Thursday, May 29, 2014

Not Just Today But Always...Rant....

Okay, I am mad. Seriously mad.

I just read about the "taking selfies is a mental disorder" hoax. I am mad for two reasons. One, that some asshat of a company decided that this was an amusing thing to write. Two, that people clung to it with a feverish grasp much like a man drowning in a sea of cats...

I don't know how many times I have to ask this, but apparently I have to ask it again....When will people start to take mental illness seriously? When? I would really like a date so I can mark it down on my calendar. Circle it with a bright red sharpie so I can go out that day and not have to worry about such paltry things as stigma and ignorance or shaming and intolerance. I want to know when I can walk down the street and proclaim to my peers that yes, I have a mental illness and no, it does not make a monster, or a freak, or a less worthy human being...

I am angry that a company used what I have struggled and fought against for the thirty one of almost thirty five years of my life as fodder, not just fodder, but fodder to "amuse" the masses. Clearly these people have no idea what is like to struggle on not just a daily basis but an hourly one. Trying not to let it get me down. Trying to remain hopeful even though, I know I will have mental illness for the rest of my life. Trying desperately not to let "triggers" take over my very existence. Trying not to fall into the trap many people do and become suicidal. Not to give up hope. Always be thankful. Try and remain strong...

Maybe I am wrong? Maybe the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe is somehow amusing? Maybe I  missed that memo???? Oh well, it says so on facebook, so it must be true. Who am I to question it? Maybe I am just stupid and my feeble mind just can't understand the need to poke fun at people like me?

And I know what stupid feels like. Because of my mental illness, I called myself stupid many times along with a bunch of other negative adjectives as well. Lost, worthless, ignorant, broken, damaged, less than, pathetic, not smart enough, not strong enough, not good enough, lazy, socially defunct, inept, and unlovable. These thoughts circled around in my head every minute of every day and because I heard them so much, I believed every word. I was broken. I was damaged. I was gross. Who would want a pathetic, worthless, loser like me?

Years I struggled with my triggers and self doubt. My pain worn on my sleeve like a red stain for all to see. I was in agony everyday. My mind betrayed me and I blamed myself because after all, it was my mind and surely I should have control of it. But I didn't and I don't....And it made me hate myself just that much more.

I find a company trying to make my pain and struggles into something stupid and laughable, a huge insult. And if you have struggled the way I have, you should too. I am sorry, I just don't find the leading cause of suicide in this country, humorous. No, you know what? I am not sorry. Because I am a human being and every human being matters in this world regardless of how badly they feel about themselves, or their diagnoses, or their perceived faults. No one deserves to die alone in some crappy place because they can't see any other way out of the pain and torment that they endure in their lifetime but to end their lives. No one and shame on you for implying that mental illness is somehow funny. It's not. It's devastating to those who have it and to all of those that love them.

And to those of you that think taking too many pictures of yourself is somehow a mental illness.....stop. Just stop already. You haven't the first notion what mental illness is. It is not "Oh this picture makes me look sexy" or "Oh here is me standing in front of my bathroom mirror looking hot in front of the toilet bowl" or "Here is me eating this huge hamburger with my friends after a night of drinking cheap beer on ladies night". Mental illness isn't about taking eighty five pictures of yourself trying to impress others with your body or your fashion choices, it's about pain and suffering. It is about feeling ashamed that you aren't like everyone else. And sadly it is about hating yourself. Because that is what mental illness does. It makes you blame yourself for every single abnormal issue about you. It is about hating that you can't be like everyone else. You can't work, or drive, or feel at ease. You can't just get up and be happy or your moods cycle so fast you feel like you just get the afterburn of them. There is no "I love being messed up" selfie. Or the "I am so sexy while I stick my finger down my throat because I am not yet the 85lbs I want to be."  There is no pic of "I love that I compulsively touch door knobs or scrub the walls til my hands bleed." or the "Look I am in so much pain I cut myself again". Nor is there an "I just can't take one more day of this agony, I going to kill myself" sexy pose. There is a reason for that.

We are not trying to be sexy or impressive. We are just trying to live in a world that is wholly ignorant of our plight and our struggles. Meating out the punishments and judgments because it just doesn't understand. In the thirty one years of my battles against OCD, I only learned to love myself three years ago. I had to learn to accept my faults and embrace not who I thought I would be, but who I am. That is a really long time to have to wade through the self blame and self hate to get to that point. Years to learn to that I am important. I matter. I count. I stand for something and that something is greatness, no matter how unlike everyone else I may think I am. Who would want that broken, damaged, and gross person I thought I was? Me, I want me because I am different and my life is hard but I am worth the struggle. Not just today but always.

We have to learn to love and accept ourselves in a world that does not. In a world that is ignorant and unprepared to accept us. In a world that thinks the struggles we go through are humorous or entertaining. We have to learn that we are not broken or damaged but different in a world that resists differences with a passion. It is intolerant of us and yet we have to learn to push against such intolerance because we deserve to be here. We count. We matter.

So don't claim that because you want to constantly take pictures of yourself looking pretty for a boy or a girl or to impress all of your friends with how cool you think you are, that you suffer from what we do. You have no idea the pain we live with on a daily bass and you couldn't possibly fathom such pain while you stand in front of a camera winking and acting foolish. We don't have time to worry about such things, we are too busy trying to live our lives one step at a time.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Listen Up....

Sorry I missed my regular post day, yesterday. There has been a great deal going on. It is the last few days of school. Both of my sons have had a virus...ew.  I have been trying to get things clean around here and so far I am way behind my personal acceptance of clean from myself. Ugh....Totally stressing me out.

Guess I should be thankful I was able to make myself take a shower and put on underarm least I think I put on underarm deodorant today...

Tomorrow I will be up at the school for my oldest's 504 acceptance plan.....hahaha, I get it on the last day of school. There is public school working hard for you. At least it will help for next years online school. Maybe.... And then I have some other stuff to do so my post may be delayed and extra day tomorrow as well.

So onto today's post: 

There has been yet another mass shooting and I am reeling from the insanity of it all. I am disgusted, forlorn, broken hearted, and just down right angry. It doesn't matter which side you are on when it comes to gun control.  Because what is going on here has nothing to do with guns as much as it has the breaking down of a system. A system that has been broken for decades and has been left to rot on the vine. No one wants to admit it. Maybe we are at a loss on how to fix it but it can no longer be ignored. Things have to change and they have to change right now.

