Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloweeeeeen.....

Happy Halloween everyone! Well it could be more happy if I hadn't slept til one in the afternoon. I have a good reason for this, though. It started when my kids brought home a stomach virus at the end of last week. Thinking after they got better the hubby and I were in the clear we felt safe to go back to our regular routine, never knowing it would be curtains for us. We were doomed before we even got started.

Fast forward to yesterday as my husband was stricken down at work by this vile bug. While taking care of him  with extra blankets, gatoraide, soup and crackers,  he looked at me with a sad regretful warning of great concern and in a soft yet ominous whisper stated,"Your're next."

I did not appreciate that statement. After all,  I am the queen of denial..
Now as someone with OCD I can deny with the best of them. It comes with the territory. I can pretend everything is fine. I can pretend I am completely normal. I can deny and pretend until I cant anymore, so I was all : I am not going down like that. I am not going to get this sickness. I am invincible.

I was sure I would be fine. Sure I would not become a causality of this stomach bug. Sure I was stronger than everyone else, I am after all, Mom.

I am sick. My head feels like a group of miniature angry leprechauns are trying to force their way out of my eye socket with tiny jackhammers. My stomach is making sounds that resemble a boiling tar pit. I have decided food is completely overrated at this point and am avoiding it. I am paler than usual and my joints are so painful I am actually already walking like a zombie. What fresh hell is this?

The hubby has to work til  late tonight so I am responsible for taking the kids trick or treating. We worked really hard on their costumes and I am not letting them down. To top it off it is supposed to thunderstorm really badly during the trick or treating hours. I will not be denied! I will be damned if something as paltry and ghastly as a simple stomach bug or thunder storm is going to ruin the one day a year kids are encouraged to dress like a weirdos and freaks and demand other people's candy with childhood blackmail.  I am not going down like that. I don't care if I have to drag my half dead body across the pavement in the middle of a raging typhoon. My children will not be denied their spoils of Halloween candy! You hear me? There will be spoils to be had in this house!!!!!

So, we are going to go trick or treating. I will try my best to stay away from everyone and not breathe on a single soul, although with the forecasted wind I doubt that will be a problem. I will take it slow and carry an umbrella and try not to "redecorate" anyone's lawn. I should be able to walk them up to a few houses at least and stand on the sidewalk while they go up on the porches and get the candy to make sure they are safe. I love Halloween and this really bites. Oh well, I am determined they will have a great time and then I am going to go home and vegetate in bed with warm tea and a cold compress.

At least I don't have to dress up this year, I already look like something drug out from the sewers. Have a safe and terrific Halloween everybody and in the spirit of ghosts and ghouls and all things creepy I will part this post with my favorite Halloween poem:

Crystal water turns to dark 

Where ere it's presence leaves it's mark 
And boiling currents pound like drums 
When something wicked this way comes... 

A presence dark invades the fair 
And gives the horses ample scare 
Chaos rains and panic fills the air 
When something wicked this way comes... 

Ill winds mark it's fearsome flight, 
And autumn branches creak with fright. 
The landscape turns to ashen crumbs, 
When something wicked this way comes... 

Flowers bloom as black as night 
Removing color from your sight 
Nightmarish vines block your way 
Thorns reach out to catch their prey 

And by the pricking of your thumbs 
Realize that their poison numbs 
From frightful blooms, rank odors seep 
Bats & beasties fly & creep 

'Cross this evil land, ill winds blow 
Despite the darkness, mushrooms glow 
All will rot & decompose 
For something wicked this way grows...

By Ray Bradbury

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Surgeon Hands.....

I just watched Ellen Degeneres  and I laughed my butt off, as usual. Today she was talking about bathroom sanitation habits and how hard it is to keep your hands clean in the public bathroom. I found this hilarious as I am a germ-a-phobe. My answer to public bathrooms is surgeon hands. Actually surgeon hands is pretty much my answer to anything. Dirty surface? Surgeon hands. Germ infested doctor's office? Surgeon hands. World peace?.....Surgeon hands. Well, surgeon hands can't really give you a chance at world peace but it certainly can't hurt it either.

Few things darken my heart with fear like the door handle of a public bathroom door. I actually can hear the wee wee wee sound of the shower stab scene of the Pyscho movie in my head. I hate the door knob. I hate it....more than anything else...well, no I feel this way about every inanimate in a public restroom. I hate them. The both equally creep and gross me out at the same time

I hate public restrooms. I have no idea why they are called "restrooms" anyway. Who the hell wants to rest in a room where strangers go poop and pee?  Most never even wash their hands before they leave the room. The term rest implies restful, which in turn, implies a sense of relaxation. Who relaxes in a dimly lit room with wobbly metal stalls, broken toilet paper dispensers, unspeakable written messages so lovingly scrawled with keys or sharpie markers implying who loves whom or what number to "call for a good time", grime covered floors so dirty that you might actually find a few grams of dirt still ingrained in the tile that could possibly shed light on where Hoffa's body is buried? I mean, does anyone find these places relaxing? I find them to be a horror film I want no part of but my bladder refuses to cooperate. My bladder is trying to kill me.

To combat my germ fears (although I think we can both agree it is no longer just a "fear of germs" in the bathroom it's a reality) I become svelte and limber. I become a germ fighting ballerina  in the public bathroom, able to leap over dirty obstacles on the floor, raising my leg to astounding heights to be able to flush or turn things on and off with my shoe, and twirling my way out of the door after I have done my surgeon hands procedure washing up to your elbows and drying without touching anything and holding your hands up in the air in the surgical clean hands stance)

I will say this though, at least we have public toilets and not the random person with a long cloak and bucket you would pay to cover you with his jacket as you did your "business" like in the Victorian times. Or even before that where people just went under stairways or wherever they could find a quiet spot. Or later with the thunder jug, water closet or water shed, certainly not the horrid smelly outhouse. I truly believe had I been forced to live in those times my OCD would have taken over and  I may have simply fainted dead away from a heart attack. Or cholera. Probably both. Thankfully we have ,as humans, made great strides in the bathroom safety and quality of cleanliness department. I mean, public restrooms may never be clean enough that I don't feel like I may contract Ebola by simply touching the sink counter, but hey, that's just me and my germ-a-phobe ways. I personally would have to see it cleaned with boiling water and napalm before I felt it was "clean." It happens. People have to "go" so you have to in turn make places for them to "go" in. It's not rocket science.

So in short public restrooms are horrendous but necessary. For God's sake people wash your hands, and if at all possible remember surgeon hands can save your life. Or at least it might help you not get Ebola in the bathroom of your local grocery store.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Drowning It Out....

