this all night long? I just stood there and stared at this lock. This lock that I began to absolutely despise. I realized that OCD was taking up way more time than I was willing to give. If I have anxiety than fine, but will checking that lock make me feel any better in thirty minutes when I feel the need to check it again? No, it will not. So I went to bed. I woke up and guess what? No one had broken into my home. I was alive and fine just like I was when I went to bed. Amazing! Now when I feel the doubt I refuse to entertain the feeling. I refuse to check anything, no doors, no appliances, no window locks. I am not giving OCD any more of my hard earned time. That time is reserved for my family and my friends. That time is reserved for blogging. That time is reserved for what ever the heck I want to do with it, but it will not be reserved for OCD. I may not have won the whole OCD war yet but I have certainly won this battle. Nelly 1 vs OCD 0.
                                                                         Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 The good people in your life are really important. The bad people not so much. They are not necessarily bad people just highly misinformed. I can not count how many times I have been told to "just get over" my OCD. Just stop it already. Yes, because I am doing this on purpose. I enjoy the stigma and torment of my diseased mind. (Insert sarcasm here) Trying to explain OCD to someone who either doesn't get it or just refuses to get it is time consuming and emotionally draining. I have friends that shall remain nameless, that I love dearly. I mean I have your back, would do anything for you without question kind of friends. Some of them just can not grasp what I am going through. Some of them suggest I go out and get a job.( I should note that being a stay at home mom is a job and I am a pretty damn good one) I know that these people want what they think is best for me. I love being around people. Staying at home almost all of the time can get monotonous and boring. Wouldn't it be better to go out and make something of yourself? They are not trying to hurt me with these comments and yet they wound me deeply. They are a testament to how much these particular dear friends do not get what I am dealing with. It is not their fault and yet the years of explanations have fallen on deaf ears. I have had teachers scold me for absences that were because of severe anxiety attacks.They never asked what was going on. They just felt the need to judge my absences as I just wanted to skip school. I have had people look down on me because I do not work. I have had some family members at one point or another act as if I can control my OCD. If only it were that easy.  Many people with OCD can work and live mostly normal lives, but there are some of us who don't. There are some of us who can't. Does that mean that we are less worthy or "faking it". I often think if I had been born with no arms or legs would they still throw having a job in my face? No they would see that there is a problem with their rationale. And yet it is perfectly acceptable to throw verbal spears in my direction because I look like they do. What they don't get is that I was born with no arms and no legs. When the anxiety attacks come my feet melt into the pavement. My legs refuse to budge from that very spot. They are frozen and therefore no use to me. They are in that moment for all intensive purposes gone.  When I walk into a room or business and the contamination of germs fear forms, I can not touch things. My hands curl into balls and I couldn't grab a pen sitting on a desk if my life depended on it.  For that moment for all intensive purposes my arms have ceased to exist.  Yet, this information never seems to sink in. They never seem to get it. Their judgement on how I should live my life has put up a wall between our lives.  You would not proceed to tell a man that raises horses how to take care of his horses, if you have never even owned a horse would you? Of course not.  Well maybe some people would but who would take that person seriously?  I will not be told that I am less of an individual because I can't work and you can. I can not lift three hundred pounds with my left pinkie either. That does not mean I am less of a person than someone who can.
                                                            Neurotic Nelly

Monday, January 21, 2013

For Shame....

Intrusive thoughts are....well intrusive. When  I tell people that I have OCD, I usually do not elaborate. I am firmly aware they think that I just have a really clean house and kick ass organization skills. While this is true, I do not delve into the inner workings of my OCD mind. It would only confuse them and most likely make them avoid my company.  I among other OCD traits have intrusive thoughts.  Only a select few know that I do  and I am currently keeping it that way. Intrusive thoughts are probably the hardest of OCD traits to explain. They are usually violent or sexual in nature. They are everything you fear and they come at you from nowhere. Instantly you are disgusted and horrified that such a thought or image has come into your mind. They terrify you. They for me, are the hardest to talk about because I have a deep seeded fear of judgement. People with intrusive thoughts often feel shameful. They are afraid to express what is going on inside their minds. Like Satan it has many names. Some call it the voice, their conscious, their brain. I call it my brain. I would like to note that this voice is your voice inside your head. It is not another entity like Fred or Mable.      The worst fear you have is laid out for you like a sacrificial lamb and shoved in your mind until you want scream. The reaction to this is all the proof you need to realize that you are not a bad person. If you were a bad person these thoughts and images would not horrify you.  Normal people have an intrusive thoughts every now and then but of course OCD just has to out do everyone else. I have learned over the years to drown out this ever present voice. It was always lurking in the shadowed recesses of my mind stalking me. Through years of therapy I have been able to push it to the background. Where it was once a roaring presence in my life, I have been able to make it into a mumble. Background noise in my mind.  It is there and will always be there. I have had to learn to except it. I usually make it lessen by telling it that it's ideas are the stupidest thing I have ever heard. This is all said in my mind of course, because talking to yourself out loud seems totally crazy...The big hassle with intrusive thoughts is the shame. You are ashamed that you are unable to control these thoughts. Ashamed that you have a mental disability  Ashamed of what you perceive others will think of you. The thoughts can be shameful to you because they are totally against your personality.  It can be hard to talk to a therapist, your family, your friends. Who would understand such a thing?  I do. I have been there. I have walked a hundred miles in your shoes and will walk a hundred more. It is manageable. There are therapists and psychiatrist that understand this. It is important to seek help and be able to take back some of your life from this cycle of fear and shame. You are worth it. I don't know about you but I am sick and tired of feeling ashamed.  That is why I started this blog. I want to rid myself of this stigma. I want to be able to walk with my head held high knowing that I am a good person regardless of what my brain tells me.  I will raise my head up high because I am not alone. I am strong. I am worth it. I am more than just my OCD, and so are you.
                                                                                                   Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