The current mass shooting is similar to the ones before it and it angers me that we go to the same conversations and apologies and we fail to act to prevent such tragedy. We hold to our views and our stubbornness and allow ignorance and stigma to become our comfort blanket and it is killing innocent people.

Whether you agree with gun ownership or not, it should be the last thing on our tongues. What should we be talking about? I am so glad you asked. There are two points we need to discuss and we need to discuss them now before this happens again.

The first point:

Elliot Rodger had warning signs. Signs hell, we was sending out warning flares and just like the mass murderers before him, they were largely ignored. His parents knew something was wrong. They got him therapy and when they saw youtube videos that seemed scary they alerted the authorities. The police did their job and did a wellness check and did everything they were taught to do. Both groups of people did exactly what they are supposed to and it didn't work. Not because they didn't care or were negligent but because the system is broken.

Six police officers met with Mr. Rodgers and they found him to be polite and well behaved. They did not search his room or look up his videos depicting his anger towards other people. If they had a law that backed them to search his residence they may have found his manifesto depicting the carnage he was planning to carry out or his stockpile of weapons. He was afraid that they would have caught him but they didn't because legally, their hands were tied and they knew no better. Police are not trained to be therapists or mental illness professionals. They are police. They can not effectively catch things that a licensed psychologist could. They missed the signs because they weren't taught how to see them in the first place and even if they felt he was "off" there isn't a whole lot that they could do about it. This needs to change immediately.

Mr. Rodger's therapists should have caught such signs but apparently missed them as well. I am not sure why and I am confused as to how they did not see that this is where he was headed. Again monitoring of someone who makes serious threats to harm others should be investigated fully and watched.

Elliot Rodgers like the mass murderers before him not only had warning signs but others knew he was unhinged, just as the many others that knew about the killers before him. In all of these cases people knew that there was a danger and did nothing or were unable to get the help to those people in time. Not because people don't care but because, we as a society sweep things under the rug thinking that if it is hidden, it can't harm us. And obviously that isn't the case.

We need to be proactive instead of reactive. The laws that bind us from getting those that have lost the ability to function on safe level help, are part of the problem. Most of these laws state that the person making threats actually has to have had a previous violent episode. In almost all of the mass murders, the shooting was the first violent outburst. This law protects no one and it is completely ineffective. No one is being helped and no one is being protected by this policy. If there was a better fall back law where violent threats are actually investigated to the extreme, we might be able to get those people the help that they need before they carry out such crimes against humanity. We need to stop burying our heads in the sand, and listen up.

When a parent, a teacher, a sibling, a spouse, a boss goes out of their way to report to the authorities that someone is scaring the hell out of them with their odd behavior that feels dangerous, it needs to be taken seriously. No more passing the buck and sweeping it under the rug. These people need help.

Point number two:

These people are not representations of the mental illness community. These people have crossed a line that they can not return from. It is the "too far gone" line and it no way represents the many many people that deal with mental illness issues on a daily basis. People that are non violent. People that are incapable of hurting anyone let alone mass killing people.

That fact is lost in the media as it glorifies the actions of someone who has lost the part of them that makes them human. The media basks in labeling the mass murderer as mentally ill, or autistic, or by some accounts this latest shooter... a man with hidden gay tendencies? I mean come on. This man lost his battle with whatever he was dealing with but that in no way means he was actually any of those things. We don't know what he was and it is extremely unprofessional to be arm chair diagnosing someone we know nothing about. You can sit and ask why he did something so horrible, but there is no point in that. There is no reason that would make any kind of since to us.

When the media broadcasts incorrect and some cases completely false diagnoses of mental illness or states that these people are the face of mental illness, it hurts the rest of the hundreds of thousands of us that suffer from mental illness. It shames us and stigmatizes us further. It makes us afraid to seek help when we need it or openly talk about it with our peers. It makes us scared to accept that we have issues. It makes others unfairly terrified of us and bias against us. We are not the problem. The broken system that puts mentally ill people behind bars because there is no place for them to get proper treatment is the problem. The laws that bind the hands of the caregivers of those that are teetering off the edge and do not allow them to get specific care on a round the clock basis, is the problem. A two year waiting list for our soldiers with disabilities to receive care that is covered when they have put their lives on the line for us, is the problem. The lack of funding and the lack of understanding how mental illness works. The ignorance perpetrated by the media and it's hounds. The misrepresentations. The lies. The blatant misuse of the word of mental illness in every violent situation is the problem. It needs to stop.

The media needs to be held accountable for the misdiagnoses of mental illness when these things occur. It is shameful and hurtful to the rest of us. It promotes fear in others where there doesn't need to be. Honest depictions of mental illness need to be used, not half assed attempts to blame a certain party because someone has lost control. We are not Elliot Rodgers, or James Holmes, or Adam Lanza. We are not Seng-Hui Choi, or Eric Harris, or Dylan Kiebold. We are not the mass killers or shooters simply because we have an illness in our heads. No one knows why these people do such awful and tragic things but it is not simply because they may have suffered from mental illness no more than if it were that most of them had brown hair. You do not hear or read people defaming and shaming brunettes because some killers are brunette do you? Of course not..Then why is it acceptable to do so to another party simply because they may have something vaguely in common with them. And I say vaguely because in reality, no one really knows.

These two things need to be done and they need to be done sooner rather than later. These horrible events can not continue. It has to stop but it will only stop if we as a society start listening and start acting where the problems actually lie. Not with guns or political views but with the treatment and advocation in the mental illness community and the education of the masses when something is wrong.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fair Game....Rant......

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to politics. I try to, but it just irritates me and I have this no bullshit policy that I like to adhere to, which is why I do not pay attention to said politics. It's boring, confusing, and  inherently full of bullshit, much like a dairy farm. And while dairy farms may smell badly, at least you get cheese, butter, and milk from them. The cows don't lie to you while chomping on their cud and looking you in the eye and baby calves are just down right adorable...Politics....well, not so much.

That being said, I read an article talking about two men running in the same party for Texas Lieutenant Governor and I was appalled. Kind of hard to shock me when it comes to the mud slinging that elections promote but this was beyond the norm of "stirring up a shit storm" as we Texans like to say.

