Friday, April 26, 2013


Toady I read this magnificent post shared by a google + friend. I shared it right away, because it is so truthful and honest. It inspired me on what to write about. It actually correlates with my feelings of events lately as well.

I sometimes feel left out. Sometimes my emotions are so raw I need to check with a dear friend or my mother to see if my emotions are valid or if I am blowing them out of proportion. Apparently, I cannot trust the depth of my emotions anymore. I am so sensitive that something that doesn't bother others can crush me. I tend to self hate. Well, correction my mind self hates and I am left to battle it or pick up the pieces.

The post I read about had said that you shouldn't look at what mental illness has taken away from you but look at what it has given you. I find that quote to be beautiful. After all, having a mental illness is like a trade of sorts. You trade what normal people do for whatever you can do. It usually seems to be in a creative field. Your trade being normal for being stronger as well. It occurred to me that since my mental illness started when I was four, I haven't really ever taken stock in what my mental illness has taken from me. How can I be thankful of what I have left or anything I have gained if I have never realized just how much I have lost?

 I grew up with dreams of driving at sixteen, having tons of friends, being carefree and popular. I dreamed of graduating high school and going to college. I had dreams of having a career that I loved and excelled at. I had dreams that I would settle down, have kids, and do normal things.
I didn't realize that some of things would not be possible for me. I did not realize that my mental illness would get worse.
Mental illness came into my life so early that I never saw the changes I was going through. I never realized how very different I was from other children. I didn't see that it was sucking out my soul one drop at a time until I was so deep into it I was afraid I wold never function again. For me it took years to open my eyes.

I can not say for certain that OCD has stopped me from driving. I also have vision issues that would make driving dangerous.It does play a part in it, so I never got my driver's license. I drove three times and it was always the same, scary and almost wrecked. I can't see well enough over the dashboard to tell where the car is. The voice in my head yelling at me that I am going to crash doesn't help that either.

I had friends. None of them knew I had a mental illness. I certainly wasn't going to tell them over playing Barbie's or at imaginary tea parties that I had bad images in my head. I am sure that would have went over really well with their parents.

I was and have never been carefree. I is impossible for me to be. I have tried, I failed, it doesn't work. That doesn't mean I am not fun, but I am not able to have reckless abandon. Not in my nature I suppose.

I never stood up for myself or gave myself any credit. I despised my issues and the fact that I was not like others around me. That I would never be like others around me.

Mental illness swooped in and created anxiety attacks while going to school. They became so bad I had to stop going. I never graduated. I was unable to go to college. I was an A and B student and I could have gotten a scholarship. It wouldn't have mattered. I would not have been able to walk into the school building or go to class.

I am not able to work. The stress builds up so quickly that I go to a place that scares me. My mental health rapidly declines and my physical health goes with it. I become ill constantly. I can not fight off sickness as if my body is trying to show me how my mind feels. I become anxiety ridden and then utterly depressed.

Today, after years of therapy and working on my issues I can see the things I have lost. I don't have many close friends.  I can count them on one hand. They are dear to me like sisters. My emotions are sometimes over powerful. I cant drive. I am not successful in a job I don't have. I am not anything like I thought I would be when I was a child but then who is?

But I have traded for other things. Better things. Things that I am proud to say I have accomplished.
 I have found the love of my life and had two beautiful children. I have become an outspoken person who stands up for myself. I have given up the school and a job , but I discovered that I could write. Had I not been forced to look for something to fill my spare time I may have never discovered it.  I found that I could be a mental health advocate. That I could be honest and still be accepted. In fact, the other day I told a family member that I was a mental health blogger. I felt this amazing feeling swell up inside me and I was beaming. What he hell was this emotion? Oh yeah, it was pride.  I had never felt pride in myself before. It is a wonderful sensation. Maybe I should tell more people? I could get addicted to the feeling of pride.

So it is a trade off. I have gained many things that I otherwise may not have had I been normal. Would my life have been easier? Sure. Would that normal life be anymore important than then one I have now? No. I am the way I am supposed to be doing what I am meant to do. I believe that what I do and say matters. That I can promote others to realize that what they say and do matters as well. That I can raise two amazing kids. That I don't have to drive or be a successful business woman to fill my life with joy or understanding. I can do that just the way I am. Did mental illness take somethings in life away from me? Yes, but I am so thankful I am able to have the things in my life that I have been given.

                                     Neurotic Nelly


  1. I'm not neurotic per se, but this is a huge interest of mine. I can read this type of stuff for days (and I do - maybe I *am* neurotic).

    Would you say being neurotic has allowed you to be more in touch with yourself as a person? I imagine a lot of your time has been spent as an introvert as you've had to come to grips with certain things.

    I consider myself to be rather in touch with myself. I have always considered it a gift. I'm outgoing, but only when I have to be (at work, etc). I'm most comfortable when I'm doing what I love by myself. It has given me an incredible opportunity to really know myself and explore other things as well.

    I say all of that to say this: I see parallels in my life and the lives of some who consider themselves to be neurotic. A higher sense of self than the average person, for example. Do you have an opinion on this?

    I'm not sure if I'm being clear or not because I'm kind of in a rush to check out some more of your articles. Maybe I can explain better later.

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  3. Desk Place, thank you so much for your support and for reading my posts! It means a lot to me. I also would like to take a minute and thank you for asking questions. That is why I write this blog, to not only help those that suffer fromental illness but to also open discussion with those that do not and promote understanding. I always welcome questions. :)
    Neurotic is actually a defunt word that used to be used by psychiatry. I use the word as kind of a pun. Doctors do not use that word anymore. I actually suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. If this were the 50's I would be called neurotic because they didn't really have names for mental illness and just used generalized terms like neurotic, mania, lunacy, and insane. None of us are actually those things. We now have real diagnoses. I can not say I am an introvert. I personally am very outgoing. Some people with mental illness, are introverts. I suppose it depends on the personaliy of the person. I am not sure that having a mental illness has made me know myself more as a person but years of therapy has. I can't say that is true for everyone. I can say that because I have a mental illness, finding myself has been a struggle but for me it comes by having to go around obstacles that I have to work around due to my mental illness. I am not able to do something's so I have to work harder to achieve similar things a regular person can just do without issues. It makes me more aware of myself and my limitations. It makes me a stronger person. It makes me a more determined person. I hope this answers your questions and if you would like to know anything else, I will do my best to answer your questions as honestly as possible. :) thanks again.

  4. Well put. For the record, I love the use of "neurotic" in the title of your blog. We have a long way to go before our culture has a healthy perception of mental illness and you're title reminds me that we've already come a long way. The work we do to eliminate stigma and educate people is making a difference.

  5. Thank you very much Jennifer! We have definitely come along way since the beginning of treatments and the terms they used to call us. Still more work to do, but we have come a long way. :)