Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Hope....

Christmas is upon us....

I hope whatever holiday you celebrate this season, that it is filled with love, compassion, friendship, and peace. I hope that the holiday stresses are slight and few. I hope that you enjoy this season and the coming next year. I hope that loneliness and anxiety are absent for you during the next few days.

I hope because that is one of the greatest human emotions a person can feel. We as humans must never lose hope.

I know that this holiday season can bring out a great deal of stress and anxiety. I know that for some people it can be unpleasant and uncomfortable. I know that some people have to spend the holidays with family members that are jerk faces. Some people do not share the holidays with anyone which can also be tough.

For all of those people, I hope that you know what great people you are. I hope you know how much the world needs you and how important you are. I hope you realize that the holiday season is for you too. Even if you struggle through it....

I don't drink alcohol and I hate eggnog so this Christmas I will lift my glass of sweet tea for you all and say a prayer for you, and that you all make it through this holiday season no worse for wear. I will send positive thoughts your way and pray that you too, will have a happy holidays. 

Happy Holidays, my dear readers. May it find you healthy, happy, and hanging in there. After all, the holidays are just a few short days and then it is on to a new year full of new possibilities and new experiences. And we all could use some new positive things in our lives.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It Lies....

I am just going to be honest here.....there is no cure for OCD. That doesn't mean that medications and therapy can't significantly improve the symptoms, because they can, but there is no cure. There is no special diet clean enough, no snake oil potion potent enough, no prayer strong enough to cure OCD.

It gets better and it can be managed. It can be managed really well. It can be a side issue and not your pressing intrusive ever there companion. It can, but as of right this moment, it can not be cured....

And what do you do when you are doing  the things that help but it pops up and makes you feel guilty, or shameful, or afraid?

You reach out to someone or several people, that understand. Because as OCD sufferers no quite gets it like we do. We understand each other even if the triggers are different or the symptoms aren't the same. We know how it is to suffer with this disorder.

I am very blessed to have several people in my life that either understand me because they too have OCD or they understand me because they have loved ones with it. And it helps, insurmountably to be able to discuss with them the bad times, or the rough times, or the guilt ridden scary times. And without these people in my life, I have no doubt my life would way harder to deal with.

Because I am good and I am managing but I am not cured, sometimes, my OCD gets the better of me. I don't like to admit it. I certainly will not cow down to it but sometimes I need to be reminded that my intrusive thoughts aren't who I am as a person. Sometimes I need that little extra boost of someone who understands exactly how I feel even if they haven't had the exact same trigger. Sometimes I just need a reminder that I am a good person and that I am not what my OCD tries to have me believe. And having that as an option is powerful because I grew up without that option and I really struggled with those negative emotions.

Maybe I am crazy and horrid, and a horrible person. Maybe I am capable of what my intrusive thoughts tell me or show me. Maybe I am a murderer/ rapist/ thief/ or satan worshipper in disguise and I just don't know it. Maybe I am gay, or if the person is gay...maybe I am straight. Maybe I am all of these things that don't seem right to me but since my OCD says I am, maybe I am because my OCD is my mind, after all. And who knows you better than your own mind?

This was my mind set years ago. The doubt of who I was a person because the OCD made me doubt my true self. Arguing with it was like trying to save myself from drowning with my hands tied behind my back and weights tied to my feet. The more I struggled the deeper I went under. And it wasn't until I reached out to a really good therapist and some wonderfully understanding family members and friends that I realized that I am NOTHING like what my OCD was trying to make me believe. Nothing. And it doesn't matter what my OCD shows me or tells me, because I know that deep down I am a good person. A loving person. A strong person.

And it doesn't matter how ugly or stupid or gross my OCD says I am, because deep down I know that I am a beautiful person. An intelligent person. A lovable person.

It took me years to understand that just because OCD is in your mind, that doesn't mean it in any way represents you. It is a mental illness not a magic eight ball. It has no bearing on your personality or your worth. It does not predict your future. Just because you have harm fears or sexual fears does not mean that you are some kind of ax wielding murderer in disguise or closeted sexual pervert just waiting to jump out and proclaim your pervertedness. Just because you have blasphemous fears doesn't mean that all of a sudden you are going to leave your home and take a bus to the middle of nowhere to go join a  sock worshipping cult. Just because you have relationship fears does not mean that you will cheat on your spouse or that you don't love him/her enough. That is all a lie... because that is what OCD does. It is the original  liar liar pants on fire.....It is not to be trusted.