The current TLG David Dewhurst is being accused, or rather his people are being accused, of publicly releasing his opponent Sen. Dan Patrick's medical/court records that state thirty years ago he was so severely depressed that he had to have a stay in a psychiatric hospital in 82 and 86 and "needed sitters around the clock."

There is a backlash and of course Dewhurst's people state that they did not release this information and hide behind the fact that as court records they are already public, but let's just call a spade a spade shall we. This is sigma.....pure and simple.

You can call it mudslinging. You can call it fair game. You can put it in an oven and call it a biscuit if you so desire, but it doesn't deter from the fact that this is exactly how our country views mental illness and it's issues. With disdain, confusion, ignorance, and a heavy dose of judgement.

If Mr. Patrick had his medical records released and his records said he had diabetes instead of depression,  no one would bother writing about it or implying it is a testament to his ability to lead. No one would bat an eye that he couldn't have one of those mall chocolate chip cookies with a glass of sweet southern lemonade. But they feel perfectly fine with implying because he went through an ordeal for something mentally related and he sought help, like you are supposed to, all of a sudden he isn't a good candidate.

They are trying to infer that Mr. Patrick can't handle the stress of being in that position because thirty years ago he was having issues.....and they are getting away with it.

Now, I no longer live in Texas and I haven't for almost twelve years. I do not care who is the TLG or who wins the election. What I do care about is the blatant stigma smear that has been painted against Sen. Patrick. Not because I know him. I don't. Not because I will be affected by his policies, whatever they might be, if he wins. I will not. I care because, once mental illness is allowed to be used as a defaming character assassination in something as public as an election, it becomes a huge problem.

Mental illness is and always has been the big ugly pink elephant in the room. Many don't want to talk about it. Some want to pretend it doesn't even exist. But the fact is, it does. Mental illness is real and it has no bearing on your strength of character. It does not discriminate. It affects the poor and rich alike. It affects people of all races and backgrounds. It affects people of all religions and or lack there of. Mental illness does not discriminate who it decides to affect, but people do.

As someone who has struggled with mental illness I know exactly what is like being judged, slandered, and shamed because I have a physical illness that is inside my brain. People tend to be okay with physical illness as a whole. If you have a heart attack and go to the hospital you get visitors, friends, get well cards, and flowers. People flock to your bedside with soft spoken well wishes and support. When you end up in the mental hospital because you can't cope or have had a breakdown, it is strangely devoid of that support. No cards. No flowers. No visitors. You are seen as an embarrassment, a social pariah, a freak. You are outcast and cast aside, because you are different. It does not seem to occur to people that mental illness is a physical illness. It is just a physical illness inside your head. It is not something that you choose no more than if you chose to have a heart attack, and yet they are viewed so very very differently.

No one would be waving a flag at Sen. Patrick and be claiming that he couldn't handle the position he is vying for if he had only had a heart attack. And that is the problem.

Sen. Patrick had depression and because he got help, because he did what you are supposed to do, he is paying for it thirty years later. He is being publicly shamed because of it. He is being ostracized and judged. And no one seems to be upset over it. Well, I am upset, because what Sen. Patrick is going through has a name and we need to call it what it is. Discrimination. He is being discriminated against because he once suffered from mental illness and now it is being used to promote him as weak.

If my thirty four years of mental illness has taught me anything, it is that people that suffer from mental illness are anything but weak. The fact that he got help in a time that was even more judgmental about such things is a testament to his strength as a person. The fact that he stands there with his head held high while others judge him with their ignorance is all of the proof I need of his strong character.

I am outraged that his mental illness could be used to target him because if they are allowed to do it to him so publicly, then they are allowed to do it to the rest of us.

It is sad that in this day and age, we are still being publicly shamed and judged for mental illness. It is disgusting that we are being stigmatized on such a broad level. That we are being told that we can't and we won't because we are different. When something as simple as a google search could educate these people I can't help but outraged by such ignorance.

And since his depression seems to be such a hot topic I would like help promote the education of the ignorant by giving you a statistic.

An estimated 1 in 10 Americans report having depression....

1 in 10. And yet we act like depression is somehow unusual or rare. That it is something to look down on or misjudge. That is something that could never happen to us or someone we know. Let me ask you many people do you know? Is it more than ten people? Because if it is, it is very likely that one or more of those people are suffering from depression right now.

For all I know, Sen. Patrick could be a colossal douche. He could be lying about his taxes or his political views. I don't know the man one way or the other. I am not saying you should run out and vote for him. What I am saying is that I do know he is not weak because he at one time suffered from depression. That is an 1850 mentality and this is not 1850 now is it?

I am not angry because he is the one getting blasted for having depression. I am angry because once we start to punish and villainize people with mental illness publicly we are sending a message that people who suffer from mental illness are weak and worthless. Once we allow such things as mental illness to be used as a character assassination, we will lose more people to suicide that could have been helped but did not seek it out because they were afraid of being judged and stigmatized.

This particular mudslinging should have never happened because we as American's shouldn't be looking at his depression as a character flaw. We should be as accepting of it as we would him having a physical ailment. Important but not bombshell worthy. All mental illness should be viewed as a treatable illness because it is. It is not fodder for elections or a sign of weakness.

Once we find publicly shaming mentally ill people acceptable we open a door that can never be totally closed back again. It is not acceptable and shame on you Mr. Dewhurst for supporting such vile stigma producing mudslinging.

It reminds me of a quote that speaks to the heart of any discrimination and the horror discrimination can bring.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

----Martin Niemöller

I stand against discrimination of any kind and I stand against the remarks dealing specifically with Sen.Patrick's mental illness. It is not okay to shame him nor anyone else that struggles with mental illness simply because they do.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Now Move....

Reading my blogs or talking to me online, you might think that I am a social butterfly. I used to do well in social situations. I was confident and strong. I was able to go hang out with friends and go to social places. It was no big deal. It was even exciting. But that was years ago. I haven't gone anywhere with a group of people I am not related to in years. Not weeks or months but years....My social butterfly days aren't what they used to be.

I haven't really realized just how much my anxiety has kept me prisoner till Sunday afternoon. I had a bridal shower to go to for my best friend of twenty one years. Yes, you heard me right, twenty one years. Let me start this off by saying I love this girl. We met when we were young and we have remained bff's since the first day she introduced herself to me in our old apartment building. She has been there for me through  crappy boyfriends, bad fashion choices, moves from state to state, a failed marriage, being down on my luck and worse with money, depression, suicidal thoughts, agoraphobia, the birth of both of my children, and even still today. I like to think I have been there equally for her too.  That is what best friends do, after all. We are so close we don't say bye, we say I love you and we have called each other sisters for as long as we have known each other.

