Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Too Sick.......Not Sick Enough

I am a PureO OCD sufferer so you won't see me touch door knobs or spend three hours in the bathroom tapping my underarm deodorant on my arm pit until it feels right. I don't appear to have OCD. Not like you see it on television or in the movies. I can't be that sick, right?

OCD is a mental illness. It affects me in my daily life. It is constant. The double edge sword is that in having a mental illness I am subject to the notions of what that word means and the stigma that lies within. Because I have mental illness, I am judged to be sick.

Because I have no outward symptoms some say I am not sick. Because the word mental illness is involved I am judged to be too sick. Some feel OCD is not a true mental illness and therefore it is deemed to be not serious. That is a convenient lie. OCD is serious and it can be deadly without proper treatment.

There is a ridiculous amount of time placing labels on everything. As an OCD sufferer I love a good label, but with labels comes a vast "grey" area. Somethings can not be labeled effectively. Much like  musician who sings a certain genre of music. If they make a new record in another genre, people become confused. They have no idea where to put the record on the shelves. Which label does it fall under?

Labels can be helpful to put everything in it's place, however, somethings don't really have a defined place. Somethings just are.

Most of my life has been lived in the "grey" area. A void of labels if you will. A place where time ceases and is devoid of gravity. To some I am too sick not to be labeled and yet to others I am not sick enough to be counted. So I have resided in the place where labels cease to exist. A space where things have no placement. Objects and people that have no defined area floating around. I hover with the forgotten blender you received from your Aunt Irene three Christmases ago. The lost thing-a-ma-bob you threw in the bottom of the closet because you could never find a place to display it.  The mix matched socks that have lost their mates somewhere between the being placed in the washer and coming out of the dryer. This vast grey area where nothing makes sense or can be shelved. A place for the forgotten and unidentifiable. I reside here.

The truth of the matter is, I can identify with being thought of as normal. Most of those whom I do not wish to be open with, believe that I am. I ,however, have no idea what normal is like. I just am really good at playing the role. I am good at mimicking normal. It is a charade game and I am a master at it. The issue is that I know that I am faking it. I know that I am not normal. I know that I am sick. It is getting others to understand or accept that fact that is the problem. Some don't want to, some can't seem to understand, some just don't want the responsibility of knowing.

I identify more with the mental illness community. Here I put down my weapons of protection. I can let my mask fall to the ground. I can fall to my knees in the dirt and rest. I can be just me. The real me. The me that suffers. The real me that hurts and agonizes. The real me that is sick. The real me that is open and honest. I live on the double edge sword, as many of us do, hoping and praying that I don't teeter too far off course lest I be sawed in half. Lest the labels tear me apart.

The truth is, I am sick. I have mental illness. My mental illness is just as serious as any other mental illness. It does not matter what other's perceive about my illness. It does not matter that many are ignorant on the subject of OCD. It changes nothing. It does not change the issues I deal with. It does not change the pain and intrusive thoughts and images I suffer. It does not affect the way OCD affects me and my life. It is real, and painful, and devastating. Period. I do not need confirmation of others to know this.
The truth is that although I have mental illness, it does not make me too sick. What on earth is too sick anyway? No one is too sick to receive help, to try to get better, to try live the life they want. Saying too sick is a neat and tidy way of discouraging others from help or dismissing other's issues and problems. It's a way of throwing your hands in the air and saying, "I give up this is too hard." Life is hard, what we do between the date of our birth and the date of our death on our tombstones is what defines us. It is what we have accomplished or failed at. It is what we have chosen to represent our lives. Nothing is too hard and no one is too sick. We all deserve a chance to be validated and heard. All of us. Period.

I have labels. Maybe not all of them I am comfortable with, but I have been painted with them none the less. I choose my own labels. I choose only the labels I identify with. I choose the label sick. I have mental illness and I am sick. Not too sick and never not sick enough. I am in the void. I am in between. I am just sick enough. Sick enough to get help, to speak out, to fight to be heard, to live my life the way I choose and not be told that I am either lacking or have too much of something I never asked for in the first place.

If you have to have things neat and tidy then by all means label me. If it makes you feel more comfortable or sleep better at night then go ahead. Just remember that if I have to be labeled then so do you and what label do you think you would fall under? Is that how you really want to be perceived? Not as a person but as a word, a name, a set of preconceived notions? Labels are great for keeping kitchen utensils organized not people. We are too complex to be identified by one word. But if you must label me then label me under undefined, because I am not anything and yet everything at the same time. Because I am sick but neither too sick or not sick enough. Because I am an OCD sufferer but not the kind you see in the media. Because I am complicated, and strange, and broken in places but healing. Because I am loyal, and kind, and perfectly fine not fitting into every group but at the same time fitting into all of them. It's really your choice, and I am no longer willing to play pretend anymore.This is me, labels or not. Ill or not. Charades is not my favorite game and I am thinking about taking up knitting instead........

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nobody Nose Except Only Us

Yes, today is about self image. Pardon the pun about noses. I like them. Not in a sick pervy way. Many people first look at the bone structure of other's faces. Others like eyes or cheekbones. I like noses. I am not sure why except I find them quiet unique. I like the way they make faces so different. Go ahead and call me weird. It's not like I have never heard that before. If eyes are the windows to the soul and your mouth is the door, that leaves the nose suspiciously out of the house.
 Everyone who knows me well, knows that I have this interest in noses. It is not uncommon to have someone say , "I met this person today, and you would have loved his nose!" Yes, my phone conversations are just that awesome and profound.

I once watched a t.v. show about bizarre hobbies and this older lady sculpted noses. I thought wow, that's me in thirty years sculpting nose shaped tea pots and drinking copious amounts of earl grey tea. Not from a nose teapot of course because that would just be weird.

For all of my love for noses I hate mine. There is rarely a picture taken of me that I like. I know my nose is not huge and yet every picture reflects Jimmy Durante staring back at me. Not that I don't love his amazingly glorious nose, it's just not what I am trying to shoot perception is skewed.

That is exactly what having mental illness is like. Knowing that you are perfectly normal looking but seeing something there that truly isn't. We, as sufferers, see things that are either not there or things that no one else seems to notice. Carnival mirrors and false readings of the mental geiger counter. We hear blips telling us something else is going on. It is very hard to live with being different let alone trying to explain it to others. We tend to be extra sensitive to criticism, mostly because we have been harshly judged not just by others but the real judging, the real hate comes from within. Learning to not only accept yourself, broken as we may feel we are, but also forgive ourselves for being so. It is a full time job where the pay sucks and raises are out of the question. To add to that fear that we are not being good enough to be accepted, is the negative thoughts we carry about ourselves. It takes years to learn to forgive yourself. It takes years to accept yourself. It takes years to get over grieving the life you thought you would live until you had to be forced to realize that this is you, now. Not that you can't still do or be what you wanted but that you are not who you always thought you were. Not something better or something worse, just different. It certainly doesn't help to be faced with stigma or ignorant individuals who want to spew their blame or anger on you. It can be overwhelming and frightening. It can make us internalize the thoughts we have fought so hard to eradicate. The thoughts that we are bad, broken, sick, ugly, unworthy. Thoughts that have always lurked in the background. Thoughts that only gain power if we believe them. Therein  lies the problem. They can only hurt you if you believe they are true and most of us deep down, at one time or another, do. They are no more true than me having Jimmy Durante's nose but in that moment they seem real. They seem to be factual to us. Perceptions again...ugh.

So for this reason I started writing. I wanted to show others that they are not alone. That we are worth more than we ever thought we were. That we are capable magnificent individuals. That whether we end up sculpting nose shaped tea pots or we are CEO'S of a major company it doesn't matter.  What matters is getting the message out there. That we are many and we are worthy of everything life has to offer. That we are not scary or dangerous. That we are not what the media spews. That we are not what ignorant people think we are. That we matter. That the voices in our heads have no power because they are false. We are not bad, we are beautiful. So the title nobody nose, is correct. Nobody knows what we go through but us. Nobody knows accept others that have been discriminated against, belittled, and feared whether it be because of skin color, sexual preference, religious beliefs, or mental illness. We all experience the same discrimination and it hurts. It sickens. It violates and harms. Only we can change this by standing up and talking. Only us.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Triggers, Triggers, Everywhere.....

I would like to bring up a more complicated discussion today. Triggers and how they affect us as not just mental illness sufferers but also how it affects people who have endured violence and abuse and those that suffer from addiction issues.

Triggers, triggers, everywhere......

Trigger: anything, as an act or event, that initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions.

An example of a good trigger would be the smell of cookies baking. Thoughts of happier times possibly childhood visits with your favorite grandma. You are reverted back to something pleasant and peaceful. The smell of cookies baking is almost as good as the taste of them or the feeling of fullness after eating them. Some triggers are not good. Some are highly unpleasant and debilitating.

I grew up very aware of what triggers are. My mother endured violent sexual abuse as a child at the hands of her father. A man who was violently sexually abused himself by his mother, grandmother, and his mother and grandmother's "clients". A chain, if you will, of devastation that ran through my family. A sick and disgusting history of extreme cruelty that ran like poison through the generations.

It was not unusual to come home after school and find my mother hiding in the closet crying and speaking in a child like voice. Scared and confused. It was not uncommon to not be able to touch or hug her because she was being triggered by touch. It was not uncommon for her to be washing dishes and just start throwing them to the floor to get the pain out. It took extensive therapy to get this to become less and to deal with the flashbacks that she was going through. As she got better she no longer hid in closets or broke plates or needed physical space from being touched at least from me. However, there were many times when we would be walking through a grocery store and she would freeze in her tracks and start to shake. Something had triggered her. A smell, a touch, a taste would bring back a flashback. Sometimes it was something that was said or not even what was said but how it was said. I was very aware of triggers and specifically her triggers so we could avoid them or if it was impossible to avoid them I would know how to help her when she was thrown back to the abuse memories. It is hard for others to comprehend what triggers are like unless they have a close friend or family member that have them themselves.