I have always loved music. I mean really, truly loved music. It isn't just because I have always sung. That I love to sing in front of groups of strangers on a blackened out stage ( karaoke bar) with just one hot white spot light beating mercilessly down on me. Although, I do love truly that.  It isn't just because music fills the soul. It isn't because we all secretly get excited when we hear our favorite song on the radio and blast it as loud as the speakers will go. It isn't just a love to sing that favorite song as loud an as uninhibited as possible like no one is around. Or that one song touches you in a way that nothing else does. It isn't because I get totally lost in the songs and forget where I am and what I was doing before they came on. It is all of those things in one but it is something else as well.

Some of my first memories, grainy and fuzzy as they might be, are normal people's memories until I reach the age of four. Then they revolve around having obsessive compulsive disorder. In fact, it may be why I remember so far back. The biggest most devastating intrusive thought I can recall was when I was six or so. My sister had told me that when you swallow your saliva it turns to blood as it goes down your throat. Now, granted her biology knowledge was haphazard at best, she was only eight. Kids say the darnedest things.....Now, most people would have thought that was gross but would go on and forget about it or continue playing. Not me. Never me.
For me this created an inability to swallow my own saliva. Every time I tried I could see it in my head turning to blood. So much so, that I was convinced that I actually could taste blood. I would spit constantly. I got in trouble for going around like a baseball player that dips and spitting everywhere. It was the first time I had to hide a compulsion. I started pretending to suck on the collar of my shirt so I could spit into it. My sleeves as well. I knew this was gross and going to make my shirt wet but the horrid thought of swallowing my own saliva became torture. I didn't want to taste the imaginary blood anymore. As I did it the more, the worse the obsession got. I started having a choking sensation every time I tried to swallow. Eating became a battle. I was so hungry but the thought of swallowing the food had become foreign to me. It seemed like a pure hell. If saliva turned to blood what would a bite of hamburger turn into? My parents started to see things abut me that scared them. I wasn't wanting to eat much. I was spitting. I was afraid to swallow anything and I would cry. I had started washing my hands to the point of them bleeding. I would slap myself in the head to make "my brain" stop yelling at me. I started touching things repeatedly.  They weren't sure what was wrong but they could no longer pretend everything was normal with me. They took me to a doctor who said I had OCD but it might go away on it's own. It was the eighties and OCD wasn't commonly treated in children that young.

Thankfully, after a long talk with my parents I was told that spit does not turn into blood and I was able with constant reassurance, to eat and drink without freaking out. This was the time I was at most vulnerable with the intrusive thoughts. I didn't know what they were or that it wasn't like that for everyone else.  That is also the time I became obsessed with music. I loved all of it. From classical to country and everything in between. I would lay on the floor with my head up against the speakers, imagining a really talented miniature people on a tiny stage inside the speaker. Oh how I wished I was a singer in the speaker.It became my first sense of silence. It took me away from my brain and what it was telling me. In the song I can feel what the singer feels. I can be someone else for a few minutes and I learned if I turn it up loud enough I can drown my obsessions out....

It's hard to describe the hell that living with this mental illness is like. The constant chatter of your intrusive thoughts playing like background noise. Sometimes yelling. Sometimes just talking, but always about bad things to come, bad things it says you will do, negative thoughts and feelings. It's much like having a defunct fortune teller in your head blathering  bad predictions that never come to fruition because she is a terrible fortune teller. A gypsy fortune teller that is "seeing" your future through a pink plastic bouncy ball held together on the table with duct tape and using poker cards instead of tarot cards. Hell, she isn't even a gypsy. She's from Brooklyn. She doesn't even tell fortunes. She flunked out of beauty school and picked this as a side job until her internet college classes are finished for the semester. Yeah, it's like having that in your head but she never sleeps. She never rests. Never ceases. It's like sharing you brain with someone else but that someone else is you. A you that you hate. A you that you despise. A you that makes damn sure to torture you daily. And music, glorious music can give me peace. It can put the "fortune teller" away for as long as I hit the play button. Here I feel normal. Here I can feel safe from unwanted images. I am free for the first time of my life. So do I love music? It saves me. On a bad day when I want to stick my fingers in my ears and scream until it stops, I can put on headphones and turn it up. The lyrics sooth my fragile, sunburned, and exhausted soul like a warm balm. It soothes me. It takes me away and I am flying. It makes me smile again. It allows me, a terrible dancer, finally get the chance to dance. I can sing and forget that I have this issue, because when I sing I can be a character that the song is describing. I can be the heartbroken lover. I can be the angry cheated on spouse. I can be the outcast wanting love. I can be anyone else rather than the girl who looks so perfectly normal and yet is so completely not. I can feel less broken. I can be quiet. My brain is quiet. It's too occupied and Oh my God, is that amazing! So for me music isn't just a distraction or something to pass the time. It is my saving grace. My brain doctor. My medication. It is my salve. My bodyguard. My hero. My secret weapon.

On bad days I can sing. On bad days I can dance. On bad days I don't have to be sad or lonely or scared, I simply just have to turn the music up until my mind is a whisper not a roar. I just have to turn the volume dial and drown it out. Ahhhhhhh peace finally.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Two Cents.....

It's coming......Halloween is  coming! I love Halloween and it's Fall weather. I love carving the pumpkins and  having all of the spiced hot beverages and cakes. I love the smell of the air rich and heavy with the scent of apple pies, hot apple cider, and pine needles. The delightful giggles of exited children as they get ready to go trick or treating.  The sound of rustling leaves that fall to the ground. I love the tiny and humorous costumes, I even like the scary ones.

 I was horrified by the " Fancy Mental Patient Costume" that was thankfully, recalled almost as quick as it hit the store shelves. I hated it simply, because it is not accurate of any mental patient ever. Who the hell do they base these ghastly things on? We are not the scary pictures of the past wide eyed and drooling. We are not crazed ax murderers or "leather faces". We are simply regular people, but that is not the image the word mental illness patient conjures in our minds. In our minds we see the past and all of it's scary implications, never fully realizing the truth behind them. That being said, I  have no issue with the Asylum type haunts and before you show up at my door with burning torches, pitchforks, and copious amounts of toilet paper; here is why.

There is no place quite so scary and creepy as an asylum. Not just because the buildings are dark, dilapidated, dank and vast in scale. Not just because they seem haunted by their past but because they are haunted by their past and every horrible thing that was perpetrated in those halls, those rooms, and those offices. There is really few places that contained more evil in them than state run institutions for what they called the "undesirables". People, even to this day, have warped images of the mentally ill, specifically because of the pictures from these times showing scary looking individuals in various states of confusion. It wasn't  that they actually looked like this normally, but rather this is what they looked like after they received treatment there. After they were locked away. After they were imprisoned. After they used as human lab rats.