I can't make it to her wedding, which is far away, but I was thrilled to be able to go to her bridal shower. I mean over the moon! I am so happy for her. I had to find a ride there, which my wonderful dad volunteered for. Then I had to get ready, which I pondered on what to wear for a whole two weeks before. The shower was going to be for three hours and I was excited to see her and all of her friends (whom I do not know) and to actually try and be somewhere without the comfort of my husband and kids. Whom, I love more than life but also, many times, serve as a buffer for me. I have less anxiety if I am occupied with them rather than trying to be out and about alone with just myself. And to add on top of that, I am not really someone who has a great deal of experience with parties or showers. This was going to be my first bridal shower. I was nervous because I am not really sure how these things work. I am inept at social functions to a certain degree. I do not know the "protocol" or the rules to such things. I don't want to do anything offensive or off putting. I am so bad at these things that actually have to call my other friend in Texas and ask what the socially acceptable dictations are, like do you have to send a thank you card to thank someone for sending you a thank you card...ect. Seriously, she is my savior on all things socially proper.

We got to the restaurant on time. I walked in and asked where they were holding the shower. I was fine. A little nervous but fine, until I stepped about two feet away from the reception desk. Then the anxiety started to rise. My thoughts were racing....what if this isn't the right place....what if no one likes you....what if your gift is stupid....what if your face betrays your fear and people judge you for being broken and odd... what if you say something wrong...what if you embarrass her by doing something stupid...what if...what if... My heart went from the regular thump...thump to a loud thud..thud..thud..thud, rapidly beating now in my throat instead of in my chest where all of the biology books say it is actually located. My hands started to shake. My feet felt rooted to the ground. My breathing became heavy and labored and then the tunnel vision locked in. I could see my hand holding on to the banister and nothing else. My field of vision got smaller and smaller until all I could see was the wedding ring on my left ring finger. Shining in the light, dancing under the soft ambiance of the restaurant's glow. All of the clinking dish noises and sounds of other people enjoying their meal had stopped. It was silent, all but the voice in my head and the beating of my heart and my labored shaky breathing. The silence of everything else external was deafening to me. I wanted to run. I wanted to flee like a hunted animal running to safety....It was fight or flight and my body was choosing flight. My mind however, was not.

I could feel myself slipping away into full panic attack mode but I wasn't going to just stand there and have a freaking meltdown like a baby. This was not going to work. This was unacceptable. I had been looking forward to this for two weeks and I was going to be damned if I just turned tail and ran now. I was not going to let my stupid OCD take one more thing from me I wanted to do. Not this time. Not today.

I closed my eyes and listened to my breaths. I calmed the voice in my head and then I had a mental conversation unlike anything I have ever had before with myself.

"Not today. You are not doing this today. You can have tomorrow, or next Tuesday, or every day of the week three months from now, but you do not get to have today. This isn't for you. This is for her. You are here to support her on her day and this shit is going to stop right now. I am not leaving. I am not giving up. I am not going to cry and freak out and panic. I am not going to allow you to make an ass out of me in front of my sister on her day and embarrass her. I am not going to let you make an ass out of me and embarrass me on her day either. It is time to stop running and hiding because you are scared. Or you think you are scared. Or things are  "uncomfortable". Life is full of scary uncomfortable things and you need to deal with it already. So put on your big girl pants and suck it up! Take a breath. Shake it out. Wiggle your toes and get to stepping, feet. We are doing this. She has done so much for me and I am going to do this for her. No excuses, no issues, and no panic attacks. Suck back in those tears that are trying to form, stop breathing like a marathon runner, stop listening to the stupid what if's. You are going to stop this right now. You are going to walk in there and be her sister because you are her sister and that is what sister's do. Now move."

And the most amazing thing happened. My feet moved. They propelled me to the entrance of the bridal shower. My vision cleared and I could see everything again. The muffled noises of dishes and forks and small talk from other diners came back. My heart was still beating too fast but it was now in my chest instead of my throat. The shaking stopped and my breathing became normal again.

I walked in nervous but not crying or wailing or throwing myself on the floor in over dramatic form. She hadn't arrived yet but once I introduced myself all of her friends knew who I was and called me the sister. I was floored that they all knew about me. Lol. I guess I sometimes forget that I am as equally important in her life as she is in mine. Mental illness sometimes makes us feel less important or worthy than we actually are. That is why I say we are worthy and valid and magnificent, because we are. Even thought mental illness tries to steal that away form us as well. Sly little devil that it is.

I was nervous until she arrived but it didn't get the best of me. I was secretly afraid that her friends would think I was weird or off. That my anxiety disorder was somehow visible to others by just looking at me. That they would think I was strange or judge me. She is such a wonderful person and although, I knew that meant her friends would be wonderful too, I just couldn't shake the fear of being judged less than. I guess stigma is just as much in our own self judgments as it is in others.

Her friends were cool. They were nice and funny. They didn't seem to think of me as weird or strange. They asked me tons of questions about my kids and how my friend was growing up. They were a lot like her, personable and outgoing. I needn't have worried about being judged at all.

So, I had a wonderful time. I got to spend time with my sister and her fiance, whom I equally love. He is so perfect for her. I got to meet her "newer" friends and coworkers. I had good food and cake with butter-cream...yum. I had a blast and she did to.

It just goes to show, that although I can't predict when these anxiety flare ups will occur, I can battle them. I can put my foot down and  talk myself into doing what I want. I can demand that I stop allowing this to define everything I do. Because in reality, this is my life not my mental illness's life and I want to live it fully and as happily as possible.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, May 16, 2014

Scared update...

Thank you guys so much for your comments and prayers. Still no answers but on the 5th of June they are going to put me under to take pictures of my esophagus and bile duct with a camera scope. If they find stones then it will turn into the same procedure I have already had four times. If not then it might be ulcers or something. I am a little scared but also relieved that we may finally get answers. Which will make me feel better.

So I will keep you all updated and again I can't think you enough for all of your support. It truly means a great deal to me.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I am sorry I did not get the chance to write my Thursday post until now. I had chest pains again which had me wind up at the emergency room yet again. They gave  me some pain meds and a GI cocktail. The doctors where unsure if it was Acid Reflux or stones in my bile duct. Then after I was sent home I was completely out of it for most of the day.