Triggers can give you flashbacks from a violent or abusive event.

Another set of people that have triggers are those that deal with addiction issues. This is why it is recommended that in recovery you do not keep the same addict friends and go to the same places where you used to use. They can become triggers that can give you stronger urges to use again.

And finally we have the mental illness community. Some of us have triggers specific to our diagnoses. I have OCD and I have triggers. It is a fact that certain things actually can trigger responses from me that are purely OCD related. I like to say something has triggered my OCD to be worse. I don't like to say that something triggers my OCD. That gives the impression that my OCD is only present when I encounter triggers. That is not the case. My OCD is constant. I am able to deal with it or overcome it to the point that many times it is not blatantly evident. That does not mean it ceases to irritate or plague me, it just means you are less likely to know it does by just looking at me.

Certain things trigger my OCD to be worse. I have triggers. I try to avoid them but as you know that is not always possible. I am aware of them but sometimes I am caught off guard. They cause me to have a visceral reaction. A physical flinching. It takes self talking and breathing. Triggers can cause an avoidance of the situation and most commonly a panic attack or extreme anxiety. And I am not the only one. People that suffer from mental illness regardless of the diagnoses can and do have triggers that make their symptoms worse or more evident.

An example is when someone touches my face, specifically my brother who finds my reaction to be highly amusing. This causes me to flinch and run to go scrub my face raw. I hate this trigger. Hate it with a extreme passion. It is debilitating, agonizing, and painful. I hate the loss of control. I hate the way it makes me feel. I hate that I am unable to control my reaction.

Many mental illness sufferers have triggers whether it be phobias, anxiety, flash backs, or uncomfortable reactions. The need to avoid or run away from triggers is very strong and it can result in missing out on things that we would like to actually participate in.

Stress is a huge trigger for most of us. Where normal people would become frustrated or upset, we can become unable to function. Lack of sleep makes many cranky, for a mental illness sufferer it can be harder to manage our symptoms. Triggers that cause us extreme anxiety can be highly disruptive to our schedules.

So in conclusion, triggers suck. They are everywhere and having mental illness means that at some point you are going to encounter them. At some point, you are going to have to deal with the big, ugly, pink elephant in the room. For normal people they see a world full of possibility. For us the world can seem like a trap ready to spring. For us the world looks like a huge potential for triggers to reach out and grab you. For us, there are triggers, triggers, everywhere. It can be quite frightening. It doesn't mean that we aren't capable of being out the world and doing the things we love. It simply means that we have to work harder to be able to do so. It can be done and it would be truly magnificent that if you know someone that has issues with triggers that you be understanding and supportive.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, July 26, 2013

Crawl. Walk. Dance.

The other day I dreamed I was on the television show Dancing With the Stars. I found this to be completely hilarious because I am a terrible dancer and I most certainly am not famous......Dreams are weird sometimes aren't they? I have no idea what that dream was supposed to be showing me except maybe a comedic folly.

But life is like a dance is it not? Some of us are amazing dancers and seem to glide gracefully through appearing to almost never touching the ground. Not me. I am the person that puts on head phones and dances in my kitchen with my mop. The only people to be graced by my dancing ability is my four cats that ignore me and my kids that stand there quietly with a look of horror and confusion on their face. I always wanted the sophistication of Grace Kelly. Instead I have all of the grace of a bow legged newborn foal. All legs, knees, and fumbles.
I am so clumsy I can barley walk properly without tripping over something. Wires, my own feet, a minuscule speck of dust it really doesn't matter.

What this has taught me is that when you fall often a few things happen. You get a higher pain tolerance. You learn to try to fall in a position to lessen the damage to your body. Most importantly you learn how to get back up dust yourself off and try again. Is it embarrassing? Yes. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. It is necessary? Of course it is.

Having mental illness is like living with your clumsy uncoordinated cousin controlling your mind. You are going to fall. You are going to struggle. You are going to come across situations and obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. You are going to, at one time or another, ask yourself the question if it is worth it. It is, trust me. Sometimes you are going to be too exhausted to care. Sometimes you are going to be too angry not to. Sometimes you are going to want to give up. It happens.

I can't lie and say it is an easy road. It is not. I can say that it is worth it to come out on the other side. When you look at babies that are just learning to walk you can see that learning comes with failure. They take two steps, wobble, and fall over. Some of them cry. Some of them seem to plot a better strategy. All of them get back up to their feet and try it again. Why? Because you can only crawl so far in your life. At some point you have to be able to stand on your own two feet and walk.

It doesn't have to be graceful. It doesn't have to flow like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. It just has to be one wobbly foot in front of the other. Tiny steps which lead to bigger ones. Wobbly footing leads to stable footing. Being unsure and scared leads to being more self assured and confident. Mental illness is like learning to walk again. We fall, we get back up, we take baby steps. It takes time and effort. It hard and painful. It is very worth the try.  The more we work on it the more we realize that not only will be able to relearn to walk we can also learn to finally dance. And dancing is freeing. Dancing is laughter. Dancing is fun, no matter how bad you are at it. We all deserve the right to be happy. We all have the right to regain control back in our lives. We all have the right to learn to dance again.

Baby steps........
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rant Stigma Rant

Today's post is a little different than usual. I want to talk about a story I have read in the news lately. I am going to talk about Amanda Bynes and what appears to be mental illness. Now I can't say for sure that what she is dealing with is mental illness. I am not her doctor, psychiatrist, therapist or family member or friend. I don't know her personally. All I know is that like the rest of the world I have watched her self destruct and I have been very worried for her.
Yesterday an article came out about her starting a fire in a drive way of a stranger. She managed to catch her pant leg on fire. She also had gotten some gasoline on her dog. Now it appears that she got very upset when she realized the dog had gasoline on it and she ran to a gas station and washed her dog off. The articles I read were very vague. Some of them said the dog was almost burned. Some said the dog was burned. One witness claimed the dog was wet but there was no evidence of it being burned or any burnt flesh/hair smell. The title leads you to believe that she soaked her dog in gasoline or tried to kill her dog on purpose. This is obviously not the case as you read further in the article. In fact, the dog is with her parents and there is no evidence at this time of it needing to go to the vet or animal hospital. However, people responded to this story in ways that left me feeling sick and absolutely saddened.  Just a note I am a huge animal advocate. I love animals. If I see any comments stating otherwise I will delete them. This article is not about the horrible accident that happened to her dog, it is about the negative response that she is getting because she obviously is having a very public melt down. There were some more positive comments hoping that she gets the help she needs. What bothered me was the negative comments and it struck me that these are comments that we, the mental illness community hear everyday. We are familiar with these types of statements, intimately. So I am going to respond to them in my blog because quite frankly, someone needs too.

What does stigma look like? Glad you asked cause this is stigma at it's finest. Hold onto your hats guys and gals because this isn't pretty.


"She is just doing this as a publicity stunt."

Yes, obviously setting fire to a driveway and yourself is only a publicity stunt and not a sign of possible mental illness. Nothing about this seems like maybe she might not be in touch with reality. Seems like what most famous people do so they can get headlines. Ya know, not an interview or photo shoot but actually catch yourself on fire............with gasoline. Makes perfect sense.

"I don't care what happens to that psycho but I care about the dog"

That is mighty of you. It is so nice that not only do have no feelings toward the obviously ill person but you also seem to blame her for what has happened.......Blaming the person with the illness, not something the mental illness community has come across before. No one ever blames us for our problems.......

"Oh, cry me a river, about this spoiled sick b@#$%. Go write her a letter and send flowers, putz."

Thank you for explaining to me that only the middle class and impoverished people can have mental illness. I was under the impression that mental illness could affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or social standing. Thank you for clearing that up for me. Obviously, I had no idea what I was talking about. You must be way more educated in the mental illness field than I am. Please tell me, can you also give us advice on how to balance this country's budget, because you seem to be so profoundly knowledgeable?

"I think it's all a bunch of B.S....she saw that acting"crazy" worked for Britney, so now she's seeing what it'll do for her failing career.....bad publicity is better than none."

It couldn't be that what helped Britney was that she was treated for having a mental illness and is taking the steps to remain healthy? That wouldn't have any helpful factors in her career, now would it? It couldn't be that her family and friends supported her in her time of need and got her the help that she needed so she can now concentrate on not only her career but also her children? No, obviously there was nothing wrong with Britney and she just went around shaving her head and trying to hurt herself not because of the agony she was going through, but because she really wanted pictures of herself wielding an umbrella and sporting a chrome dome as she tried to get away from the paparazzi. Wow, I never thought of it like that before. And here I thought she just needed help. My bad.

"Sorry, don't buy it.....she regained her senses long enough to realize that she had to rinse the dog off and was frantic about it. Mental illnesses don't usually present themselves like that. The moron realized she went too far and allowed the fire to get out of control. Sorry, not drinking the kool aid."

Obviously, you graduated cum laude  from  a very prestigious psychiatry college. In fact, you are so knowledgeable on exactly how mental illness presents itself I am left with no other option but to believe that you must actually be a professor of psychiatry. Your scholarly argument is so profound. I had no idea that all mental illness presents itself the same way for everyone, every single time. Wow, what do you think they are going to test her for in the mental hospital then? Maybe her vital signs and her eye sight? You're right, they won't find anything because she is perfectly normal. You must be very thirsty since you do not drink kool aid, would you prefer a nice glass of ice tea?  It gets so hot out there when you are judging others and I wouldn't want you to become dehydrated.