To understand my opinion we have to go back in time. A small history lesson if you will. In America around 1907 a new fad was starting to take root and sweep through the world and by the 1920's it was all the rage. It was called eugenics. It sounds like a harmless enough word. It doesn't bring up scary or dangerous connotations. It sounds like a medical term, like maybe you fell down a flight of stairs and now you have to use eugenics to heal the broken bone. It sounds like a treatment option. It is not. This seemingly innocuous word should have struck fear in the hearts of millions but it didn't. Instead it was commonly swept under the rug and not discussed openly. You would be worried using the terms we would use today to describe it. It would be called discrimination, prejudice, genocide, and in some circles fascism.

Asylums were first built to embody beauty and cleanliness. They were to treat and help those that suffered. It was the common belief that the environment of those that were ill helped caused their ailments, therefore decent food and a beautiful view could help cure their illness. Asylums were ,strangely enough, supposed to offer security, safety, and hope for it's inhabitants. At some point asylums started to deteriorate. They became overcrowded, and as times changed so did the way people viewed what was mentally ill and what wasn't. It was common to find in their words "feeble minded, epileptic, insane, blind, deaf, inebriate, criminalistic, deformed, and dependent" people in asylums. They took in homeless people, alcoholics, women who suffered from postnatal depression or the loss of a child, the senile, the elderly, people suffering from end stage syphilis, those suffering from extreme poverty, and people they at the time considered to be sexual deviates (aka promiscuous women and homosexuals). Most  of these people would not be deemed insane today.

 In truth, eugenics is simply a belief that all disabilities are a sign of weakness. Natural selection is the holy grail of eugenics so believers held stead fast to the belief that those that were considered unfit should be sterilized. Lest they breed.  Many were open to doing human testing on those they found to be "undesirable" and some even were accepting of genocide. They encouraged doctors to test on patients and in some cases told them to let the patients die by neglect.

 To further prove my point, in 1907 some state run institutions received permission to sterilize (involuntarily and or unknowingly) and castrate some of their patients. The movement swept across state after state. This was some of the first horrors to await those that were institutionalized. Now to be clear this did not happen to just the mentally ill. It happened to anyone deemed by the various states that enacted this sort of "treatment" as undesirable. Their fear was that what they felt was "weakness" would continue to spread by hereditary means or that it was a genetic issue.  They wanted an illness free society. What they deemed to be a perfect normal civilization without any "issues".  They called it survival of the fittest. They took Darwin's idea of natural selection and they wanted to be the ones to inflict it. Therefore, it was becoming common practice to sterilize these "unfortunates" to prevent spread of anything they deemed unworthy. Sterilization also was done in some prisons and other state ran institutions. It did not matter if your only crime was your mother had gone insane from end stage syphilis, you could be involuntarily sterilized if they thought you were also undesirable. In fact, America led the world in it's sterilizations of the mentally ill or otherwise "unfit" between 1907-1939 sterilizing 30,000 people in 29 states.

Since it was now accepted to believe that those that dwelled in asylums were less than human, it should be no surprise that scientific experiments were to become many patients fate. First it was so called "treatments" to cure the mentally ill such as restraints, lobotomies, bleeding, purging, isolation, freezing ice baths, sensory deprivation, electroshock at high intervals, and injections of various fluids. Treatments that today would be called what they actually are, torture. Then it was trial testing time. Just to list a few "tests" done on the mentally ill, mentally disabled, and "undesirables": Injections of radium to mentally ill people to see it's affects. Injections of malaria, flu virus, syphilis and other diseases. Freezing them for hours in  locked refrigerated drawers to test how frigid temperatures affect  mentally illness. Trying to erase their memory by drug- electroshock- and then sensory deprivation induced comas for up to three months while playing repetitive sound loops constantly. Feeding mentally disabled children food with extract of fecal matter containing the Hepatitis virus as a condition for admission into an institution.(The parents were told the condition was a vaccine).  Testing how medical procedures work. Secret investigational drug experiments....ect.  These tortures and tests were allowed to go on for 65 years. Sixty five years of the disabled and mentally ill being used as human guinea pigs. Sixty five years living squalid conditions, living with barred windows and locked in filthy rooms, inadequate care, food, and medicines and being mistreated. Often times left alone in soiled clothing, or left nude. Often times abused and beaten. Often times completely neglected. Sometimes left to die alone and scared. This is the cold hard reality. This was asylum life. Yes, there were some asylums that did not operate this way but many of them did. They got paid to participate in these barbaric experiments and they, in fact, willingly did so. After all, these people were no longer seen as human. They no longer were treated as someone's loved one or relative. These people simply ceased to exist as human beings to their caretakers. Some of these experiments were so bad that during the Nuremberg Trials, parts of the Nazi defense was that some of their experiments were further studies done on the American experiments we did on own people. If that doesn't make you physically ill, then I don't know what would.  We ended up helping them develop torture techniques by being equally as cruel to our own people just because they were different. We did it so well, in fact, that some of  the first people during the Holocaust to be mass sterilized and euthanized; shot and gassed guessed it, the mentally ill, mentally challenged, and disabled. Not long after the first gassing of a prison population in 1939 they went on to murder their "undesirables" as well. With these people, the Nazi's developed their procedures which would later be used for the extermination camps and murders of hundreds of thousands of people. And the eugenics followers were so proud of what they had accomplished. They reveled in it. They were honored to be a part of it all:

After the eugenics movement was well established in the United States, it was spread to Germany. California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to German scientists and medical professionals. By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California's.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Upon returning from Germany in 1934, where more than 5,000 people per month were being forcibly sterilized, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged to a colleague:

"You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought . . . I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."

Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws. In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler's 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the "science of racial cleansing". Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the "common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics." 