I am so worried. Every time I think I am over this hump, this shit starts up again and it terrifies me. I pray relentlessly that it was just because my vitamin contained a lot of iron and that it is what set off the pain and not stones that will require yet another surgery. My fifth. And then to remove the stint which will equal 6 surgeries for the same damn thing.

My OCD is out of control. I am terrified that my body is betraying me. Terrified to lose my life. A hundred million things keep going through my mind and all of them are bad. I just want to relax but I am terrified the pain will come back. I am terrified I will be back in the hospital. Terrified of leaving my kids without a mother. Terrified that each surgery is dangerous. Terrified that I will never get better and I will continue to have these "episodes" over and over again.

It kills me inside to be so scared. It kills my soul a bit each time that I worry and yet I am unable to stop worrying. God please help me. Please. Please. Please. PLEASE!!!??

I have an appointment with my GI doc tomorrow and I pray my labs are normal. That way we will know it was not stones and instead something more along the lines of GERD. Not that I want GERD but I don't want a million more surgeries either.

I cried in the hospital room because I was in pain and because I was so terrified. I hate to cry but all of the fear and dread just kept washing over me like emotional waves of shit and I just had to let it all out. I am so very exhausted of all of this. I just want to be healthy again. But I am clearly not. Not until we figure out why I keep getting these painful episodes, Hopefully it is nothing big...hopefully. I wish I could just think that way. But of course having medical OCD fear makes me thinking that way an impossibility.

I m trying to type with the tears falling down my face and my hands shaking. I don't want to be this way anymore. It is enough that I have an anxiety disorder. Actually having a mystery diagnoses on top of it seems to be just too much to handle right now.

So my dear readers/friends....please pray for me, if you are in the habit of praying, and if you aren't please send positive thoughts my way. I could really use them....

Thanks and I will update you as soon as I know just what is going on.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoughts at 9 A.M..........

Beauty........Just what is beautiful?...............................And is it worth dying for?

I was born in the late seventies with my mother wearing bell bottoms and funky peace signs. I grew up in the eighties and nineties watching her painstakingly adjust her shoulder pads and fluff out her permed monstrosity she called a hair do. I remember "Sweating To The Oldies" with my mother in our guest room turned ala workout studio. I remember my mom squeezing herself into too tight of shiny black spandex and thick white sweat bands working out, trying like all get out to achieve a body image much like Olivia Newton John. I remember her fad diets and her exuberant smile when the pounds melted off. But mostly I remember her disappointment that even after all of the hard work and diets that her body never looked like Olivia's. No matter how hard she tried. She felt bad. She felt inadequate.

I also remember looking at my Barbie doll and wishing that I too would look as fantastic when I grew up. That my kinky red hair would turn a gorgeous shade of platinum blonde, that my freckled pasty skin would one day have that "Florida tan", that my boobs would stand out without a bra, and mostly that I would have a tiny little waist that would compliment my perfectly balanced and yet adorable tip toed feet.....

I was devastated when my mom explained to me at the tender age of seven (after I called my 57 lb body fat) that no, I would never look like a Barbie doll. Because Barbie was made of plastic and that wasn't what a real woman's body looked like....Looking back on it, I wonder why that same process of thought hadn't occurred to her that she would never look like Olivia Newton John either, because my mom had a different woman's body type. We were both stuck in a viscous cycle of hating  and punishing our bodies to make them appear to be something they could never be...perfect.

I truly believe that a driving force, but not the only force, of having eating disorders do come from the ridiculous ideals of what we believe being beautiful is. Now a days, we have models that look more like heroin addicts rather than real and healthy women. Clothes are paraded down red carpets on models with no curves, no breasts, no hips. Actresses are constantly told to lose weight to appear smaller on film. Magazines broadcast tiny framed women with skeletal shoulder blades and frail arms making their heads seem large and cartoonish. Their frames resemble prepubescent boys rather than women. It infuriates me. I remember growing up when models like Cindy Crawford were thought of as beautiful. In reality, she is much slimmer than the average woman and yet, today she would be considered a plus size model. She is a size 10.

 Why we take such direction from some of the clothing designers (male especially), or critics that point out just is wrong with our bodies is a mystery to me. I mean, have you seen these people? Why in the hell would I take beauty advice from someone who has so much collagen in their lips that they could double as flotation devices or have had so much plastic surgery that they can no longer close their eyes properly? What does a man know about having a woman's body? How it moves? How it ages? How it changes after children or puberty, even?

Then we go a step further and actually "fat shame" other women ourselves. We have bought into this facade of what beauty means and we perpetuate it on others. How dare she gain fifteen extra pounds! How dare she wear that too tight of shirt! Why is that fat girl not eating a salad!?!

We judge others on such paltry things such as breast size, butt shape, the diameter of the waist. We are so obsessed with weight that there are literally millions of dollars being made at our expense so we can shrivel up further to meet an image that was never really real to begin with. Why do we do it?

The old joke of a woman asking her husband if her dress makes her look fat or if her pants make her ass look fat is only funny because it is true. We judge ourselves and fear others will to, simply by how our butt looks in a pair of jeans. God forbid we actually have an ass to begin with. We wouldn't want to be known as a "fat ass".

We judge ourselves. Looking down in the mirror with our foreheads wrinkled and mouth twisted with a grimace as we pinch our stomach rolls or fatty tissues blaming and shaming ourselves for not looking more like a Victoria's Secret model. It makes no difference in our eyes that those rolls have been earned by actually living, giving birth, medications, or what have you. We hate them and worse, we hate ourselves for still carrying them around.

We tell our children that they are beautiful no matter what and yet we do not hold ourselves to those same standards. Children aren't stupid. They repeat what they see and they do what we do.

If I had a dime for every time I read a facebook post from a teenage girl claiming how ugly or fat she was, I would be one rich woman. These girls who are almost always thin, that spend countless hours taking selfies in the bathroom mirror, can't see their worth or their potential as a human being because they think that beauty is the only measure in which you can be counted. They only see that if they turn sideways they are not translucent and therefore they feel they are still not good enough.