"I was alarmed when I saw this******with a puppy in the first place a few days ago. IT WAS FUNNY BEFORE BUT IF HER PSYCHO @$$ WANTS TO KILL HERSELF WHATEVER, BUT KEEP INNOCENT ANIMALS OUT OF IT. uuuugh seriously haven't wanted to punch her until I heard this."

That's it scream it out. If by funny you mean tragic, then yes watching someone self destruct in front of the whole world watching, is just hilarious, isn't it.? I mean what about watching someone wrestle with agony and despair while dangerously teetering off the edge of sanity wouldn't make people laugh? Am I right? Am I right? Huh? Yeah? This is comedy gold. And why should you care if she kills herself, I mean that has nothing to do with you. She isn't a real person with real emotions . She isn't a human being, right? I always think that people should threaten to punch mentally ill people in the face. That sounds like a great time. OOOH OHH me first! Punch me first!

"For God's Sake enough is enough....somebody step in and help this girl. Her antics and issues have been in the news long enough....something is wrong. The day she showed up in court in a purple wig should have been a clue to the judge to intervene. I don't know the circumstances 
between her and her parents....but I do know as a southern mama....I would have already as we say "jerked a knot" in her and done whatever it took to bring my baby back to reality. Ask my oldest son..."

You know with all the obvious signs that she is having mental illness issues, obviously the purple wig was the one that sealed the deal. I mean, no one wears wigs, colors their hair, or wears things that are different or unusual. Next time I see a woman walk down the street with multi-colored hair I think I will ask if they have mental illness. I wonder how well that conversation will go?  Usually, doctors and therapists want to actually treat mental illness but I think you are on to something. Ladies and Gentlemen we have figured out how to cure mental illness. All you need is a good swift kick in the pants and your mental illness will be gone! It's a miracle!!!

"Give that poor little dog a good home and put this nut in a straight jacket and force feed her bipolar meds. She NEVER should have been allowed to own an animal."

You obviously have gone to the same school as the tea drinking self deemed professor of psychiatry a few comments above. Your knowledge of mental illness and the proper medications for them is just staggering! Wow, who knew that even though we all have different diagnoses we don't have to try different medications. We can all just take bipolar meds! That would save so much time!   I had never considered that bipolar medications worked for everyone! Quick lets paint banners and make our own sit ins and rallies! Give me that megaphone: What do we want? Bipolar medications! When do we want it? Now!

"This stupid f@#$%&* crazy ass b@#$%! That poor dog!!! I don't feel bad for this nutcase girl. Not after hearing this s@#$%. Sick b@#$%."

Ahhhh, flattery gets you everywhere. I give you an A+ for the using the curse words correctly. Way to not judge someone in the midst of a mental breakdown, but sir you are so right. Instead of offering support and help lets stand by and verbally abuse her. That always helps situations like these.

And then we are left with these two "gems" of the human race.

"Drown this b**** in bleach."


"fed up w/ this psycho & her bulls*** antics lock her a$$ in a padded cell & end it."

Now I am not sure which of these two deserve to be handed the douche-bag of the year award but I nominate them both.

And now that we have some of the more enlightening comments out the way, I would like to propose that not only do you talk about her like she is a subhuman piece of trash, that you also belittle her as well. You should point your fingers in her face and judge. You should blame her, stigmatize her, threaten her, and grind her so far under your heel that she is nothing but dust. I think you all should pretend you are doctors and give out your faulty ignorant advice that makes you look like a complete ass. Then I think the media should re victimize her by taking what happened a twist the stories around to sell papers. I think they should make fun of her plight and basically see how far they can push her. Like poking a wounded animal with a stick and then report what it does. I think they should word things in a way that get the most rise form others and laugh at her expense. Then they should top it off with a condescending statement like I hope she gets the help she needs, but then refuse to take responsibility that they are making it worse.

Oh....wait you already did that. Huh.

And people wonder why people with mental illness are afraid to get help or talk about their issues. Go figure.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paint The World

I used to feel I was so lost. I felt like I was drifting in the middle of the ocean clinging to any debris I could grasp onto, holding on for dear life lest I drifted away from anything that resembled land, stability, or God forbid myself.

Growing up with mental illness is difficult. Especially, when that is the time when you are supposed to be learning about who you are as a person. When you are supposed to be gaining personal beliefs and ideals. It can be hard to separate what is important and what is all in your head. It can take a devastating toll on your self esteem.

For me my mental illness was a catalyst to many decisions of my life that were to ultimately, become life lessons. Painful and yet important lessons. Like everyone else, I am just trying to figure out life on my own terms. I pick up little bits along the way. Some advice is helpful and some can and should be crumpled up like paper and thrown away.

Everyone has self esteem issues to some degree or `things that they don't like about themselves. It is a natural thing. However, when faced with mental illness these little negative voices in the back of your mind can gain strength. They are no longer small little pricks of the skin that rub you the wrong way. They can become monsters with fangs and sharpened talons that tear your self esteem and thoughts of self worth to shreds.

Having this occur can cause great pain. My mental illness has left behind me a trail of broken things. Bloodied and shattered bits of glass that once were my soul. I stepped on them and cut my feet, leaving behind scarlet footprints. Devastating wounds that at one time I was perfectly convinced would never heal. Agony and confusion that I thought were to be my only companions. Loss of myself and everything that I stood for that left me feeling like an empty vessel, cracked, unusable, and forgotten.

Years of constantly examining myself. Am I a good person? Is what I do good enough? Does what I say have any credence or worth? Do I matter?

Questions that have haunted and plagued me. Questions that everyone has asked themselves at one time or another and yet I was never sure of the answers.

That was then and this is now. I have come to realize that I am exactly who I need to be. Yes, because of my mental illness there are somethings I am not able to do. These things may cause some to have to help me more than others. That my mental illness is not something that everyone can or want to handle. That those that refuse to see me as I am or accept the true whole of me are not worth my time, my tears, or my worries. They simply do not deserve me. I have realized that even though I have mental illness, in no way does that make me any less important or desirable than anyone else. That I am more sensitive to other's pain because I have had pain. I have held it bleeding in my hands. That I am more caring because I have been abandoned by some that were supposed to be there for me. I understand loneliness and isolation. That I am more down right determined to never be cut down, pushed aside, or ignored. I have had too many times in my life when I was willing to stand up for others but not for myself because I felt deep down there was nothing to stand up for.

I refuse to kowtow and be subservient to these ridiculous notions that I am not good enough or somehow less because I suffer from something I never signed up for in the first place. If someone doesn't like me I don't need to win them over. It's their loss. It is their issue. I am worth so much more than allowing myself to be belittled or walked on. I am not a welcome mat for others to wipe their feet on me anymore. I don't know why I changed. I don't know if it is because I am older or because I have become stronger. What I do know is that I never deserved any of the painful treatment others inflicted upon me. That I never deserved the hot stinging tears that washed down my face because I was ashamed. Ashamed to be me. Ashamed to not be normal enough. Ashamed that deep down I was afraid all of the painful comments about me were true. I allowed other's to steal bits of me away. Rip and tear at me until I was left in shambles. I allowed others to take away things that made me who I am. My style, my beliefs, my hopes and dreams. No longer. This is me, take it or leave it. Like it or don't. Read what I write or click away to another page. Hear me or walk away. Walk with me as an equal or get lost. I don't need you if you can't see that none of us are perfect. That my issues do not lessen my being a decent, loyal, kind human being. That in a sea of uncertainty we are all fishes swimming around. Different colors, different sizes, different species but all still fish. My wounds have healed. My soul has been battered but it is intact. I let no one hurt me like that anymore. If I do not like what you offering I walk away. It's my choice to be free and happy. Let no one push you down and feed the fears that you are not good enough. You are, you just have to realize it first. Let no one tell you that you are incapable of being what you dream . You can do whatever it is that makes you happy, mental illness or not. They are not the boss. They do not have a crystal ball that foretells your future. Your future is yours and the sky is the limit. Don't let anyone tell you that you are worthless or unimportant. You are magnificent the way you are. You are perfectly imperfect just like everyone else. You are beautiful and odd and unique. The world would be so amazingly boring if it were only shaded in one drab color. Be you, the wonderful glorious shade of different and paint the world with your hopes and dreams.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, July 19, 2013

Shame On You!

I read an article last night about a woman who wanted to "hose" down all of the homeless that lurked near her place of business. The author of this article tackled the stigma of this woman's comments and took the time to not only stand up for the mental illness community but show just how deep seeded the stigma against us really is.  The business owner's quote was, "These people should not be on the street,” she said. “They should not be allowed to sleep in the street. They should not be allowed to be out in public with mental disorders, if they have them, or if they’re drug addicts, they need to go away.” She continues “People like us are going to get angrier and angrier, and without the proper police support, we’re going to start to take things into our own hands. Which means people are going to get hosed down. Like, if I was Dania, I’d hook up a hose and hose all [the homeless people] down in the morning.”

The article I am referring to his here : written by Becky Oberg. Sensational thought provoking post and if you have time you should read it.

I was saddened and then angered that such callous remarks are made towards not only the homeless population but also the mental illness community. It hurt. I would like to her and others with the same ideals, Shame On You!