No, it can not be cured but that doesn't mean life can't go on and it doesn't mean that you can't be happy. You can. It just means that sometimes it might pop up it's ugly head and do it's best to make you feel miserable about yourself. And when that happens, if you have friends or family that get it or a really good doctor that understands, you might want to reach out to them because OCD is hard and no one should have to try and deal with that by themselves. Especially, since you are nothing like what it is trying to make you believe unless it is telling you how much of a magnificent of a human being you are. And let's face it, OCD never says anything nice. If it did then having it wouldn't suck so much....and it does suck.

Hang in there my dear readers and stay strong, although in reality you are stronger than you even know, right this second.
Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sexual OCD and Issues That Can Arise....


              I live smack in the middle of a country that tends to publicly talk about mental illness like it is something that it scrapes off of the bottom of it's shoe in disgust. As if my reality is something my peers stepped in when they walked in the grass inadvertently. No matter how hard we try and make things like mental illness an open unabashed topic, it is only talked about when it can be ramped up as blame for some horrible deed or sanitized away into a clean happy version of our symptoms. Well, I refuse to be sanitized. I refuse to have the vile and horrid things in my head be described as something neat, tidy, clean, or in any way less horrendous than they actually are. My life is not that way, my OCD is not that way, and I resent the implication my posts should reflect how the media portrays what we go through, so that others are less uncomfortable. If they think reading about the stuff in my head is uncomfortable, they ought to try living with it.

               So, when I write about the taboo topics that are real and yet upsetting, I am not doing it to be heroic nor I am trying to thumb my nose at the media. I do it in hopes that maybe somehow in some small way, I can help just one person going through this know that they are not alone.

               I am not a doctor or an expert,so I do not give advice, but I have had this issue before even though I do not talk about it, ever. I try to be as honest as possible and I know I am not the only person this has happened to, so today's topic is something I am uncomfortable writing about. I do not really like to delve into sexual OCD fears in detail because they make me feel gross. They are upsetting and frankly, they are taboo and I am not one of those people that go around talking about them. It's just not who I am as a person. I am very private about that aspect of my life.....but I have not found any posts discussing the sexual complications of OCD and I kinda feel like it needs to be talked about. People should know this happens and should know they are not alone if this does happen to them. I am probably not the first person one would think would come out and talk about this but what the hell, I have probably written about more embarrassing things before.

                    Sex is a normal part of an adult person's life. It is essential for most marriages, domestic partnerships, what have you. Having OCD and being sexually active can lead to some very uncomfortable issues that can cause a great deal of shame and grief that really have no reason to be there but are. Intrusive thoughts are the hallmark of OCD. They are always unwanted, always uncalled for, always uncomfortable, and always random. They are not something we wish to have nor are they something we have any control over.....and having one during sex can be very upsetting.

                      Most people in their lives, will have an intrusive thought, occasionally. Usually, the person just thinks it is weird and forgets about it. An OCD person has them often but instead of ignoring them, they get freaked out by them and they tend to obsess over them. They feel the need to dissect why they had them and if it in any has any bearing on who they are as a person. They feel extreme guilt and shame for having them and it is a cycle that repeats over and over and over again. Each time making the person more and more miserable. Intrusive thoughts can happen at any time without warning. They usually are blasphemous, violent, or sexual in nature.All of them are disturbing and upsetting. It can be pedophilia images, bestiality images, or a fear of being a sexual pervert or a rapist. It is usually about whatever would disturb you the most, being the sufferer. They can also be triggers that you have encountered earlier in the day, a disturbing movie scene or television show.  The sexual OCD fears aren't always image related, it can also be intrusive fears that you know to be inaccurate but they make you worry. It can be a fear of being gay or if you are gay, a fear of being straight. It can be about a fear of not loving your partner or them not loving you enough or that you secretly want to cheat on them ect.... Really, there is no telling what the intrusive thought will be about or when said intrusive thought will decide to pop up and ruin your day. The only thing you can bet on, is that it will be absolutely horrid and completely unwanted and really upsetting and will cause you to feel guilt and shame after having them.