It is ridiculous that we hold ourselves to these unrealistic expectations. Especially, when those people we see on tv and magazines and movies cant hold themselves to those expectations either. That is what Photoshop and make up shading is for. We have unknowingly created an epidemic of women hating their bodies, hating themselves, and believing that they are not beautiful because of what the scale says. Now I know, that eating disorders are not just about that. There is other things at play, but the media does not help. We have become a world obsessed with beauty, weight, and dress size. And we have become delusional to the point where we actually feel that those three things are inherently connected. The dysfunction starts with younger and younger girls. They learn to despise their bodies early on from ages of three to five. They continue to hate themselves and their looks all through their lives never realizing that no one can stand up to these expectations. Models starve themselves, actresses have plastic surgeries and special diets. We live in a world where the average female adult is a size 14. Our actresses tend to range from size 2-4. Our runway models are a size 0. We are told we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, dress a certain way or we are just not good enough. We are not beautiful.

 And I know that although eating disorders aren't just about the public's view of women, I truly believe it helps promote shame and misguided self views. Since birth when we are made to feel inadequate simply because we may take more than one yard of material to make a garment that fits us. We hold ourselves so low that we actually feel less than because our dress size isn't what the media says it should be.

We constantly talk about praising ourselves as women and yet each day we look in the mirror and we do the exact opposite. We aren't celebrating ourselves and our worth as women, we are condemning ourselves. We are shaming ourselves. We have forgotten that beauty doesn't rely on how fat our ass is or how pouchy our stomachs have become. Beauty is in our strength, our compassion, our intelligence, our bodies are beautiful. We make and carry children with them. And we make milk for those children with them. We hold our loved ones with them. We can be firefighters, and doctors, and teachers, and soldiers, astronauts, and stay at home moms, and bloggers, and scientists, and anything we ever dreamed....with our beautiful magnificent bodies....that we take for granted. Because we have the nerve to have more than just a jutting hip bone for thighs.

We keep calling models curvy....where the hell are the curves? I keep looking. I don't see how that word applies to them. Can someone point them out to me? Because curves don't mean hip bones and shoulder joints. It means glorious fat under the skin thus forming a rounded shape...A.K.A curves.

Fundamentally it shouldn't matter what size you are, what body shape you have, or what the scale says. Beauty is not a number. Not a number on a scale, nor an age, nor a dress size. Beauty has nothing to do with mathematics or the garment industry. Beauty is who you are as a person and your belief in your own personal worth. That's it. That is all beauty is. It's love and compassion and the small things you do everyday to help others. It is not a make up brand or a high heel. It is what you carry on the inside.

When we have little girls telling their mommies that they are fat, there is a problem. When we have teenagers worrying more about waist size rather than getting a good education, there is a problem. When these young women and children start starving themselves to be thin, there is a problem. When we sit in a dressing room calling ourselves ugly defaming names because the tiny swim suit makes us hate ourselves, there is a problem. We are worth so much more than that.

When did we start lying to ourselves that healthy means rail thin? Being grossly over weight isn't healthy but neither is being underweight.

Our bodies are our bodies. We don't need to compare them or make labels for them. They aren't a music genre. They are our flesh and bone. They are a part of us and it is high time we stop letting other people tell us that they aren't the magnificent creations they are. Whether you are a size 0 or a size 47, you are beautiful. Whether you have small breasts or large breasts, you are beautiful. Whether you have a fat ass or no ass at all. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Being fat isn't disgusting. Being thin isn't the most important thing in life. Being healthy does not mean starving yourself.

You already have the beauty you think you are lacking. It is in the scars that you have, in the flaws that make you unique, in the smile lines around your eyes, in the strength of your personality, in the life that you are living. You don't need to kill yourself to be what you already are. Own your body. Love it. Accept it because it is beautiful and you deserve to know the truth. You are already what you are seeking. Own it.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Just Remember....

Just remember....

You have taken a stick and beaten back worse..

You have fought long and hard and you are battle ready...

You have gotten over bigger mountains and swam deeper seas....

You have been here before and you kicked it's ass then, you are capable of doing it again.....

When struggles get you down and wear you thin, remember that you are strong. You are magnificent. You are capable.

Sometimes we forget that we are not just sufferers, we are also survivors. Sometimes we forget to change our vocabulary from can't and won't to can and will because we have before...

Sometimes we get turned around and lost and even sometimes go backwards. But make no mistake, we can do this. We are the warriors of our minds. We are the heroes of our lives. We are the right fighters. The educators of masses. And just when it seems we can't take much more, that we are going to fail, that we can't do it any longer....we bend at the last second instead of breaking under the weight. Because we are just that strong, even if we don't yet realize how much.

I am not going to lie to you. It will be hard. Everything worth having is. I am not going to say that there won't be times that you fell gutted, and disgusted, and angry. I am not going to say that there won't be days that simply finding the will to get out of bed in the morning seems like too monumental of a task. There will be those times. There will be those days.

There will be struggles, and obstacles, and issues. There will be ignorance, stigma, and stupidity. There will be naysayers and people that crap on your parade just because they can. It happens and it will happen.

But there is something that you need to remember for those times, dealing with those people, working on those obstacles. You are worth it. Every single second, every single minute, every single day, you are worth it. Every single smile, every single laugh, every single good day when the pain are worth it. You are worth the hardships, and pain, and the long sleepless nights. You are worth the therapy, and doctor's appointments. You are worth the side effects and pharmacy visits. You are worth the effort. You are not a burden. You matter. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

On hard days, the hardest of days that make you feel exhausted and alone remember, there are many of us that have been where you are now. There are many of us that are still in that same space. There are many of us that understand and care. You are many things. Many wondrous and magnificent things but alone is not one of them.

You are brave. On your toughest day, you are braver than most have ever even dreamed of being. On your darkest nights, you have more courage than most could even fathom. You are tough, and fearless, and down right damned determined. You are a fighter. You do not give up. You do not back down. You do not cave in. You do not give an inch. You might lose a battle or three but you never lose the war. You are a champion.

You have seen more pain, tasted more fear, and dealt with more stressful situations in a year than the average person does in their lifetime. You have spent years reaching deep into yourself and pulling out the ugly broken bits, analyzing them, putting them back together and putting them back in. You have logged more time with a therapist than most people log in work hours. You have been working tirelessly in the ditches, sloshing in the vile muddy waters of your mental illness because you are a warrior and you refuse to be beaten. You have done this before and you will do this again as many times as it takes because that is who you are. A human. A force to be reckoned with. A survivor. A hero. An inspiration. A beneficial, capable, kind, compassionate, intelligent, strong, brave, amazing, magnificent person and you are beautiful. You are loved. You are valid. You are important. You matter in this world.