Then I realized with all the talk of free health insurance, disability, and welfare really angers some people. There are hundreds of quotes and angry comments about welfare in general. Now, I am not going to lie and say some people do not use the system. Some do, and it is down right wrong. I am however, aware of how the welfare system is set up to help disabled individuals. A lot of disabled individuals have mental illness. The process to be accepted for SSI can take several times.

The payment varies from state to state but the average for a single disabled adult from the federal government is around $710 a month as of 2013.

In Seattle where the business owner is located the average SSI payment is $750.  The average one bedroom one bathroom apartment for Seattle according to in 2010 was a whopping  $1,024 a month.

Now there might be cheaper apartments but I can gather that you have an idea where I am going with this. Yes, there are halfway houses and HUD. HUD in Seattle is run by a lottery system that is only open for new applicants a short time each year. The waiting list is usually two to three years to be placed on the lottery system. And that is just Seattle many cities have waiting lists that go all the way up to a nine year waiting list. What does this mean?

You may need to live in a motel. For a single person on welfare in Seattle in 2011 the food stamp average was $120 a month according to Food stamps do not pay for things such as toilet paper, underarm deodorant, tooth paste, Kleenex, cleaning supplies, soap, shampoo, dish soap, sanitary napkins, ect. It only pays for food items and therefore everything else comes out of the SSI funds that you receive. According to the USDA the average monthly food costs for a single adult ranges from $150-$300 according to

That is just the population that have a place to live. Homeless shelters are over run. Most of them are closed during work hours and only open at night. Where do you expect these people to go? They have no place to be but the streets, parks, and alleys.Get a job you say? That would be awesome if everyone were able to physically get a job and keep it. It is not however, a reality. Did you know that in Cincinnati the wind chill had to be 9 degrees before the cold shelters would open to keep the homeless warm? It has since changed but just to give you a heads up, they suggest you do not leave dogs and cats outside when the temperature is 32 degrees and lower. It will kill them.

20 to 25 percent of homeless people suffer from severe mental illness. Regardless, if the homeless have mental illness or not they are still people. Some one's brother, child, parent, uncle, aunt. These are someone's loved ones or even worse these people may not have any loved ones at all. Treated like scum, ignored, spat on, and apparently soon hosed down. Treated the way most people would not treat a stray animal. It is sad. It is wrong. Most importantly it speaks to how the system has failed not only the people trying to live under the poverty limit but also the mentally ill. Yes, in some cases the sufferer may refuse to take their medication or receive help. Does that mean they deserve to be locked away and forgotten? Hosed down? Treated like an animal? It makes more sense to me to open up therapy and centers to help these people with some form of assisted living programs. Out reach groups that struggle to support themselves to help not just the homeless but the overwhelming amount of mental illness sufferers that are filling up our jails and prisons because they have no where else to go. Give these programs the money you would give to build newer stadiums.

The statement that people with mental disorders should not be allowed to walk the streets is just another form of stigma that has been perpetuated throughout history. This lady is obviously unaware that people with mental disorders walk down her street everyday, and they are not all homeless. One in four Americans suffer from mental illness. How many people do you think walk down her street to go to a store, their car, or their jobs everyday?

On a side note I think it would privy for this woman to know that one in three Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless. One paycheck.

Last year there were more than 62,000 homeless veterans in our country. More than 62,000.

In 2011 more than 500,000 families used a shelter at one time or another. Families, that included children.

This system is broken. It is obvious to any and everyone that has eyes and can see. These people need help and our funds are going to things that are not helping as much as they could. This is not just a mental illness issue. This is an addiction issue. This is a housing issue. This is a employment issue.  This is a human issue. This is a caring about someone else issue and this is a people issue.

Hosing down human beings is not the answer. Hating or judging others because you are better off right now solves nothing. What if God forbid you woke up and your place of employment was gone and you lost your home? What if you served our country and came back with PTSD and could no longer work and found yourself on the streets? What if your mind is tortured and you SSI could not cover your expenses to eat, buy toilet paper, and rent an apartment? Would you be so righteous about homelessness then? I think not.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meds, Meds, Meds!

There are generally three types of opinions when it comes to mental medication. First there is the anti medication movement. These are people who believe that medication is poison and created solely for the purpose of drug companies to turn a profit. They believe that we are slaves to the government and it's corrupt drug companies. They do not take medication and feel others would follow suit.

Then there is the pill popper movement. This movement is the extreme opposite of the anti medication movement. These people feel all mental illness sufferers need medication. They feel people should take the medication in spite of severity of symptoms. They believe drugs make everything better.

Then there is a group of people that are neither anti medication or pill poppers. They feel there is truth to both parties but the also false beliefs in both parties. Kind of like political parties, where things are lied about and misrepresented and you have to weed out the truth.  These people feel medication can be helpful but do not agree to the concept that everyone needs to be medicated. There are diagnoses that require medication for stability. There is nothing wrong with that. There are some that do not need medication and there is nothing wrong with that either. What has happened is between the movements of these beliefs the mental illness sufferer is confronted with unfair judgments. You are judged if you do not need medication and judged if you do. It's a damned if you do , damned if don't situation and it is unfair.

Medication is not an easy out. Not only is it a coin toss which ones will work, you also have to combat the side effects they can cause. You have to deal with dosages and refills. Deal with others snickering about what types of medications you are on. You may have months or even years of being a guinea pig to find out what if any medications work for you. It is not easy.

Not needing medication is not an easy out. Without medication there can be other issues such as panic attacks or other symptoms that are hard to control or foresee. It is not easy to combat your mental issues without the help of a medicinal aid and only go with therapy. It is hard work to constantly be aware of your issues.

Both medication and not medicating are very hard roads to go down. They both take bravery and strength. Neither one is better than the other. Neither one is an easier situation. We should stop making judgments on those who medicate and those who don't. It doesn't matter, we both suffer.

I have been medicated on and off all of my life. I had many side effects and issues that I dealt with. I also had mixed results of effectiveness.

These are a list of medications I was put on and my side effects. This is my experience and may not reflect other people's experiences. Many of these medications did not work for me that does not mean they will or will not work for others.

My first mental medication was a little triangular blue pill. I have no idea what it was or what it was supposed to do. I was in the mental hospital in the children's ward. We all were different and I know I was the only one who suffered from OCD. However, it is my belief most of these kids did not suffer from mental illness. Many were truant and compulsive liars or kids that ran with the wrong crowd. A few simply threw fits. They were not what I would class as suffering from anything that was admitting worthy. Neither was I. I was admitted because my doctor and the hospital was fraudulent. They lied to parents and scared them. Then we were kept until our insurance ran out. Every night we all had to line up at the water fountain and take the little blue pill. Then a nurse would inspect our mouths to make sure we swallowed it. We all did because we did not want to spend the night in restraints or the "quiet" room. A room that was white and consisted of only a bare mattress, that we would be locked in if we did not follow the rules. I believe that this was a drug trial. There is no reason we all had to take the same pill. I believe it was also illegal. Illegal because my parents were not told that I was being medicated. They never were informed or signed anything that would allow the hospital to do so. They were shut down for fraud a few years later. I was ten.

At fourteen I had my actual diagnoses and was put on Prozac. I was only on this medication for about three months. I do not remember it doing anything for my OCD but I do remember it causing me to become extremely manic and hyper. I had hot flashes so bad that I would stand out in the snow in shorts and a tank top and still sweat. I developed twitches and became fidgety. I looked more like an intravenous drug user rather than a fourteen year old who was trying medication.

At sixteen I was put on Luvox. It really didn't seem to help me with the OCD issues as I became more concerned with washing my hands. I washed them until they cracked and bled and burned. My hair started to fall out and I gained a gorgeous receding hairline. My nails became so brittle that they would break off to the quick and cause me agonizing stinging in my fingers. I also dealt with such constipation that my stomach bloated and I became unable to eat much due to the constant stomach pain. I do not remember how long I was on this medication exactly but I do believe it was around three years.

Then they prescribed me a low dose of Xanax. It made me unable to function. I started drooling and falling asleep. I was unable to stay awake. I was taken off of it right away.

I started self medicating with St.John's Wort at the insistence of my ex husband. It did not work and I became much worse.(NEVER SELF MEDICATE)

I was then placed on Depakote. A seizure medication that they felt would make me less prone to anxiety and intrusive thoughts. They were right, I no longer had anxiety or intrusive thoughts because I became basically an Alzheimer's patient. I lost all reality. I was missing days and losing time. I was confused and scared. I became angry and irrational. I could not remember how to function on my own. I was unable to speak certain words as if my mind had erased them from my vocabulary. I could no longer comprehend what was going on around me. I was twenty years old.

I was then put on Zoloft. It seemed to calm me a bit. My only side effect was weight gain. It did not work as well as I had hoped.

Then I was placed on Riseperdal. I was told it was a seizure medication but I learned later it is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar. I am not Bipolar or Schizophrenic. I assume that is why the doctor told me it was a seizure medication so I would try it.  Again they felt that this would help me. I became confused. I  lost time again. The worst part of this drug was that I became dizzy and faint with no warning. I would just be walking and fall over. I would feel like I was going to pass out and my legs would completely collapse on me. I believe I was on it for about two months.

Back to Zoloft. I was again placed on Zoloft as it worked to a degree and my side effects were limited. I stayed on it for around five years.

After my first child was born I developed OCD Postpartum. Zoloft did nothing for this. My then psychiatrist who was unfamiliar with OCD suggested Haldol......Seriously. I was terrified. I suggested a pill I had heard had great reviews and I was able to try it instead. It worked.