                              It is bad enough to have such images and thoughts play through your mind during regular daily activities but to have one of these horrid vile intrusive thoughts during sex with your partner is truly horrifying. A thought that upsets you and disgusts you so much that you can not ignore it nor simply wish it away can be a big problem during intercourse. What was something that was pleasurable and intimate, now becomes something you are no longer concentrating on or enjoying because you are desperately trying to focus on anything else but the intrusive thought you are having. You try and put focus on anything in the room a crack in the floorboard, a list of things to do, a song in your head. Anything except what horrible image OCD has decided to ruin your sex life with. Sometimes you can focus and repel the sickening thought away in time to have it not ruin your intimate time and all is right with the world...but sometimes you can't and sex then can become uncomfortable for you. It happens and you learn to deal with it.

             The big problem, is when you experience an intrusive thought during orgasm. Again, these thoughts or images are completely unwanted and unexpected when they happen but they have nothing to do with how your body reacts to sex. So, although neither thing has anything to do with the other, the guilt and shame you feel when this happens is insurmountable. It makes the whole intimacy you were sharing with your partner feel dirty and shameful. It can cause you to not trust sex or even make you want to not have sex at all. It can harm your self esteem. It can make you feel like a disgusting human being. It can make you feel sick to your stomach. And just when you think you may have gotten a handle on all of those upsetting emotions, OCD brings in another helping of guilt and shame every time you remember it or even think about it in any way. Your sex life can become extremely compromised. You connection with your partner can become strained. You may even feel the need to get reassurance that you are not a disgusting awful person because you enjoyed the sex with your partner but not the intrusive thoughts. Because  make no mistake, the doubt will be there. That is what OCD does. It makes you doubt how you feel about the intrusive thoughts even though they disgust you. OCD is a very complicated disorder that uses very a complicated form of mental terrorism to taunt you. Thankfully, OCD is not indicative of who you are. Those images are not something you want or like, whether they plague you inside of the bedroom or out. They are not something you control nor share any blame for. They are not you, they are the disorder and they do not make you a bad person even if you have had the misfortune of orgasming during one. That is just your body responding to sex and not the fleeting intrusive thought. I mean, if you had an orgasm right when you thought about the leg of a chair, you wouldn't assume the orgasm was because you were hot for chair legs, now would you? Of course not, because that would be silly.

                    So, if this is something you have struggles with, you are not alone. It has happened, can happen, and probably will happen at some point, but that doesn't mean that it has anything to do with you or your wants or needs or desires. It doesn't mean that you are bad, or gross, or vile. It just means it is yet another OCD thing trying to get into your life and steal yet another good thing away from you. Don't let it, It isn't you. It is just the sexual OCD. And we all know how OCD sucks....

Ok, writing that really took me way out of my comfort zone but I hope it is helpful to anyone else that has had issues with this...and I hope that you don't let it make you feel bad about yourself. It happens but that doesn't mean we have to let the OCD make us feel bad about something we can't help and didn't want in the first place.

Till next Saturday, stay safe my dear readers, and have a great weekend.
Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bah Humbug...Bah Higgins.....

          Thanksgiving dinner went fantastic. All of my food was great and I finally broke my five year turkey dressing curse in which I have bought stove top as a back up for my mad scientist concoctions of dressing recipes which have all been ultimate failures every year. Inedible bricks. Gross slop in a bowl. Unappealing mushes. Tasteless fluffs. Terrible tongue torturers. This year my sister gave me our old family recipe and it turned out delicious. I am beyond stoked. The curse has broken and all is right in the Thanksgiving world of breads, dressings, and stuffings. I can now officially reclaim my southern woman card now that I can make great dressing and sometimes my homemade gravy is actually edible. Sigh....

.................Now we wait for Christmas to arrive.

              As I brushed my cats tonight, I had a realization. Hobbs loves to be brushed. Lola is over excited when combed. They will actually chase me around the couch if they see me with their brush in my hands. In anticipation of all of the scratches and scrubs the brush gives them, they will flop on the floor and rub their fat fur bodies all over the carpet. But my cat Higgins hates to be brushed. He eyes it with a wariness only those who know the betrayal of a glove of soft rubber bristles will understand. He hides from it. He gives you the stink eye when you edge ever so closely to comb his unruly mane. Brushes are Higgin's number one enemy. Though I have no idea why. The brush has never maimed him. It has never scratched him too hard or even pulled a tangle in his fur. Nary even a hair pull, but he mistrusts it. He dreads it. He hates it.