_According to Wikapedia_       _

So in conclusion I know exactly why people still hold on to long dead and inaccurate ideas of how the mentally ill look or act like. We all have these dark grainy black and white images of mental patients in our heads. They hype up the creepy factor and seem scary. We see them that way because in all honesty that is how they were portrayed when the old pictures were taken. They were viewed as inhuman and unworthy. The pictures show not really what mental illness looks like but how people can be so unbelievably cruel to one another. They were photographed like that to try to falsely prove to the masses that the mentally ill are unstable, dangerous, and scary. A propaganda, if you will, to make a disgusting movement such as eugenics seem plausible. The mentally ill were presented to the camera in way to terrify and condemn simply so they could achieve their end goal, eradication of all things different.  They, my friends were the first to promote stigma and it worked. It worked. It worked because still today in 2013, people conjure those black and white photographs in their minds.They believe the hype. The believe the stigma and all it entails. They keep making these ridiculous and insulting costumes. They still make horror movies about mentally ill patients on murderous rampages. The news papers and media jump at every chance to explain every horrible occurrence away on any mental illness they can use as an excuse. And yes, some may believe that crazy murderous villains ran loose in the asylums. They would be right, but it wasn't the patients that were the murderers. It wasn't the inhabitants that had blood on their hands or axes or scalpels, it was the doctors and staff. So I actually believe that asylums should be thing nightmares are made of. Because they were. I believe they should be Halloween fodder and haunts. I believe that anything associated with asylums should be vile, scary, and drudge up every horrid terrifying disgusting feeling one could ever remotely muster because that is exactly what living in one was like. That is exactly how the "inmates" felt. I believe that we should always look at asylums with wary glances and knots in our throats so that we NEVER sit idly by and let those horrors happen again. I am all for asylums being a bloody, gory,  haunt because they truly are haunted. Haunted with the pain and misery hammered down on people that had no way to defend themselves. Our past is haunting and despicable and we need to be reminded of it constantly so that we do not repeat past mistakes and past cruelties. We should all be forced to remember. We should truly know the place where stigma first gave birth. Leave the asylum haunts up, leave the scares and blood and fear, but change the character portrayal. Make the rampaging murderous ax wielders and "leather faces" wear white coats and stethoscopes instead. It would make it far more terrifying and way more accurate.

Just my two cents,
Neurotic Nelly

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Moved.....

Hello my dear readers and friends! I have to apologize for not writing as often as I used to but I have been busy with moving. We have finally finished moving into our new home and sold our old one. It has been quite busy around here.

In that I would like to share a few links to better follow my blog posts and anything else I may share on those websites. Again thank you all for your support.

My Facebook :

And you can find me on twitter at:


Thursday, October 17, 2013

OCD Explained by Fairy Tales Villians....

Having OCD is much like living in a fairy tale. Not the newer more happy ending , inspiring, the good guy always wins kind of fairy tale we tell our children today. No, OCD is more of the original kinds of fairy tales when they were more dark, morbid and twisted. The Old English original fairy tales that were so disturbing no loving parent today would even consider telling them as a bed time story to their children.....ever. Not unless they truly wanted to terrify the living daylights out them.

OCD is the evil feudal king of the land. He doesn't rule every part of your life but just enough to devastate whenever he feels fit to do so. Just like any evil feudal king that is good at holding his position of power, he never gets his hands dirty. He prefers to have his uniquely selected and qualified evil henchmen to do his dirty work for him.

Intrusive Thoughts: One of King OCD's most favored and proficient henchman. He is the Big Bad Wolf of the fairy tales. He excels at popping up out of nowhere and threatening to huff and puff and blow your house down at anytime. Knowing that if he catches you unprepared he not only can and will blow down your house but he also will eat you whole before you get a chance to run away. 

Anxiety: This henchman is more neurotic than the rest. He is well used and another of King OCD's favorites. He is the Captain Hook of fairy tales. He is unforgiving, insolent, and quite cocky until he is not. Then he is a complete terrified, paranoid, fruitcake of a villain that flips out at any sign of a ticking clock. Which makes sense since he is, in essence, a ticking time bomb. You never know when he is going to strike, but when he does, it is too late and you are already having a panic attack.

Doubt: Another great henchmen that is a master of disguise is Doubt. He is the Evil Queen/step mother of Snow White. He can disguise himself as a nice old lady handing you a shiny red apple. You are unaware that he is not what he seems. You distrust gifts from strangers but you are absolutely famished. You eat the apple. Nothing happens. Maybe the apple tasted funny. Maybe it was poisoned. Still nothing happens. Maybe the apple was poisoned but it takes longer to go through your blood stream and is going to make all of your arms and legs fall off first before it kills you. Maybe the apple wasn't poisoned but instead coated in Ebola. Maybe the apple wasn't truly an apple at all. Maybe you ate an orange instead. Maybe it was a banana. Maybe this was all a dream and you never even met a random nice old lady in the forest. Maybe it was just a happy little gopher hopping along the path and you imagined the whole thing. Who knows?

Compulsions: He is the Rumpelstiltskin of Fairy Tales. Forcing you to weave straw into gold while giving up your first born son. He demands and demands and demands. He has absolutely no remorse for the way he treats you as long as you do exactly what he says at all times. He has literally no redeeming qualities. He is annoying, ugly, controlling, and just down right a pain in the hind end. He likes to watch you as you struggle to keep up with his ridiculous demands and he delights as your hands crack and bleed and your body becomes exhausted. He really sucks.

Obsessions: He is the evil cousin to Intrusive Thoughts. As a henchman, he is very good at keeping you busy while making you work but also making sure you dwell on every little thing going on in your life. He is The Witch From Hansel and Gretel. Never resting never ceasing. He first lures you in with the promise of a tasty candy house and then BAM you are his captive. He enjoys fattening you up and then poking you with a stick to see if you are ready to be cooked and devoured. He only lets you out to stoke the fire and to put more wood in the oven. Then it is back to the cage to gorge yourself sick.

and finally we have

 Guilt and Shame: These two of the evil King OCD's henchmen work together. They are the Ugly Stepsisters of Cinderella. Anastasia and Drizella are not just ugly, they are down right mean. They treat you as a slave. Make fun of you. Torment you at every turn. They make you bring them breakfast and then complain about it's contents. They tell you lies. They tear up the dress you and your tiny adorable animal friends have been working on for months because they are jealous you actually had the nerve to have plans. They tag team you with insults and bad feelings. It is your fault you can't go to the ball. You are ugly and unworthy. You stole my sash....ect. They are relentless and they are needy. They want to bring you down and stomp on what little self confidence you may be clinging to. They are a wrecking ball of bad feelings and undeserved chastising. They make you feel horrid.

The good thing about seeing these henchmen for what they are, is that in doing so you become aware of how to fight them. How to expect their next move and block it. Knowing the enemy within gives you an ability to fight back and win. It gives you a chance to really see them for what they are, a symptom of an illness. They can only hurt you if you let them and we have ways to make the power they wield over us much less. We have the power in our lives and it's high time we show that to evil King OCD. We can do it. We are strong. We are the heroes in this story and we will prevail. We know what they are up to and how they work. We can finally make sure they lose henchmen status and fade into the night like background noise. Maybe not every single day but it is possible that we will have marvelous wondrous days when the "the henchmen" have no power over us. I look forward to those days. Some days I lose but most days I fight and some days I even win. Those are not bad odds and I accept them.