Celexa was by far the best medication I had taken. It made my intrusive thoughts and images become much quieter and less. However, the dosage I was taking and had built up to was highly dangerous. I was taking four times the dosage the UK recommends as safe. I was taking twice the recommended safe dosage from the US. And I did so for ten years. Not realizing that my medication at that high of a dose could stop my heart.

So I am no longer medicated. The only drug that I found that worked for me is not able to help me because my tolerance is too high. I have tried a lot of medications but this is fairly common as we try to find what helps us. Right now my OCD is under control so I do not feel the need to take medication. That does not mean that I will always be that way.

Basically what this post is about is to show that whether we are on medications or not that the road we walk down is a twisted and bumpy one. There are no easy answers. There is no magical power that makes every issue go away. That either way, we are dong the best we can to function.

Some people need medication and they should not be judged for it. You have no idea the hell side effects can place on a person. It's hard work to find something that works without making you completely miserable at the same time. It could take weeks, months, or even years to find the right one.

Those that do not take medication should not be judged either. Most of us have tried medication and we all have our reasons for doing so. I am not biased on this issue because I tried medications for many years and I have also been medication free. Both ways are hard. Both ways are challenging.

The most important part is to be open and honest with your doctors. It is important to take medications if they say you need to. It also is important, in my opinion, to research the drug you were prescribed and keep an eye out for updates on side effects. That way you are knowledgeable about what you are putting in your body and can talk to your doctor about it. Ask questions! Always ask your doctor about any and all concerns you have. That is their job. Getting off of your medications without your doctor's advice and consent is dangerous and should never be done.

We need to stop being divided on this issue. Whether you take medications or don't we both suffer. We both are equally mentally ill. We need to stop judging each other. We need to support each other. After all, who knows how we suffer better than ourselves?

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sticking Your Head In The Sand

I know no one likes to feel vulnerable. No one likes to suggest that something may be wrong with a loved one or friend. No one likes to think that suicidal tendencies or mental illness may play a factor. It is a scary thought. It makes people uneasy. It makes people uncomfortable to even bring up the topic.

You can't stick your head in the sand and hope that all will be fine. Life just doesn't work that way and neither does mental illness. The only way to help your friend or loved one is to have an open discussion about what they are going through. You may be surprised to see how relieved they are to actually be asked how they are doing. I know for me, it was a relief when my mother sat me down and asked me questions. She saw that something wasn't right with the way I was avoiding things. My mother in my life story of mental illness is my hero. She went out of her way to get me help, to read up on my diagnoses, and to comfort me as best as she knew how. I am here today, simply because she refused to stick her head in the sand and ignore the signs that something was wrong. 

Had she not been willing to admit that her daughter had issues, had she not allowed herself to ask questions and receive answers I do not believe that I would be here right now. I wholeheartedly believe the guilt and shame would have been the end of me. I don't need to ask what if because I already know the answer. Take it as you like but it the God's honest truth.

There are heroes and there are people that ignore. They don't ignore to be mean or because they don't care. They simply do not know how to broach the subject. They are afraid of the answers they may get in return. They don't know how to help or how to offer support. Many things are said, not in meanness but because they simply have no words that offer help. Comments such as perk up, it will all be okay, why don't you get up and go out more, you just need a good kick in the pants to get better. Then there are the comments that seem to imply mental illness is not real. Such gems as you are just overreacting, you are lazy, you need to stop playing the victim role, and you just want attention. Stop me if you have heard these before. I don't believe they are said to hurt, I believe they are said because they do not understand and become frustrated with not being able to help. I believe they are said because ,in some cases, these people actually believe that a stern scolding will snap us out of our mental illness. When words are not enough they turn away and stick their heads in the sand. To talk about it out loud makes it real and some can't handle the repercussions of that conversation. It may not be said to inflict damage but it none the less wounds us. It make us feel dejected and judged. It makes us feel afraid to talk to others about what we are going through and how we feel.

Many people judge the word mental illness as dirty or a sign of failure. Like they have failed to make us normal. The only failure done is if we are turned away or ignored. Failure is when people stick their heads in sand and refuse to accept the fact that mental illness exists. Failure is turning away and not offering to listen to the person. Failure is pretending everything is okay when it is so obviously not. Failure is when we lose people we could have helped by their own hands. The failure is how we treat those with mental illness. Failure is a system where people are criminalized for having an illness in their brains. Failure is judging, blaming, and ignoring.

It doesn't have to be this way. The choice is yours. Will you be a person that ignores or be someone's hero? Will you ask the hard questions and listen to their answers or will you pretend it all will go away on its own? Will you be there for the person suffering or will you turn away? Will you step up or stick your head in the sand?

The reality is that we all broken people in one way or another. All of us. You wouldn't turn your back on someone who got hit by a car. Why would you turn your back on someone who is being driven from sanity and into a world where suffering is the only constant? There is help for us, but we can not do it alone. We have to realize that we are vulnerable and reach out. Will you take our hand or back away? We need to be supported. We need to be accepted. We need to be understood. We need to be comforted. Most of all we need to be heard. We need to be asked questions and we need to be heard when we answer them. We need to be open and honest and stop beating around the bush because people who could be saved feel like there is no way out of this hell. They are dying and it could be prevented. They are suffering in silence and their silence ends with a tomb. If we continue to stick our heads in the sand the number of those lost will get higher. The number of those suffering will rise. We can not afford to keep quiet and pretend anymore. This isn't Disneyland, this is life. Be someone's hero and ask them about whats going on. Do it for you, because you can help. Do it for others because they can learn from your decision and it can be a blue print on how they can do the same. Do it for us because we need to be asked and heard.

You can not afford to stick your head in the sand.
We can not afford for you to stick your head in the sand.
Please don't stick your head in the sand and forsake us. We need you.

Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This One is For The Girls......................

I am afraid that I do not understand where teenage girls are at in their minds these days. It is not that I was never a teenager, I get the angst and the confusion. I don't get how they see themselves and their lack of self esteem and self worth. The way they objectify themselves willingly and wholeheartedly.

In the early 1900's women dedicated their lives to the suffrage movement. They died, fought, went to jail, and were abused for our right to vote. They fought for the right to have birth control and clinics for women. The right to have choice in our leaders and our bodies. Sadly, many of our young women have never heard of great women such as  Margret Sanger, Susan B Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

In the seventies women burned their bras and grew their arm pit hair out dangerously long enough to braid it and wear it as a scarf. To snub their nose at the ideals of how women should look and act.

In the eighties women wore their hair with sideways pony tails, raccoon eyed makeup, and shoulder pads that made them look more like cooperate football players rather than women. They said we can do anything a man can do and we have the shoulders to prove it. They worked to become CEOs of major companies.

In the nineties somehow underwear became worn on the outside of our clothing. We wore our father's and brother's army boots with our dresses and rocked out to empowering music like "I'm a B...." from artists like Meredith Brooks. We wanted to show that we were tough and femmine at the same time. That we were a force to be reckoned with. No longer would we be pushed into the corner. We wanted equal pay and equal ideals.

Being a woman is something to be proud of and it has nothing to do with how skinny you are or what your outfit costs. We should reflect on the battles waged and won on how we get to buy and own such clothes in the first place. There was a time when in this country a woman was not allowed to own any property at all. She was not allowed to have outward opinions on matters such as politics and land owning. No one listened to her ideals or opinions.

Now, thirteen year olds are more interested in how they look rather than their career plans or their education. They are worried about being skinny enough, pretty enough, and "sexy". A fact I find highly disturbing. What happened?

Duck face pictures are dumb. They do not make anyone look "hot". They make you look like your lips had a major stroke. They look broken. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would make ugly faces my mother would scold me and tell me that if someone hit me on my back my face would stay that way. If no one has hit you on the back then there is no excuse to keep doing it. It's akin to getting into your mother's makeup and filling in your eyebrows with her favorite hot pink lipstick when you were five years old. It looks silly.

The constant comments about how fat you look bothers me. Weight has nothing to do with beauty. It really doesn't matter because most girls who comment about being fat weigh in the lower nineties anyway. If your waist is the circumference of my thigh then you are not fat, you are just confused. Beauty is about self confidence and attitude, not what the numbers on the scale tells you.

Making ridiculous comments about wanting a relationship like The Notebook. Please......The Notebook is a romance novel. Romance novels are fairy tales, akin to the three little pigs. There are people, creatures, animals that you recognize but they do ridiculous things that are impossible. How does a pig build houses when he has hooves for hands? How does a wolf huff and puff and blow your house down when wolves do not posses the ability to pucker their lips?  They are capable of panting not blowing.

Books like the notebook are fiction. How do I know this? Well, for starters they are not located in the same isle of the library as The Diabetes Cookbook, autobiographies of Elvis, or The Diary Of Anne Frank.

A good way to tell if a romance novel is ridiculous is if nowhere in that book or movie there isn't someone farting, burping, or picking their nose. There is no talk about him coming home after a long day of work and him having stinky feet. No mention of her nagging because he refuses to share the television remote. No arguing over whose turn it is to take out the garbage, fighting over the bills, or contempt because he forgot something on the shopping list. No one lives like they do in these stories. We are all human and as humans we all have our own issues. Love is what your willing to put up with. I am sure even Ryan Gossling passes gas at some point. He is human, last I heard. I am not saying there isn't true love or that relationships can not last forty years, I am saying that relationships are hard work. That people do annoying things and to love someone is to accept their baggage. What ever that baggage may be.

I don't know why there is such a perverse need to saddle yourself up to someone when you are so young. Learn who you are first. Go out with friends and have a social life. Go to college. Get a part time job. Fall and learn how to pick yourself back up. Find who the real you is first before you try to become a half of a whole relationship. If your betrothed is still waiting to be with you after that than it has a chance of being real. If not then it wasn't meant to be anyway.