              And it came to me.....there are two types of people in this world when it comes to the holidays. There are the Hobbs and Lola's of the world loving everything Christmas or holiday related. Basking in the l.e.d. glow of Christmas lights and cinnamon scented candles. Rolling around the eggnog flavored beverages on their tongues. Chasing the big hand holding the holiday sale coupons around the block with glee. They watch Christmas movies and make hot chocolate and string popcorn garlands. They love the smell of Christmas trees and delve into wrapping presents with a gusto rivaled only by Martha Stewart on baking and craft day. They relish everything holiday related and everything holiday related makes them feel happy and accomplished and most of all, warm and fuzzy inside. They love Christmas and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

              Then there are the Higgins' of the world. They are mistrusting of the holiday season. It makes them uncomfortable and edgy. They may have very good reasons for feeling this way or absolutely no reason at all but that does not lessen the truth of their feelings. It makes it no easier for them. They may stink eye other's love of holidays or hide from the crowds of caroling masses. They may ignore the friendly holiday greetings or turn away from the numerous three month long commercial adds proclaiming the holidays are soon upon us. Something about this time of year is upsetting to them, or sad to them, or painful for them and they have to go through it anyway because days will pass and Christmas comes once every year. Just like being a cat that needs to be brushed, it is inevitable. There is no true avoidance of it and we should remember to be extra kind to them.

              I am not saying we shouldn't be jubilant and happy around the season of giving and thanks and family. I am saying we should also reach out to the Higgins of the world and see how they are doing because the holidays can be a very stressful time. It can be a very lonely time. It can be a very hopeless time for some.  While we are focused on buying or making our loved ones gifts for the holidays, we should remember that the best gift is caring about someone to begin with, and we should show how much we care by making sure that the Higgins of the world know that they are loved and appreciated and thought of. Especially, when they are struggling just to get by the hardest part of the year when they are grieving, or depressed, or have anxiety issues, or simply have jerk faces for family members.

            When I brush Higgins, I talk to him nicely and I remember to not brush very hard so he isn't more upset. I make sure to comfort him and make him feel safe. Because really, all anybody wants in this great big world is to be loved and appreciated and to feel safe. People really aren't that different from cats.

              So, be happy if you are a Lola or a Hobbs and celebrate but please remember people like Higgins who aren't as excited about the holidays as you are. Let them know you are there for them. Let them know you care and if you can, let them know that you understand the way they feel because there is nothing wrong with not loving the holiday season either.

 My best wishes to all of the Hobbs and Lola's out there and my understanding and best wishes to the Higgins' of the world as well. We will get through this holiday season, one breath at a time just like we always do.

Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hey You.....Yeah You....

         Well, it is that time of year again when turkeys are roasting in the oven and brown sugared sweet potatoes are being mashed and made into gooey marshmallow covered casseroles. It is a time for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and a ton of dishes to clean up afterwards....Yes it's that time again.

          I have read an astronomical amount of " 26 days of Thankfulness" Facebook posts. Actually, if I am being honest, I should say I have scanned over an astronomical amount of "Thankfulness" posts. I tend to not jump in on trends as a general rule. 

          You see, I know what this holiday is supposed to be about and it isn't supposed to be about me and the twenty six things I am thankful for this year. It is supposed to be about the  pilgrims and the Native Americans joining forces as they learned to live together in peace and harmony. That is what those elementary school plays with the construction paper pilgrim hats say it is about, anyway. That relationship of joining forces kinda went south after how badly we treated the Native people a few years after the "historical Thanksgiving" we all think of when we think of this holiday. A fact they seem to omit  in the window displays of the local grocery stores next to the cardboard cut outs of Thanksgiving cornucopias filled with fruits, bread, squash, and goodwill. There is no mention of that when we go out to buy more canned cranberry sauce and five dollar turkey shaped butter sculptures, though I can't imagine why......(sarcasm). 

             It annoys me, this being thankful for twenty six days trend. Like I have to tell the world what I am thankful for or I am not thankful enough for it. Like I am required to participate in something I think somehow sullies my thanks.