Neurotic Nelly 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rising From The Ashes....

This week is OCD Awareness Week!!!!!!

I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know that such a thing existed, before this year,. Before Neurotic Nelly was even thought of, I dealt with my OCD in a more silent way. I had no outlet to discuss my issues except with dwelling on them and only to friends. I had yet to discover that there were hundreds of people that were like me. I knew I wasn't the only one with OCD, but I did not know that there was such a huge amount of others. I had yet to learn all of the statistics and learn that I no longer had to suffer in silence. That I was not, in fact, as alone as I thought I was. I was, admittedly, living with my head stuck in the sand...but no more! Now I am aware! I have learned so much this year! And I want to promote OCD Awareness Week with gusto!


and a comic relief with excellent information on OCD website:

There are many ways to support OCD Awareness Week and there is more information on how with the International OCD Foundation website. I will not be able to twitter my picture with one of their highly creative signs as I don't have a printer currently, but next year I will be more prepared and rocking one of those signs while smiling broadly at the camera....promise.

Now onto my actual post for today.......Having mental illness is a sure way to find what is left of your soul. There are many things in life that can make you not just touch rock bottom but come crashing down onto it like falling stars tumbling to the ground. Addiction, physical diseases, and mental illness, just to name a few. Each person's rock bottom is different but they all have similar results. An overwhelming feeling of loss, loneliness, fear, disgust, deep mind numbing pain, and a feeling of being completely alone. Often times it feels like being cast down into a deep dark well that we feel we can not climb out of. A cold damp whole that reeks of damp earth and soft marsh. We scream, we cry, we try to climb out leaving only our nails breaking off and sticking in the walls. It makes sense because we need a ladder to get out and that life saving ladder is help. Simply put, we need help when we reach that kind of devastating low.

It's hard work. We are forced to admit and see things we would rather not. We have to to truly learn who we as people. We have to learn to accept our faults and understand our self loathing. We have to learn to pack that loathing away and let it go. We are forced to truly look at the ugly things we have hid from all of our lives. We are forced to see reality. We are forced to put down Alice's Wonderland potions. Years of being giant and being small have taken their toll. We have to learn what we can and can not handle. We have to learn to break down the walls we have built up over a life time, that never really served any good in our lives. We have to learn to let go of all of our false perceptions and lies we tell ourselves. We have to come into this world as a vulnerable naked  new born, grasping only to the knowledge that this time we are going to do things differently. We have to admit the things we are most terrified of. We have to be completely honest and open and completely devoid of all protection. This is rock bottom after all, and there is nowhere left to fall. This is it. There is no option but to learn to thrive or die. It is so hard to do this, that many times learning to thrive feels like we are dying. It is a hard road fraught with set backs and scary twists and turns. A road that others can support but only we can actually walk. Walking this unpredictable road alone, is there anything in this world more utterly terrifying?

The things we have to give up to get better. The things we lost when we were unhealthy and damaged. It really makes no difference, we will miss them but there is something far greater we are striving to achieve. I am not going to sugar coat the path we fear to tread. It is akin to being emotionally eviscerated over and over again and dissecting the results. It is beyond painful. It is horrifying. It is exhausting and often times bitter sweet. It is lonely and dark. It is not a pleasure cruise. By this time pleasure is word we have become holey unfamiliar with. Not because we will never experience pleasure again but because we have simply lost the ability to feel anything else but torment. We can not see beyond our own suffering.

Then after what seems like an eternity the sun comes out. We start to see rays of light peeking through into our well of despair. We run to them. We soak in their warmth and drink in their scent. We start to feel for the first time. Really, truly feel...and it is beautiful. We start to feel hope for the first time, like a child who takes his first breaths. We are encouraged. We know that life will not be easy. We know that we still have issues to work on but we are prepared to fight the battles that come our way. We are reborn, strong and whole for the first time. We put down our tear streaked, battle worn armor and the weapons of destruction we used to protect our fragile egos and tattered lives. We fall to our knees. We don't need them any longer. We are strong enough without them.We start to realize our importance for the first time. Our worth, our strengths, our words that fall gently from our lips like water from a babbling brook.They become clear for the first time. We are worthy of all the good things life has to offer. We learn that we deserve happiness and we don't have to keep punishing ourselves for our imagined grievances and faults. We learn. We strive. We, dare I say it, thrive and suddenly the well that held us captive crumbles away. We are no longer trapped by our own minds..... We no longer have to walk over hot burning coals to prove our worthiness. We instead have stopped punishing ourselves and have risen from the ashes like a Phoenix. We no longer touch the ground. We are for the first time , flying.

The good thing about hitting rock bottom, maybe the only good thing, is that what comes with hitting rock bottom is rebirth if we choose it. We are reborn into something we were never before, strong, whole, and hopeful. It is quiet possibly one of the most beautiful things life can offer. A new self worth, a new confidence, and new beginning. We are more than just living...we are allowing ourselves to finally experience life. We are choosing to no longer dwell in the shadows that once held us back. We are finally learning to stop warring against ourselves and all those around us. We are finally learning the glorious feeling of silence. We are finally catching and holding onto the small slivers and glimpses of peace.

So, if you are dwelling in the shadows or crashing to your own personal rock bottom know this, there is a light  at the end of this dark, dank tunnel. There is always hope and you can make it. You can feel the sun light again. You only have to choose to. You only have to get help and work harder than you have ever worked before but you can do it. You are worth it.

It is a struggle and a heartache but for many of us rock bottom isn't what strangles the life from us, it is what saves us.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, October 11, 2013

Put It Down.......

We all have  memories that stick out clearly for recall to any situation. A memory that you can apply to almost any situation. It could be a series of them or just one really poignant one. I have several. Like when I was six and I kept trying to ride my Great Dane dog as a horse. She didn't really appreciate my efforts to ride her and my Dad told me dogs were not for riding even if they were almost as big as horses, that didn't mean they were horses. Kind of like the opposite of the adage if walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck. He taught me it might actually be a zebra in duck's feathers. Make sure that you really clearly see people and things for what they are. Just because the resemble something or act a certain way doesn't necessarily mean they are what they appear to be. Also, apparently trying to ride a dog is frowned upon.

Another poignant memory I have from childhood that has applied to me in many ways is when I was around seven and my brother was around eleven years old. My mother and Dad had taken us into a very expensive store. We were scolded and warned in the harsh, authoritative whispers that only a parent can muster out of nowhere. You know the kind of whisper that is so serious that only two words come out at a time leaving slight pauses in speech that emphasize the importance of them. "Do not ........touch this store. Don't touch anything, don't look at it, don't even breathe on anything in this store."