If your partner is a cheater, liar, manipulator, or abuser then don't take him/her back. If they have wronged you they aren't worth your time. You will love again. You are worth more than that. Trust me.

So I guess what this long drawn out post is trying to say is that you are selling yourself short. You can be anything in this life. You do not need to worry if you are good enough for someone. If they don't want you then it's their loss and you were probably better than them anyway. Stop worrying about your looks and get a good education. Looks fade, intelligence is forever. Learn about the struggles women have gone through so you can take pictures of yourself in your booty shorts and share it with the world. Contemplate on that for a few minutes and decide if that's really the image you want to share with the world. Are you just an object or are you a person with dreams, hopes, and emotions. Because mark my words, people are not thinking about you as a person when you post pictures and comments like that. They are seeing you through the goggles of sexual objectification.  Stop saying you want a relationship. You don't really. What you want is to feel whole. What you want is to feel special, to know who you are, to validate your feelings, to feel unconditional love. These are all things you can give yourself. Don't wait for someone else to give you these things because they can't. Only you can prevent forest fires and only you can love yourself that way. Don't believe that your crush can save you from yourself. That never works out. Crushes are people you put so high up on a pedestal that there is no way to go but down. You aren't "in love" with them. You are "in love" with the idea of them, and no one can stand up that kind of scrutiny.  Take my advice because I have been where you are now and I have made the same mistakes.

Take the advice of this wrinkled, grey haired, walker pushing, old bitty. Love yourself. Find yourself. Get to know your self worth and project yourself the way you want to be received by the world. You can't promote yourself as strong, intelligent, or classy when you are doing the duck face.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, July 12, 2013

Please Sir Can I Have Some More???

Welcome to Cafe De Mental Illness.

Hi my name is Nelly and I will be your server today............

Our special is the mental illness platter. It is a large portion so it is perfect to share with your family and friends.

Let's start off with something to drink. We have regular guilt and diet guilt. The diet has artificial sweetener but the carbonation will still rot your teeth, however the diet seems to be a little less pungent in flavor. Diet you say, excellent choice. Do want ice with that?

Our appetizer special is crispy fried shame sticks with marinara sauce on the side. They are gooey and cheesy and stick with you all night long. They are my personal favorite for that oh so full feeling. Great I'll put your order in right away.

For an entree we have Stigma glazed steak, medium rare. You have an option of side dishes such as steamed asparagus sprinkled with I think I have lost my mind. Mashed potatoes covered in brown I am not sure the voices are real gravy, or the home made mac n' cheese made with organically grown snide remarks, misinformed comments, hurtful knee jerk reactions  and aged smoked cheddar .

Oh, you don't want the sides you would prefer a salad? Okay, we currently serve salad greens with sliced judgment and unearned fearful glances with a nice raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Tart and healthy.

For dessert we offer a smooth chocolate mousse complete with negative feelings of self worth and low self esteem. If we make it extra creamy we might even throw in some despair, free of charge of course.
We only serve the best. Don't forget to take a doggy bag with you in case you can't finish it all in one setting.
How was your meal? Awesome. Here at Cafe De Mental Illness we aim to please. I hope you had a wonderful time.
Don't be a stranger and Ya'll come back now ya hear?

Sounds yummy right?
Please Sir can I have some more?..............said no one ever.

This is an interpretation of all that we, the mental illness sufferers, go through everyday. This is the putrid meal fed to us over and over again. We are forced to swallow judgments, stigma, shame, and guilt that we do not deserve. Everyday we have obstacles to climb over and figure out how to go around. It makes it harder to do this if we keep being fed ignorant notions of what we can be or who we are. Notions that are wrong and hurtful. Notions that are not based in fact but based in the fears of the masses.  Notions that are no more than painted ashes and lies. The truth of the matter is that if you are fed the same stories over and over you start to believe them. If all you hear is negative remarks you start to believe that they are true. If all we hear is that we are bad, wrong, useless, unlovable then we start to forget how to believe in anything else. I am here to let you in on a little secret. We can be whatever we choose to be. We are whomever we want to be. Nothing stands in our way but the notions we have been force fed and have started to believe. They are only powerful if we give power to them. I don't know about you, but I would like to eat at a different restaurant. The waitress was really nice but I would like to cut my teeth on better choices of food. I would like to fill my stomach with positive connotations of who I am and what I can be. I want to be able to hold my head up high. I can't do that if I let every ignorant remark push me down. I have been pushed down long enough and I am tired of sinking down. Tired of believing that I am what others have projected upon me. I am not any of those things. I am simply me. Me a mother, me a wife, me a blogger, and yes, me with a mental illness. How does that make me any less amazing than the next person? It doesn't.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I did everything right. It's the one thing I can absolutely say I did everything right on in my whole life. Both pregnancies I stayed on the gestational diabetes diet and never cheated. When my first quack doctor told me to check my blood sugar six times a day even though I was only borderline with gestational diabetes with my first baby, I did it. I stabbed myself in the fingers six times a day with the blood sugar meter, I affectionately call it the finger torture machine. I drank only water and tea. I quit smoking. I walked a mile a day because my mother told me that it would make childbirth easier on me. I went to every appointment and did everything the doctors suggested and told me to do. I put soft music in my headphones and placed it on my belly because I had read somewhere the babies can hear it. I stayed away from alcohol going so far as to not even eat food if it were cooked with it. No sushi, no medicine, nothing. I even refused to take nausea medicine when I had morning sickness unless it was approved by my doctor. I did everything in my power to make healthy babies, smart babies, safe babies. I did everything right.

My husband is handsome, smart, handy, and kind. He is considerate, loves to read, loves history and Egypt, can cook, and he is completely and beautifully normal. I thought that when I had my children surely his genes would be more dominant. His normal genes had to trump my withered poisonous mentally diseased genes. My kids surely had a 50/50 chance of not having OCD right? I mean my mother had three kids and I am the only one with OCD. Sure, my siblings have other mental illness issues but they do not have OCD. Let them be smart and creative like their father. Let them be strong and brave like their father. Let them be normal like their father. Just please don't let them be like me. Please don't be like me. Please don't be like me. Please don't be like me.

It started with my oldest child around two. He would line up his crayons by color. Not too unusual but I just thought maybe it was due to quirkiness. My oldest is brilliant and could read by the age of four. The age of four was also when I realized my son was not quirky. He has OCD. I tried to glaze over it and I hoped and prayed my illness would go away from him. That it would just cease and not plague him with the guilt and shame that has plagued me all of my life. My mother had bought me a pair of shoes exactly like hers. My  oldest son was bothered by me wearing them. They were Nana's shoes and he would get highly upset if I wore them. No amount of talking to him or explaining that they were not Nana's actual shoes but ones exactly the same would calm him. I had to put them in the closet and never wear them in his presence. It's hard to describe how I knew this was OCD except that I have had OCD since I was four and I have a deep understanding of it and how it works. I can spot it anywhere. Kind of like OCD radar if you will.  He seemed to be exactly like me in a lot of ways. He is smart, funny, and over sensitive. I know my child and I know OCD. I can't explain it except that a mother knows when here child is suffering. I just knew. To me it was obvious. However, I felt that maybe it would just drop off or be a very slight case and all would be okay.

 Last year at the age of nine I started to discuss with him a little about OCD. I told him that I have it and if he ever had upsetting or unwanted/scary thoughts he could tell me because I would never judge him. That I have them too and therefore I would understand. We are very open and honest and I love that we have a very strong bond and we can talk about anything. I learned how to be that way because my mother was that way with me and I thank her everyday for being that way with me. She saved my life by being there for me with OCD and I have no illusions of what my life would have been like if she hadn't been my mother. Three months ago my son confided in me that he has intrusive thoughts. He didn't know what they were but I did. We are in the process of finding him a therapist. I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. God, please why my children? I wanted to scream. Please don't let him hurt like me. Please don't let him feel the guilt of the thoughts and images he can not control like me.

Last night, I sat alone on my porch at three in the morning. I listened to the crickets chirping and the air conditioner fan buzzing and I wept. I silently sobbed for an hour and a half. I had accepted that my oldest was like me even with everything I have tried to do to prevent it. I accepted it but I was not ready for last night.

My six year old is all elbows and knobby knees with his two front teeth missing. I have seen the signs in him as well. He washes his feet more than I wash my hands. He is very particular about his bed being made....ect. He was getting ready for bed. He accidentally cut his gum with a straw. No big deal, but his reaction was. He was afraid to go to sleep. When I asked him why he said because he didn't want to bleed to death in his sleep. He didn't want to die. It wasn't just the statement that got me, it was the fear in his voice and the tears in his eyes. Again I failed. He is also just like me. After explaining to him that he was just fine and was not going to die he looked at me and asked if I was going to leave him. When was I going to die? I was flashed back to 1985 and my bedroom obsessing over these same questions. Crying to my mother and being so terrified that I would be left alone. That she would die. That I would die. Anxiety and fear pulsing through my veins. God, help me how did they both end up like me? I did the only thing I could do. I reverted to what my mother used to say to me that worked for my six year old brain. My mother would tell me that I would not die until I was 105. That she too would live to be 105. Anytime the death fear plagued me I would say under my breath, I am not going to die until I am 105. It helped me. It worked for me and so I told him the same thing. He nodded off to sleep with old tears rolling down his face and peaceful smile on his face. Because he thinks I know everything. Because I understand what is going on. Because the 105 worked. Until next time and the next obsession comes.