You have struggled and fought and worked on yourself. You have done this over and over and over again. You have been here before and you got through it, because you can and you will.
So when you feel defeated and hopeless and lost take long look in the mirror and just got this.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

So.........Please Check It Out....

So today's post is a guest post at my friends fantastic site:! Please check it out and all of the other wonderful posts she has.  She is not only a great mother, a great blogger, a terrific person, but also a sufferer of OCD.  She writes about her life, her struggles, but also all of the many great things that interest her as well. I love that her site contains elements of mental illness but also shows that a person can live a full life living with one. She is one of my many inspirations and I am honored to have been able to write a post for her.

Please check out my post and hers as well! Thanks guys:)

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Written word..... written like spoken word but only on a page rather than in my voice because I write better than I speak.

OCD.....this is my life.

Unmedicated. Learning to relive again without the comforting numb.  As I sit here at my dining room table tap,tap, tapping away on my keyboard. The same dining room table that no less than three hours ago I was crying my eyes out at and losing my mind one strand at a time because my side has been hurting me and my mind refuses to believe it is just a pulled muscle. It instead wants to make me believe that it is from my metformin, or my liver is damaged, or my pancreas is bleeding, or it is something else horribly horribly wrong. I sat there begging my husband for reassurances he can't give and I feel bad because he has only known me medicated and now he has this. This heap of a woman on the floor pleading and praying and at the same time snotting and desperately looking for some answer to my malady. Or even better, all of my maladies. He is unsure of how to proceed and I could tell him but I don't want to fall into old patterns.  I want to be free of this fucking hell hole of a mental disorder and getting reassurance is giving in and I refuse to let it beat me one more time. I refuse. I refuse. I refuse.

The medicine, the only medicine that as ever worked for me, was a killer and so I had to make a choice. Be crazy and alive or not crazy and dead and so I chose crazy. I chose to be here and it is so fucking hard. Sometimes I forget that I used to be better. I was so good I forgot what a panic attack was like, or that the coppery taste of fear does not simply go away with a breath mint, or what the world feels like when it is closing in on you while suffocating you at the same time.

I wish I could fully describe it. The fear and dread and shame but words although powerful are simply too inadequate. There truly are no words. None.

I know it must be frustrating because I look so average, I play normal so well. Others see me and think to themselves that I am making excuses. I should call another doctor about my side and yet the very thought of researching for one causes me so much dread that I simply can not do it right now. I am unable to do it. Unable......people fail to understand that word and take my inability for laziness or procrastination. It never occurs to them that I am unwell no matter how good I look in pictures or how broadly I smile in public. I look well and therefore there must not be anything wrong with me.

But if they could see.....OH God if they could take a long look into my eyes they would know. They would feel it. They surely would see.

If they could hear inside my head they would hear me screaming over and over again. I want to yell and rage on myself for being broken and lost and so fucked up that I can't even do the most simplest of tasks. I want to just stop....just stop already. I feel like I am picking the same scab over and over and watching it bleed and yet am completely unable to leave it the fuck alone. I am so very very exhausted.

Surely, if people could look in my eyes they would see. This is what pain looks like. This is the face of someone being haunted. This is torment and torture and the shattering of a soul. This is not simply a ploy for sympathy or a cry for attention, I already have enough attention. I just want peace...but my mind wont let me. It refuses peace like it refuses reality and I am unable to make it accept either one.

I have ghosts in my head. I have demons inside of my body. I am left feeling broken and shattered and lost. I am left feeling alone and disregarded and ashamed. I am angry because of my emotional weakness and yet so completely devastated by it at the same time. I am tired of the fight and yet I am unable to stop fighting. This is my life. This is my life with OCD.

I fall to my  calloused knees and weep. My heart is fluttering full force. My palms are sweaty. And just when I think the pain and fear can get no greater, the terror sets in. I am terrified. I am being terrorized. I am in a state of complete and unabashed brokenness.

As the warm wet tears spill from my eyes, all of my wishes slip from my tongue onto deaf ears. All deaf but my own. I wish I could touch things and not feel the germs on my skin....I wish I could feel my children's hands touch my face without flinching....I wish I could stop being afraid that my body is secretly trying to kill me...I wish I could just feel life with my fingers and hands ...I wish I could touch things...I wish I could drive...I wish I could work...I wish I could be normal...I wish I could stop crying myself to sleep every night...I wish I wasn't racked with guilt every single fucking second of my life ....I wish I could forget what dread feels like...I wish I could get up off of this floor and be strong, be brave, be proud of myself.

And just when it seems that my list could go on forever and the pain could get no deeper, I stop. I wipe my runny nose with the long black sleeve of my shirt and I and dry my eyes. I stand up from the floor because I realize that I am strong, I am brave, and one day I will be proud of myself. I shuffle up from the floor and I breathe deeply, because tomorrow is another day and I have to prepare for it. I have to prepare to battle my OCD again in the morning and again at noon and again at night. I have to get ready because I refuse to let my OCD win one more time. I refuse. I refuse. I refuse.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 1, 2014

While We Wait.....

While reading some news articles the other day I was dumbfounded, disappointed, and just down right disgusted. I have a bizarre love hate relationship with the news for obvious reasons.

But I came across a story I found to be upsetting. I am a mental illness advocate and by that I mean I care about mental illness. And not just about the illnesses as much as those that suffer from them. I should, since I too suffer from one.

What I came across was a staggering statistic about our American veterans. I knew what was going on was bad, but like many Americans I did not know just how bad. I don't know why we don't know this. I have no idea why this isn't plastered across the media, blatantly reported to the masses, or put in the forefront of our subconscious except that I have to believe that is being kept quiet due to stigma. That nasty little bugger gets in the way too many times and it is given too much power.

In World War I and II they called it shell shocked. In Nam the government pretended it didn't exist. We now are more familiar with it's newest term: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A figure released from the Department of Veteran's Affairs stated that in 21 states or 40% of America they have found that we lose 22 veterans to suicide a day. 22....a day.....The data isn't  as accurate as one would hope. After all, there are fifty states in the good ole US of A. There is no data for the other 30 states. And it doesn't take in to account veteran's who have been discharged dishonorably or the homeless veterans. But still at 22, I am devastated. To put it in better perspective 14% of suicides are said to be civilians. 30% are veteran's.