We looked at each other and then my parents and nodded solemnly further proving that we agreed  we would indeed not touch anything, look at anything, or get close enough to breathe on anything in the store.

Walking behind our parents slowly ,as not to accidentally bump any of the objects for sale, we were dumbfounded. Surely this store was a place of magic.We had been transformed from the cracked sidewalk and hot stifling weather of a summer Texas day into a new world. A new world where everything was beautiful and exciting. Where colorful do-dads, shiny thing-a-ma-jigs, and brilliant baubles lined the shelves. There was fancy china arranged neatly on shelves under a golden glass chandelier. The light bounced cheerily off the crystal wine glasses and glass bowls. The reflections danced around  on  the ceiling like diamonds. The store smelled so strongly of spiced candles that it actually made one's stomach growl in anticipation of what must be cooking. Spiced apple, spiced cookies, spiced was a wondrous almost ethereal place. We were too stunned to even move. It was the holy grail of all things beautiful, or at least it was to my seven year old mind.

My mother turned to remind us yet one more time not to touch anything and we nodded again in agreement. Then it happened. In my mind it plays as a slow motion reel. As she turned back around her giant purse circa 1985 ever so slightly tapped one of the stately shelves lifting the edge of her purse just high enough to tip over one glass goblet after another creating a cascade of beautiful broken glass tumbling onto the floor with such force it looked like a shattered waterfall. The sound was that of some horridly fast screeching comet crashing into the earth at break neck speed. I believe the sound can only be described correctly as "A bull in a china shop".

We all stood there frozen. It seemed like ages before my ever so observant brother tilted his head towards my ear and whispered with awe mixed with complete and utter shock,"We didn't do it this time." We stood there wide eyed as big as saucers and mouths agape. And although there was great apprehension in how the store owner's would react there was a slight smugness, a slight giggle that we forced down, specifically because mother was so worried about what we would do that it never occurred to her to be equally careful and maybe leave her ginormous purse in the car.

The store owners accepted mother's apology and we promptly left the magical store. My brother and I giggled a little to the car.  To this day he and I find this quiet amusing. My mother....not so much. It turns out the store had this happen several times and my mother's massacre of all things shiny and breakable was the last straw in how they placed the glassware. They removed that particular display.

What this has represented to me in my life as a lesson is that it is not always the things you think are going to cause problems that actually do. Just like our general health. We often are so consumed with physical health that we may overlook the importance of mental health. Mental illness can, in fact, come into your life and cause many beautiful things in your life crashing to the ground. Like self esteem, confidence, the illusion of control over our lives, our friendships and relationships, our jobs or schooling. It can be the giant purse from 1985 that knocks everything off the shelves and you end up shocked and dumbfounded not knowing where you stand in anything anymore. We often do not realize that mental illness is a possibility, leaving us caught unaware and unprepared. We treat it differently rather than if we were just diagnosed with diabetes. No one whispers about you when you just have high blood sugar. They do, however, tend to whisper when you have been diagnosed with a mental illness. And when being diagnosed we sometimes forget to take into consideration that we are in fact carrying it around like a hideous satchel that takes up to much space and never matches our outfits. We forget to pay attention to when the satchel becomes to heavy a burden to carry by ourselves. We get busy. We get stressed. We ignore the signs because we think we don't have time to take care of our mental needs. We knock over display shelves.

So my post is really about learning to recognize the signs of mental illness.  Learning to pay attention to not only when your body is telling you you need to be wary but also when your mind is telling you it needs help as well. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help and if someone thinks differently then they do not have your best interests at heart. Take time to not just look at what is going on with others that you care about around you but also take a very careful look at what is going on with you and where you are. Not just at this moment in time but in every situation. It's important. You are important.

So put down that ugly purse and take a load off. Rub your feet, take in a movie, read a book. Don't keep dragging that albatross around everywhere you go and not take care of yourself every once in a while, and never....I repeat never try to ride a dog. They don't like it.
Neurotic Nelly.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Paying It Forward....

Growing up with OCD I know how hard and embarrassing having an anxiety disorder can be. It is very hard to keep a sense of self esteem. It can be hard to relate to others. I once had a psychiatrist explain to me that I was not normal. That I did not react to things the way a "normal" person does. That I would have to realize this and those that loved me would have to come to understand that as well. It was devastating news to me and yet more proof to myself that I was fundamentally broken. It hurt. It made me really despise myself. Like I needed yet another thing to show me how messed up I was.

In growing into the person I am now, I have learned some very important things that I wish I had knew growing up. That is how life always goes as hindsight is 20/20. So I would like to discuss some things I learned along the way that might help you feel less alone and better understand some facts on OCD. I am paying it forward so to speak.

First and more importantly you are not alone. OCD is not rare. The International OCD Foundation states it estimates that one in one hundred people in the US are currently suffering from OCD. We are many and we all know what you are going through.

OCD is an anxiety disorder. It is a real mental illness. It does not mean you are broken or bad. 

The bad thoughts and images that play through your mind are called intrusive thoughts and they are not your fault. They in no way represent who you are or your personality. They are not something you will do or want to even think about.

Most people with OCD feel a huge amount of guilt for many reasons, not being normal, having phobias and fears, and experiencing intrusive thoughts that are scary and upsetting. We feel guilty that we may have said or done something to upset others. We are extremely sensitive and therefore tend to take everything personally and as a sign we caused something or did something wrong. We didn't and we may know that but we still wrestle with the guilt of it all.

Not all sufferers of OCD are clean freaks and or germ phobes. Some OCD sufferers have no interest in cleaning. Cleaning is a symptom not the whole illness therefore not everyone does this.

If you touch, count, and or check things then you have compulsions. Compulsions are what separate OCD from other anxiety disorders such as GAD and SAD. 

Not all people with OCD appear to have outward compulsions. Some of us do not count, check, or touch things but have mental compulsions. Something we either say in our minds or to ourselves to thwart the anxiety and horrid intrusive thoughts. In certain circles these people are called PureO's. As in purely obsessional thinking rather than compulsive. It is kind of a misnomer because PureO's do compulse just with mantras and words in their heads.

There are, like everything else, degrees of severity. Some have slight OCD, some have moderate OCD, some have severe OCD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has been proven to be hereditary. It is nothing that you asked for or did to yourself. It is not a failing on your part. It is genetics. If you suffer from OCD chances are really good that one or more of your immediate family members also suffer from it. Their symptoms may be and probably are different from yours, but if you talk with them you might be surprised on how many of them also have OCD. They may not know that is what they have, as in my case of my family until we all started to research it and openly discuss it.