And so as I sat there alone on my porch, I wept. I wept for the frustration of the whole mess. I wept because I know the things that will go through their heads. I wept for the guilt I am afraid they will carry with them like I do. I wept because no one wants to see their children in pain. I wept because I do not have the option to glaze over what OCD is like. I have no illusions on how devastating this illness is. I know on an intimate level how OCD mentally abuses you. I wept for the hard road they are both going to have to go down. I wept for the injustice of it. I wept for the stigma they will face. I wept for the judgments others will throw at them. I wept because I am sad. I wept because I am angry. I wept because I felt emotionally eviscerated. I wept because I feel gutted. I raged in my head and blamed myself. After all, the poison from my family tree ran from my veins to theirs. And even though I know it is not my fault, not really, I can't help but feel like when I was doing everything right I missed something. I have somehow failed them.

They are not doomed to be like me. There are people with OCD that lead perfectly normal lives. There are people that go to school, college, and work. Just because I can not does not mean they will suffer the same fate. They are brilliant, sweet, funny, little boys. They are so much like their father in that way.  There are therapies and help now, unlike when I was younger. I know that they are going to be happy and productive men when they grow up. It will be hard but I know that they can do it and I will be there every step of the way to encourage them. I will be there to pick them up if they fall. I will be there to talk to and understand all of the OCD issues and all that entails. I will be there to hold them when they need it and let them go out into the world when they are ready. I am a mother first, it's my job.

So when people talk about my blogs and they say they wish they had courage to speak up like I do, the are misjudging what I am doing for bravery. I am not brave, I am a mother. I want the world to see my children as the amazing wonderful people they are and not judge them because they have OCD. So I have to stand up. I have to speak, not for me because I can handle the snide remarks and negative comments. I have to stand up for my children. I have to try to change the world's views on mental illness because one day they will stand where I am standing. I want them to be able to hold their heads high and feel good about themselves. I want them to have self worth and positive self esteem. I have to stand up because they deserve better treatment options, better representation, and better understanding from others. I don't just choose to speak up and put myself out there, I have no choice. I am their mother and I only have until I am 105.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dear Media

Dear Media,

I have a problem. Well actually, I have many problems but this is one, I believe you can help me with.  During the horrid and devastating shootings that have happened I ask you, no I implore you to save your judgement on the possibility of mental illness being a factor. At least until a diagnoses has been confirmed by their actual doctor or family members. I ask this because whether you know it or not your decisions affect us all and in most cases it affects us in a negative way.
I make no excuses for what has been done or the monstrous actions of those that have harmed and killed others. I don't know what made them do such horrid things. I don't understand any of it. I have wrestled with the notions, I have cried myself to sleep, and I have grieved with our country. I am after all, a mother of two school age children that are my absolute world. I am a sister, daughter, wife, and friend. These events have scarred us all and taken away the innocence that we once were able to live under the guise of.

That being said, I would like to take a moment to try to explain the punishment the mental illness community has been dealt after quick and shotty reporting. I have heard things like "those people need to be monitored for our safety" I have read blogs where some suggest that they lock up all the mentally ill in asylums. " Bring the asylums back", they said. Whats more, a supposed nurse in the mental illness field agreed with the blogs statements. A person who is supposed to be treating us and helping us believes that we all should be locked up and forgotten. As the media, I am sure you are aware of the inhumane treatments of those that lived in asylums. The abuse and medical research tactics, i.e. lobotomies and bleeding the illness out; are, were, and should have been never allowed to occur in the first place.You as the media, have many resources and could easily look up the devastation of asylums on those that had been left there to rot, suffer, and be forgotten. Who stood up for those people? Because they were people with hopes and dreams and emotions just like we are today. It's unacceptable.

Let alone the fact that one in four people have or will suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime. One in four. The fact that as mental illness suffers we are much more likely to be victims of violent crime rather than perpetrate it on others. If we all were dangerous there would be a higher statistical rating of violence and murders don't you think? Statistics say that those that suffer from addiction problems have a higher violence rate than those that suffer from mental illness and yet no one is suggesting we lock all addicts away and throw away the key are they? No, because that would be unthinkable to even suggest such a thing. And yet it is perfectly acceptable to believe that about those that suffer from mental illness. It is even a belief that sadly is gaining popularity.

When Adam Lanza committed what can only be described as a monstrous attack on innocent children, there were wide reports of him suffering from Asperger's syndrome. I do not know what he suffered from. What I do know is that all of those that have wrestled with growing up with this form of autism now had a label that was scary and unfair. Now, the diagnoses is perpetually linked with a child murderer. As if to say that because he had this others that have been diagnosed with it are predisposed to become maniacal killers and should be feared. It's ignorant not just on the public's part but yours as well. Imagine having a small child with Asperger's and after trying to receive help, getting them into a decent school, therapies, and doctors the self esteem issues that go along with being abnormal, imperfect, different, and not being like the happy carefree pictures you see in  magazines, they have this added to their plate. Imagine having to look into your child's innocent eyes that suffers from an illness they did not ask for and have to try to explain why others are judging them and being rude to them. Why adults are scared of them. And it's not just Asperger's. It's the whole community of mental illness sufferers that takes the hit. We are all compared to killers and murderers. Is that fair? Would this be politically correct for any other illness group?

We are painted with a broad brush by the media, that should know better. The paintbrush is old and the paint color is out dated and hideous. We do not deserve it. Mental illness is a very wide description of many illnesses. When people have false notions on mental illness sufferers they are having them not just about the most severe cases. Mental Illness is a category that has everyone from the severely psychotic to the mildly depressed.  People with OCD, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, DID, right down to people that make funny little paper mache' hats that think they are Napoleon. It is a category that contains us all and we do not deserve the shifty stares and fearful side glances. Most of us are and never have been dangerous. In a world were we already suffer from low self esteem issues, where we are shown daily how different we are, how abnormal we are, do we really need to be targeted as well? Can you imagine how not only are we stigmatized by our family, friends, jobs, and schools how we might feel about ourselves? I can speak from experience that my mental illness is constantly telling me how worthless I am, how ugly, how stupid, how unlovable. Tie in with that the reactions of those that are ignorant on what mental illness actually is, and you can kind of see how punishing this is for us. I have to battle daily to maintain that I am none of those things my mental illness tells me I am, only to have to prove it to the masses that I also am not dangerous or scary. That I am not what nightmares are made of. I shouldn't have to. I am not violent or dangerous. I have never been arrested nor do I engage in illegal activities. I have never even been in a physical fight, and yet me and others like me are compared to child killers. To mass murderers. To predators. 

What about those that suffer from PTSD? Those that have suffered severe trauma due to child abuse, a traumatic accident, or even war. These people that were not born with mental illness genes but it was inflicted upon them. Many of them we sent to do our bidding and came back after seeing their friends die. Loosing parts of themselves, their sanity, and sometimes limbs along the way and you shake your finger at them and accuse them of being capable of being murderers and mass killers. Grouping them up without the slightest thought of what they have seen, smelled, tasted for you because our country sent them there and told them too. But it is okay to deny them medical coverage for up to two years and then blame them because they are sick. It is acceptable to group them up and compare them to the sick and twisted shooters and want to lock them up as well with the rest of the mentally ill, because we are viewed to be all the same.

I am not asking you not to report the truth. I am not saying that these people didn't have mental illness. What I am asking is that you explain that not everyone with these diagnoses or mental illness in general are violent and dangerous. I am asking that you take a stand with us. I am asking that you do your job and fully report the issues and not just blindly glaze over them to make the masses feel better. I am asking that you report the facts and not just throw a diagnoses at it so the normal can sleep better at night. I am asking that you be fair. I am asking that as you look around you and see that one in four are suffering from mental illness that every conclusion you jump to is affecting them in a negative way. That judgment makes us afraid to seek help when needed. That judgment makes it harder to support each other and be open and honest about our issues. That judgment is killing those that could have been saved if only given the chance but they were so afraid of the stigma that ending their lives seemed an easier out. You have the power to help represent us truthfully or damn us. I am asking for you to help us. Help me and the millions of others just like me.

Sincerely, Nelly Neurotic

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Am A PureO

Hi, my name is Nelly and I am a PureO. Now, you may be asking yourself what is this crazy red haired lady blabbing about now? I am blabbing about OCD. PureO is a loaded word and there have been some discussions on it's usage. Some don't like the word because they feel it confuses others and may make it harder for OCD treatment. I however, feel that it may actually open other's eyes to the fact that they may have been misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all because they are not aware that PureO exists. What is PureO? PureO is a word used by OCD sufferers that have  OCD but do not outwardly compulse. We compulse in our minds with mantras, prayers, or things we say to ourselves when the intrusive thoughts occur. It is purely obsessional, hence the name. We do not check, count, or touch things to relieve our anxiety.We talk to ourselves, in our minds over and over again just like if we were to outwardly compulse. This does not mean we have no rituals it just means that you wont see the ones most commonly associated with the notion of OCD. What is the difference between OCD and PureO?...Nothing. It is the same exact thing it just manifests slightly different to the outwards appearances. We all have the same anxiety and intrusive thoughts. It is treated the same way as regular OCD, because it is regular OCD. It just looks different from the outside perspective.

All people with OCD have debilitating Intrusive thoughts whether we compulse outwardly or not. We have the market cornered on intrusive thoughts. It's kinda our thing. It's just how we roll. Intrusive thoughts are terrifying, unwanted, and sickening thoughts or images that play in our minds over and over again. All OCD sufferers have had one, some, or all of these intrusive thoughts at one time or another. Some of the most common intrusive thoughts are as follows:

Hocd- homosexual OCD.....Unwanted thoughts and images that somehow you are homosexual even though you know you are not. It is reverse for homosexuals as the Hocd tells them they are straight. Anxiety ensues.