I believe that OCD is usually sugar coated in the media.  We watch funny tv shows and use the OCD term as a joke.   If a person has a cleaning complex or is very well organized they are said to be OCD. OCD can have those qualities, but it can be so much more. Often a person has more than one OCD compulsion. Our lives are filled with trying to appear normal to others. I once had a psychiatrist tell me that I would never be normal. I just don't react or think like the "normal" person does. This news devastated me. I had become what I always feared, damaged. And worse there was no amount of medicine or therapy that could ever make me what I so dearly wanted to achieve. Normal for me was like the prized item on the top shelf at a grocery store. You could stand on your tippy toes and stretch your arm as far as it would go and only be able to graze it with your finger tips. It would never be achievable and I would never be able to grab it from the shelf. I had to come to terms that the dream of being someone without a mental disability was just that, a dream. It took me about two weeks to grieve and pity my predicament. Then I made a conscious choice to not be a victim of my own mind. So I can't be normal, so what! What is so great about being normal anyway?
             I have survived this long due to the love and understanding of my mother,my family, and some truly awesome friends. They accept me in all of my oddness. They love me regardless if I am neurotic or damaged .My mother is my reassurance person. The amount of guilt that comes with having OCD is insurmountable. Am i a freak? Am I a bad person because I have had a bad intrusive thought? Am I a horrible monster because I said the wrong thing? Did I hurt so in so's feelings? The guilt of over analyzing everything can take up hours and sometimes even days. I am lucky because I can call my mom and she reassures me that I am not a monster. I am not bad. It is my OCD and it's not my fault.I often think of OCD as emotional torture. While "normal" people just go on about their lives, I am drowning in guilt.  My feelings are raw. Instead of being able to shrug things off I am full of anxiety. OCD is a cheese grater that has grated my emotions to bloody nubs. Always the fear and guilt is right under the surface of my skin. Ready to expose it's ugly head at any moment. My guilt is so bad that I can not lie. To anyone! If I lie the guilt seems to suffocate me to the point I feel like my pores are drenched with the stench of it. I call my mother or talk to my friends and I can breathe again. I am a confessor and I have to confess or I can not get over my fear of being a horrible human being.
   I often wonder about the people that do not have a reassurance person. What do they do? Who do they talk to? Suicide is really high in people with OCD. They feel alone and are terrified of people finding out. For those people I want to say, You are not bad. You are not damaged, and most importantly You are not alone.. 
                                                                              Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Un Medicated and Annoyed

My journey through the deranged world of OCD started around the age of five. My sister in her nine year old wisdom, told me that when you swallowed spit it would turn to blood as it went down your throat. I was mortified. I was totally freaked out by the thought of blood in any fashion, let alone the thought of swallowing it. I started washing my hands. I washed them several times a day with extremely hot water until they cracked and bled. I was also convinced that somehow I would accidentally poison myself. Eating was terrifying  What if I had contaminated myself by touching something that was dirty. At some point I heard a voice in my head telling me that if things were uneven something bad would happen. If I touched something with one hand I had to even it out by touching it with the other hand and so on. To get rid of this "voice" I would say certain mantras exactly the same every time the voice occurred. Then it was gone. I had no memories of the voice or hand washing. It was if it had never happened. I was obsessed and terrified of anything that had to do with death, but I had no outwards signs of OCD anymore.  I was fourteen when the "voice" came back. I was terrified. I just knew I was crazy. I was neurotic. I went to a doctor who explained that I had OCD.
            I dealt with this knowledge and tried to be "normal". I was given a series of different medications to help with my problem. I was reintroduced to therapy. I developed extreme anxiety and depression. Phobias had come into my life and decided to stay. I missed so much school from anxiety attacks that I had to be tutored. 
Fast forward to today. I am thirty three. The only medication that ever worked for me has been deemed dangerous past a certain dosage. Anything under my dosage doesn't work for me so I stopped taking it. I don't recommend any one else do that, but for me it was the only option. I still have the phobias,fear of germs,and the "voice". I am able to function well at this point. I just am aware of them more now. I am a mother of two wonderful sons. I have a terrific husband, who in my opinion deserves a medal for putting up with me. Life is good.  Not many people know of my condition. It is not like I have a banner on my head that says mental case.  I thought I would just make a list of my phobias and OCD fears. Please comment and list yours. Warning some of them are ridiculous but what can you do?


Rabbits- hate them ew ew ew. 
Germs- self explanatory
Elevators-falling in an elevator
Spiders-again ew

Things that automatically tick me off, apparently I also have a hatred of sounds (misophonia)
Seriously I want to punch the offender that makes these sounds around me

Crackling of bags- especially at the movies. Just get the damn candy out of the bag already!
Swishy mouth sounds
Clicking mints on your teeth and then making sucking sounds-UGH!
                                                                                                                       Neurotic Nelly