 People who suffer from OCD  can go on to be productive members of society. There are famous people, CEO'S of companies, artists, doctors, teachers, police officers, politicians, ect....  that suffer from OCD. Some people are extremely high functioning in spite of OCD and sometimes even because of it.

Being diagnosed with OCD does not mean you are destined to end up like Howard Hughes. Living a sad life with scraggly long unkempt hair, jagged filth covered nails, secluded, isolated, grumpy, terrified, and peeing in jars. 

There are many ways to find support whether online, with your therapist, cognitive behavioral therapies, psychiatrists, physiologists, medications, group settings, chat rooms, websites, and charitable organizations that all deal with OCD. There is a mass abundance of help out there for us.

Having OCD does not make you a social leper. It may make things in your life harder but you will become a stronger person from it. It may make going out with friends more difficult and even sometimes embarrassing but if your friends can't accept you then they are not truly your friends. You will absolutely have times when you are exhausted, scared, sad, and upset. You can get through it.

Having OCD doesn't define us. It makes us different but we are so much more than just a diagnoses. We are strong, sensitive, caring, and kind people. We are worth more than the credit we give ourselves or the damage we do to ourselves when we belittle ourselves because of our imagined shortcomings. We are magnificent and unique and we can learn to embrace that.

So if this post gives you a little comfort then I will have accomplished my goal for today. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may need to hear it. We need to reach out to each other and say that we are no longer willing to be ashamed of having OCD. There is no shame to be had. We need to show that we are the same and we understand the pain each and everyone of us go through. We need to pay it forward and show other sufferers that we know what it's like and they have nothing to fear or feel isolated about. We are not alone. You are not alone. I challenge each and every one of us that suffer from OCD to talk about it. To end the shame by being open and honest. I challenge all of us to stand up for ourselves and other sufferers that are too scared to speak out. Pay it forward by talking about our OCD and talking to other sufferers. Only then can we offer them comfort, compassion, and the knowledge that we all understand.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Slave To Your Words.....

Winston Churchill once said, "We are masters of the unsaid word, but we are slaves to those we let slip out."

I am not sure more true words have ever been spoken. Often times we feel the need to hold back what we are thinking or to "be strong" and not confide in our families and friends what our real situation is like. Where did this false belief that being "strong" entails holding back come from  anyway? Wouldn't it rather be that being strong would be to admit, to confess, to purge out the things we so dearly are afraid to discuss? Since when did having and showing emotion become a sign a weakness?

As a lover of the written word I have become aware that words are power. The can lift up or they can devastate. We use them to enlighten the ignorant. We use them to comfort the sick and weak. We use them to assure our loved ones. We use them to order coffee and a breakfast burrito, and sometimes we wield them like knives.

Words and how we use them can soothe or irritate, calm or create mass hysteria, strengthen or destroy. I am not sure anything has near as much power as simply speaking to someone.

And with words comes the responsibility to use them correctly and in a positive way.

If I had a quarter for every time someone described me as insane,  would be living in Tuscany somewhere wearing Prada and sipping some horribly disgusting yet overpriced champagne even though I detest champagne, and doing whatever it is that  rich individuals do.  Unfortunately no one gives quarters to insane people as they hurl insults at them, so I will never know what ridiculously rich people do in Tuscany.

I am not insane. I know perfectly well what I am doing. I have a mental illness and it is not the same thing as being "insane".Neurotic, yes. Strange, definitely.

Often times in arguments we say things that we don't mean in anger and we hurt those that we love. We can judge others for being different and instead of contemplating what different means we can say things that leave them emotionally raw. We need to be more aware of the responsibility we share when we speak to others.

Name calling is hurtful and mean and yet we can resort to such juvenile behavior.  Insults hurled at unsuspecting and undeserving individuals simply because we have had a bad day or someone has irritated us. We don't think before we speak and that is a tragedy.

In suffering form a mental illness all of my life, I have heard it all. I have heard snide remarks, names, labels that don't really apply to my specific illness have been placed upon my head like a paper sacrificial crown. I have seen others totally verbally assault people that have no way of defending themselves. I have read tweets from "celebrities" defaming mental illness and those that suffer from it and it upsets me. It saddens me that people can be so completely out of tune with the rest of the world. That people can get so self involved, so wrapped up in themselves that they don't care how their words affect us and worse yet can teach others to treat us the same way. People that claim to be adults when their actions prove otherwise. That they can make a "joke" about mental health issues or use it a leverage against someone who has suffered from it. Like blackmail or pointing out that the sufferer should be ashamed or not listened to simply because they have had mental illness issues. If you have never had a mental illness or loved someone who has, then good for you. You are a rarity, congratulations now you are rare and an ass at the same time. .....And what of celebrity? Why do we need to look up to those simply because we are told to? Many celebrities, but not all,  are "famous" simply because they use bad judgement, say ridiculous things, spiral completely out of control, and take no responsibility for their actions. They are not celebrities, they are train wrecks. Train wrecks that don't care that children and teens maybe looking up to them as a role model. Train wrecks that see no problem with being self absorbed and hurtful to others. I don't really believe that their lives are happier or more important than mine or yours simply because cameras are shoved in their faces and they make reality shows. I don't believe because you make a complete ass out of yourself on an awards show or during an interview that what you say has any merit or grounding in truth. You are not a doctor or a psychiatrist and therefore you shouldn't speak about what mental illness is like unless you actually researched it, which obviously these people have not.

And why is okay to make mental illness the butt of every one's jokes? I certainly don't find it funny. I don't find extreme suffering and immense pain funny. I don't find stigma funny. I don't find people being so lost, so hurt, and so scared that they attempt suicide funny at all. I fail to see where the punch line is. Maybe, I am just dense.

You wouldn't tweet ,"oh well you got cancer," as a rebuttal to an argument, why would it be in any way intelligent to broadcast a person's mental illness that way? It shows me that we still have a long way to go to improve our lives. That there are not only ignorant people that we have to enlighten but maybe also self imposed, ignorant asses to also contend with.
Words are important and if you can't use them responsibly than please do the world a favor and be quiet about that particular subject. Listen and learn before you open your big uneducated mouth and spew hateful, hurtful, discriminating adjectives all over the place. We are not a joke and we have nothing to be ashamed of. We are people just like you and we don't appreciate being the butt of your jokes or the jibes you take simply because you aren't intelligent enough to come up with some other kind of a rebuttal. Because to you picking on the mentally ill is easier.