Pocd-pedophile OCD......Your mind tries to convince you that you are a pedophile or sexual deviant. This is terrifying because although you know you would never hurt a child or anyone for that matter the images and thoughts are so disturbing that you can become physically ill. You can start to degrade and hate yourself for such unwanted images and thoughts. The guilt and shame make you feel like a horrible person. You end up avoiding any situation where such intrusive thoughts may occur. Anxiety ensues.

Rocd-relationship OCD.......Your mind is trying to convince you that you do not love your partner, you are not attracted to them, or they do not love you, do not find you attractive, will leave you...ect. Anxiety ensues.
Images or thoughts that occur that we will somehow hurt others or ourselves. Anything held in our hands can turn into an intrusive thought of harming others, knives while preparing dinner, scissors while cutting out coupons, a sharpened crayon, driving in your car it really doesn't matter OCD can turn any situation or any utensil into an unwanted disturbing intrusive thought. Anxiety ensues.
Scary and upsetting thoughts that you or your loved one is sick with a terminal illness of some sort. You have coughed twice, you must have pneumonia. Then you go on to google the symptom for conformation only to find it is a rare type on pneumonia caused from inhaling sheep farts from Scandinavia. You become frightened because even though you have seen hide nor hair of a sheep nor have you ever been to Scandinavia google says that is what you have so it must be true. Anxiety ensues.
The fear that somehow you have poisoned yourself or loved ones or a sickness has befallen you from germs. You have poisoned the whole family because you didn't wash your hands long enough before preparing their meals. You have now contaminated their food and they will all catch Ebola and die. It could just be Salmonella but Ebola is far more likely since it lurks in every corner and crevice. Anxiety ensues.
The need to confess the inappropriate and devastating intrusive thoughts. You feel guilty and ashamed and need to be told you are not a bad, sick, evil person. You can be confessing over and over again for reassurance that you have not done anything wrong and that you are not bad.
And these are just examples of the common ones. Not sheep farts or Ebola but other contaminations and illnesses. Take your pick there are so many to choose from. Imagine how many more can be added to the list that are less common. Imagine how many horrid and mentally abusive intrusive thoughts and images can loop through your mind over and over again. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.

 Research shows that OCD sufferers are not dangerous or sexual deviants. There is no statistical reading on this because the number is minuscule. It doesn't happen. We are actually extremely afraid of violence. We tend to be oversensitive people who can be hurt very easily whether it be verbally or otherwise. The real threat is not that we would carry out such things. The threat is that we will avoid situations that trigger the intrusive thoughts. We will avoid anything and everything until we are left completely alone. The word hermit springs to mind. And unfortunately some severe OCD sufferers have become hermits in order to keep the thoughts at bay.

Imagine what your life would be like if you tried to avoid all of these intrusive thoughts. What would your life be like? What could you do short of standing alone in your living room standing on one leg with both arms pointed at the ceiling to avoid having these debilitatingly horrid images and thoughts? So when I say OCD is debilitating I don't mean your ticked off because Jeff from two cubicles over touched your prized pen collection and didn't he see your cute I have OCD coffee cup as a warning. I mean you are unable to function without treatment. I mean that you are terrified to be around your loved ones or to get out of bed in the morning. So if your coffee cup, funny t-shirt, or witty OCD poster are supposed to represent the truthfulness about OCD then you're going to need a bigger mug. You're going to need a wider shirt with smaller print. You're going to need a larger poster and wall paper paste to hang it with.

OCD is not cleaning or organizing or touching things. Those are outward compulsions to try to relieve the anxiety produced by the intrusive thoughts and images. It is the shine, if you will, on the rotten apple. It is the appearance that all is structured in our brain but it isn't the case. Whether you are a PureO or have the OCD everyone is familiar with, it doesn't really matter. They are the same. We all struggling. We are all suffering. These things are hard to discuss and be open about. Mainly because it is painful. Mainly because to say it out loud verifies the fact that we have these thoughts. Mainly because we are terrified that we will be judged.

Hi, my name is Nelly and I am  PureO. I have OCD. I can't help what images go through my mind. They are unwanted and I do not choose to have them. I am not a bad person nor am I evil or wrong. I am a good person that is kind, caring, and considerate. I have a mental illness but I am learning to live with it. I am learning to accept myself even though I have issues. If you are in the same boat as me I hope that you will find the courage to educate others on what having OCD is like. Maybe you already have. Maybe you are considering it. We can not get better if we are not open about what OCD really is. We can not help others if we don't talk about how this affects us.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Hell Of Sexual Obsessional OCD

The title is correct this is Hell. It is not something to make light of or joke about. If you are here to do so, please go read someone else's blog.  It's very hard for me to write about this but I believe that if I do not, my words are not helpful.

There are parts of OCD that we, the sufferers, do not feel comfortable talking about. Sexual OCD is one of those symptoms. I didn't want to talk about this because it is uncomfortable and upsetting, but I did make a promise that if I were going to talk about OCD I would be honest and talk about what I have gone through. So here is probably one of the symptoms I am most uncomfortable talking about.

When I was around fourteen I had an issue with my OCD telling me I was gay. Now, I have homosexual family members and friends so being gay would not be an issue.  It doesn't scare me nor do I have any adverse feelings bout it. I believe people have a right to love whomever they love.  I am not gay but my OCD just refused to let me believe such. It slapped me with images and the intrusive voice would scream at me loudly telling me that I was a lesbian, I just didn't know it or refused to accept it. The problem wasn't that I was scared to be gay(again I see no real issue with being gay) the problem was that I knew I was not but my mind refused to stop bombarding me with images, sounds, and questions. It was so rampant and loud that I no longer was able to tell whether I was straight or not. I knew deep down that I have never been attracted to anyone of the same sex and yet the battle that raged in my head totally confused me. The not being able to trust my own mind scared me. No longer being able to sort what was real emotion and what was OCD fear scared me. I was confused as to whom I should speak to about  this. Should I tell my family? Would they understand? I could see how great that conversation would go,"Hi Mom, Uh.... I am not homosexual but my mind keeps yelling at me and telling me that I am lying. It keeps telling me that I am, even though I have never been attracted to girls. It shows me images and tells me that I like them. I have only liked boys though, so I guess I am a non practicing closeted  lesbian?" That seems totally legit.
I didn't know where to turn. I could handle being gay. I could handle being straight. I could handle being anything as long as it made the confusion go away. As long as the images and intrusive thoughts dissipated. As long as the war that raged on in my mind ended.

My therapist, at the time, was a terrific educated therapist that was familiar with some OCD symptoms. She also was a lesbian and therefore, I felt comfortable talking with her about it. After all, if I were gay surely she would be able to tell me. She listened to all of my blabbering and crying. She comforted me and my confusion. Her acknowledgment of it being OCD was very helpful and her statements healed the fear. She asked me if I have ever liked a girl in a romantic way. I said no. Then she told me she was pretty sure I was not gay because gay people usually know they are gay and don't have to constantly test themselves to see if they are. That is what I was doing, mentally testing myself to see if my mind was right. I would force myself to look at a picture or image in my head and gauge my reaction to it. Was I turned on? Was I gay? Did I like this?

The answer is no. The reality is that sexual OCD takes images unwanted, intrusive, and sometimes disturbing thoughts and tries to tell you you like them.  It makes you doubt your preferences and likes. It doesn't revolve just around homosexuality or heterosexuality, it can be a sexual obsession or fear about anything. It can happen with images of people, animals, loved ones, you name it. It is exceptionally painful to be told by your mind that you like something that you do not. Some images and intrusive thoughts are repulsive and horrifying. The result is guilt and shame that such images have ever popped into your head much less that the voice tries to convince you that you enjoy them. It's like your mind is abusive and it abuses you over and over again. Then the battle wages on on fighting the intrusive thoughts and holding on to what is real and what is your mind. Always the voice testing your reactions. The shame is heavy and the guilt is exhausting. The fear that deep down we are horrible sick individuals dwells. Who thinks like this? Who has these images? We must be demented!

This is the hell of sexual OCD. It is a constant battle to realize that what happens in your head is not a representation of your personality. That you are not violent. That you would never do what it tells you to do. You do not like what it shows you. That you are not perverted in anyway. It is a struggle to explain that OCD only takes things that upset you and then uses them to hurt you by showing you a broken projection in your head over and over, so loudly and so repugnant that it physically makes you flinch. It is a symptom of OCD that we usually do not talk about because it's embarrassing. Because it is hard to describe. Because it makes us sound insane and we are afraid people will judge us for it. We are not dangerous. OCD only takes what you are afraid of or unsure about and abuses you with it. It takes what you have feared and forces you to look at it. It makes you doubt your sanity. The result is avoidance. We will avoid the situations where these images occur. We will spend hours arguing with ourselves and begging our minds to shut up. It's hard to talk about this but we have too. We have to open the doors and look at the hideousness that is OCD. We have to discuss as many symptoms that pop up and not look at the politically correctness of it. Because mental illness is not PC. It's not polite or endearing. It's hell.  That's why we are called mental illness sufferers not mental illness participants. We don't want to participate we just have no choice.  There are treatments for OCD and all of it's symptoms. Many of us can lighten our symptoms greatly. We will have to deal with them occasionally and there is, at this time, no way out of that truth. This is why I get ticked off with the way OCD is portrayed as humorous or quirky. Do you think living with something like this in your head would make you feel very humorous? I doubt it.

Neurotic Nelly