Now I don't know how this makes you feel but it pisses me off. First of all, our veterans were not suicidal when they joined. They were mentally healthy, physically healthy, and over all normal people joining up to a job. They go where we say. They do what we tell them to. The leave their families for months on end and put their lives on the line everyday...for us. Because we ask them to. Because we need them.

They go to places they have never expected to. They see things and are forced to do things that no one can forget, no one can come back from and be the same way they were before their deployment. They come back damaged and haunted and this is how we treat them. They leave a part of themselves over there and come back and are expected to just act normal.

They are supposed to go to the grocery store and pick up odds and ends and not think about the horrors of war. The loss of their brothers and sisters in arms. The blood and gore, the smells, the tastes, the absolute tragedy that war brings to the table. They are expected to come home and be the way they were before a part of them died in combat. They are expected to forget.

Forget things that we have been blessed never to have to see because they did it for us. They took the roll of soldier so we could sit behind our computer screens drinking our exotic lattes and eating our over priced croissants and mumble about how we are not patriotic or how we don't feel like soldiers deserve our utmost respect. Because we don't understand that without soldiers we would not be able to do those things. We forget what makes our lives the way they are. Someone died for those rights. Those soldiers coming back know more about tragedy, loss, and devastation than we could ever even hope to imagine.

They go through their daily lives haunted by the images and emotions. The smell of burning flesh. The taste of blood in their mouths. The dying words of a friend in pain. The having to take another's life. And we just sweep what they went through under the rug. They are supposed to just forget, but how does one forget what is to be human ? How does one forget the life leaving a brother's eyes? How does one forget humanity being ripped to shreds, or blown to pieces, or stolen away? How does one come from a place where every second is wrapped in danger and every moment is life or death and then just feel safe and secure because they get to come home and sit on the couch and watch television? One doesn't and to pretend otherwise ins't just foolish but ignorant as well.

We send our children, our brothers and sisters, our parents to war whole and then pretend that they haven't come home broken. And why? Who does pretending help? Well, I will tell you who it doesn't help. It doesn't help the 22 veteran's who kill themselves every day. One soldier for every 65 minutes. That is 8030 veteran's a year and frankly that is 8030 too many.

I could sit here and talk about how PTSD is a killer and how the fear that being labeled having a mental illness keeps many from getting help. I could sit here and discuss how that to receive such a diagnoses ends military careers and other law enforcement careers. I could sit here and blather on about how stigma keeps us sick, how fear keeps us from getting help, how it hurts even those of us that didn't get mental illness from war and yet what good does talking do?

I fail to understand how this is treated so calmly and nonchalantly. This is our friends, our family members, our neighbors suffering in silence and for what?

The president has issued more money into the programs that help diagnose the PTSD but what good is money if the programs are broken? Did you know if you have PTSD but they feel it was not because of combat experience then you are not covered and sometimes not even given the diagnoses of having it?

What the hell kind of law is that? Do you think that when that soldier went out of her fox hole to save a fellow veteran she paused to wonder if her healthcare was going to be covered? Or what about those that survived the first fort hood shooting. Did you know that many developed PTSD from that event but weren't covered because they did not receive PTSD from a combat mission?

I know it because one of the soldiers came back home after being wounded by the gunman ended up killing himself. Because he wasn't getting the care he deserved simply because he wasn't in Afghanistan when he was wounded. Because it wasn't a mission to survive the military compound...

I am dumbfounded and disgusted by the lack of compassion and understanding of PTSD. I am tired of hearing excuses as to how hard it is to diagnose and treat. I am tired of watching the suffering they go through get pushed aside while they kill themselves to just to find release.  I am tired of hearing paltry excuses of why there is a two year waiting list to get disability filed for our veterans. Did they wait two years to loose a leg, an arm, or their mental health for us? What the hell is wrong with this picture?

They put their lives on the line for us and we do not do the same. We do not stand up and yell that this isn't right and it has to change!

I had a thought that the smart thing to do would be to treat every soldier for PTSD. Not the medications mind you(that would be for those that need it), but a therapeutic debriefing. Instead of amplifying the fear of the term mental illness we could just treat them for it and help them learn to reacclimate into society. It makes no sense to make soldiers go into a situation where they are forced to kill and then just pat them on the back and send them home. They need to be reintroduced little by little into certain situations so they can feel safe. So they can get the help they need. I could look up the statistics of soldiers that have PTSD but I don't bother because I don't believe they are accurate. A great deal of people do not seek help because to do so would kill their chances at certain careers and they are afraid that somehow a PTSD diagnoses is a character flaw or that it means they are weak. They want to cling to whatever normalcy they can grasp and they don't want to be thought of as broken. I do not think of them as broken. I think of them as human. I do not believe that a human can go to war and come back unfazed. People are just not built that way. It hurts them and it affects them and as their country we owe it to them to help.

Sure treating all soldiers for possible PTSD would cost more, but you go ask someone who's family member killed themselves if they wouldn't give anything to bring them back. If they wouldn't pay more to help other's not do the same. I know I would.  And if we did that we could catch those that fall through the cracks and suffer in silence. We could end the stigma that surrounds the diagnoses of PTSD. We could help bring our soldiers home more whole than they are now. Less nightmares. Less flashbacks. Less walking through the house at night checking the perimeters for combatants. We could save marriages, and families, and even more importantly we could save lives. We could save 22 people a day.....Why isn't this being done?

In a time when we bring home more soldiers and walking wounded than in any other war our country has been in due to medical advances, why are we still operating the mental care the same as we did thirty years ago, or twenty years ago, or hell even five years ago? Why do we continue to ignore the plight of our veterans?

Make no mistake our soldiers carry deep ragged festering scars from combat whether they are visible to the naked eye or not and the deserve to be helped and treated just as much as if those scars were on their skin rather than in their minds. We sent them to do a job and they came back broken from that. We as a country did this to them and we as a country need to stop pretending that nothing is wrong. Something is very very wrong here and we need to fix it. We owe them everything, whether we see that clearly or not it does not make it untrue. We need to figure this out and quickly because while we wait, they die and that is totally unacceptable.

These people need to know that they are not alone. They are not invisible. They matter and their lives are important. They can go on and they can thrive. We owe it to them to give them the tools to do so.

Neurotic Nelly