I'm am not saying that I have never said something ignorant and accidentally hurt others. I have. The difference is that I learned the importance of my words and I stopped making off the cuff judgments about people and their lives. I started educating myself. I stopped implying negative things about people and I started asking questions and learning about other people, first.

If you spent one day in our shoes, if you knew how hard and painful the road is into mental illness you would certainly not be so cavalier about it. You would be horrified by the way other people treat you. You would be saddened at how other's view you. Don't be a slave to your words.....think before you speak.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Merry Band of Misfits.......

Growing up with mental illness has always left me feeling off. Somehow not the same as the rest of the world. Often times less than others. Often times alone....

Because of that, I see the world in a way many others do not. Where people look for perfection in beauty, I find the imperfections beautiful. I always pick the runt of the litter, the flower with the missing petals, the flawed diamond, the one eyed puppy, the fat cat, the road less traveled, the one winged bird.....I finally feel a sense of companionship with the less common, the less desirable, the unique. What others may see as broken I see as magnificent and worthy. Maybe because for so much of my life I have felt broken and less than worthy. I feel more comfortable with those that are less interested in having the best of things in life. Life in itself is the best thing, objects need not not apply and perfection is a lie force fed to us by magazines and television. In a society where broken is considered ugly and imperfections are considered outcast, we are a merry band of misfits. All of us who are not skinny enough, rich enough, fat enough, pretty enough, too smart, not smart enough, scarred, damaged, different, scared, imperfect, lonely, silent, too loud, broken, mentally ill, we are all the same. We outnumber the "normal" people and yet we accept that perfection is beautiful and everything else is ugly, unwanted, and undesirable. It's crap. It's a lie that no one could possibly measure up to. It's a time tested tattered and stained canvas facade that covers our walls, books, and lives with complete and utter crap.

There is nothing that says perfect is the only beauty in this world. Perfect is fake. Perfect is a fictitious. Perfect doesn't truly exist.. I'd much rather have someone by my side, real problems and all, than someone who only says what they think I want to hear. After all, the world is full of imperfect beautiful things. Everything in nature is imperfect. Trees with scratches and craggy surfaces and twisted roots are imperfectly beautiful. Snow that tumbles unevenly to earth and covers it like a blanket of silence is imperfect and beautiful. A child's stick figure drawings, chocolate chip cookies, a  gorgeous sunset, your most loved book that has been worn down by late night readings, they way we as humans love, some of the most amazingly inspiring and beautiful things that we see and have in our life times are completely, ridiculously, imperfect. It is what makes them memorable. It is what makes them endearing. It is simply what makes them touch your heart.

So I have come to the conclusion that no matter how much flack or discrimination we get, no matter how much we may feel that we do not fit in, we are exactly the way we are supposed to be. Imperfect but beautiful. Different but amazing. Strong and colorful. Flawed but magnificent. One of a kind. One in a million. A gorgeous, creative, unique, imperfect, and yet perfectly flawed masterpiece. We all deserve respect. We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to be picked in gym class. To be danced with at the school dance. To be picked, chosen, accepted. We all deserve to be treated as equal. We all deserve to know that we matter and that we are completely amazing exactly the way we are. Anyone else that can't see that is not worth our extra breath or our time. It's so totally their loss.

We are a merry band of misfits and we are magnificent.
Sincerely, a fellow misfit
Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stop Telling Me to Stop Worrying!

I was going to write yesterday but unfortunately I have been struck down with what can only be described as the worst head cold in the world. A flaming gungamo if you will. So I figured I would wade through the litany of used snot rags, dirty coffee cups, and the laundry I have been too sick to wash and ignore the thick odor of coffee and Vick's vapor rub that has permeated my home and actually sit down and try to write something. Well, I assume it smells like vapor rub and coffee in here, I lost my sense of smell two days ago along with my ability to taste. I just reheated a cup so I can actually be more alert just for you guys. At least I hope this coffee I am drinking anyway......It looks like coffee.......

Today's topic is on the "don't worry" memes and signs. I really truly have very few things that bother me to the point of frustration. These are one of those things.

"Worry is a misuse of imagination...."

"Worry is a waste of time...."

"Worry is as useless as a handle on a snowball..."

and my person fav......."If you are doing your best you don't have time to worry about failure...."

Yea, right and I am the princess of Never Never Land who rides magical flying carpets to far away lands spouting rainbows from my eyebrows and bringing peace to the world with my tiny sing song voice and my snappy sense of style....

I have an anxiety disorder. It promotes.....anxiety. Hence the name. I don't get an option on weather I am going to worry or not. I am going to worry. It's a fact. Telling me to not worry with cutesy little signs or catchy memes with quotes from three hundred years ago certainly are not going to change that. If anything it just makes me feel worse. Now I know that you haven't the first clue on what having an anxiety disorder like SAD, OCD, or GAD is like.
 If it were as simple as to just stop, our lives would be so much easier. But that isn't how it works is it? Telling us not to worry is the same as as telling a diabetic to stop having blood sugar spikes or a heart patient to simply stop having high blood pressure. It's is not possible without outside treatment and even then there are no true guarantees that a spike or pressure change wont happen at some point.  Telling me not to worry is the same as telling me to put my head between my knees and assume the crash position because it does nothing to make me stop.

Sometimes I am sitting on the couch and I get the feeling of worry. A tiny niggling in the back of my head that rapidly spreads to the surface and I realize I don't even know what I am worried about. I have actually been worried about worrying over worry. Let that ruminate in your mind for a few seconds. Do you really think that cutesy signs or humorous quotes are really going to "get through to me"? As a person with OCD  I worry about the weather, health issues, the bills, germs, does the world have enough straws for everyone, the ozone layer, possible lurking hidden asteroids. I have a ton to worry about and now I have to worry about not worrying so much???? Great just great.

I know the memes and quotes are supposed to be inspiring but for me it makes me feel like I have failed somehow, because I can't stop worrying or just let things go. When I read things that insinuate that I am misusing my imagination or I must not be trying hard enough, it really upsets me. Listen people, I am trying. The fact I get out of my bed in the morning and actually step outside is proof I am trying. It is much easier to stay under the covers. Where it is comfy and warm. Where it is safe. I am trying everyday. I get up, I breathe, I write, I do what errands I need to. That is proof that I am trying! So..... I made my own meme about I feel about all of the "don't worry"," stay calm", and every other just be happy memes out there.

.Okay, I feel  the cold medicine kicking in and it's making things kinda fuzzy.  Back to bed, or the couch, or pretty much any comfy place to lie down before I fall down. Until tomorrow my friends.....
Neurotic Nelly