             First of all, I do not have to take stock of why I am thankful for twenty six days a year. I do it everyday. Every morning, I wake up and am thankful for my friends and family that stick by me, love me, and put up with me. That isn't a Facebook quota. That isn't one day a year. That is every damn day, because I am very aware that I am blessed to have those people in my life. I could very well have shut myself away and never let anyone in.

                I am thankful for my friends who push me to do better, to try harder, and to believe in my ability to do things. I am thankful that their belief in me has made me learn to believe in myself. I am thankful for this blog and it's amazing readers. I am thankful, whether I loudly shout it from the rooftops for everyone to hear or if I quietly close my eyes and whisper it to an empty room. I am thankful. Trust me...

               The thing is, I don't feel like I need to list all of the things I am thankful about for twenty six days. I don't feel like twenty six simple days could remotely be enough to cover all of the things in life I am thankful for. Because you see, there were times in my life where my depression had made me blind to those things. There were times when my OCD made me deaf to them. There were times when my battle with my mental illness left me too exhausted to focus or see anything else before me but my own pain and struggles. There were times in my life, when it felt as if I lived inside a sensory deprivation tank unable to feel, or smell, or taste, or think unless it was about my intrusive thoughts. Twenty six days of trendy posts on Facebook couldn't possibly explain that. There really isn't any words to properly describe how bright the world is when you have lived most of it in the dark. It can shine so brightly that it hurts your eyes. The light of it can be blinding.

                 Nor is twenty six days enough to tell the world, or in this case fb, how I used to be so ashamed of my imagined faults, that I had zero self esteem. I let people treat me poorly because I thought that was all I deserved. Or how I was lost to myself for years because I was different and I blamed myself for those differences and judged myself too harshly for them. There is not enough Facebook posts to explain how much I despised myself or how much I grieved for the "normal" life that I would never have, when I realized that my OCD would always be a factor in my life. That I would always have it. That there would never be a day that I could simply wash my hair in the shower and it would wash down the drain with the shampoo suds and bits of soap. I am thankful that I no longer dwell in that place of pain and self doubt. Believe me, I am thankful.

                   I guess it bothers me because my thankfulness is very personal to me. I am aware that many people struggle with the things I have struggled with and may not be able to feel thankful about it right now. I want to be compassionate and supportive in that when dealing with life and all of it's curve balls, sometimes it is too hard to see all of the little things in life. Sometimes it is too hard to feel the sun on your face. Sometimes it is too hard to feel anything at all let alone feeling thankful for anything.

                   I don't feel like, what feels almost like bragging to me, is very helpful when so many are really struggling with all of the issues that have come their way. I am in a good place right now, and I am so thankful for it but that doesn't mean I don't understand what it is like when thankfulness seems an impossibility. I don't need to pressure everyone else to feel that way right now, because it is trendy or the thing to do. It doesn't mean that in my thankfulness to be in a better place mentally in my life, I should ignore those that aren't there yet or turn a blind eye to others that are suffering today. I get it, I really do.

I am thankful, yes, but I would rather not engross myself in that as much as spending the time to tell others that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. To let others know that they are not alone in this fight. That one day thankfulness can come into their lives as well. That thankfulness is not just an fb trend but rather something that happens to you when you are ready to see it and feel it and live it. It will come.

So, if this holiday things are not going the way you had hoped, if things are stressing you out, if things in your life seem completely hopeless....please hang on. The world needs you. Your loved ones need you. You are worth so much more than you know. You may not be able to feel or see or hear thankfulness right now, but those that have you in their lives are thankful that you are there. We are all important in this world, no matter our struggles. We are all meant to be here. We all have a place here, even if you can't yet see yours. On this holiday when the world is thankful for everything, I am thankful for you. Because every person on the face of this planet matters. 

Thanksgiving to me, isn't about overpriced turkeys sculpted out of butter, or canned cranberry sauce, or construction paper pilgrim hats. It isn't about all of the things I am thankful for. It isn't about a stupid twenty six day Facebook post. It is about giving to others. So, I drink a toast to you, whoever you are, the person dealing with so much that they just don't know how to feel. I am thankful for you being here on this earth because believe it or not, you are just as important as everyone else. You belong. You matter. You are a magnificent human being. 

Happy Thanksgiving my readers, I hope it is a wonderful holiday for you all.
Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Don't Like The Label....

                   As all human beings are individuals, I don't like the use of labels or umbrella terms describing us as if we are all identical. Living with any illness, be it mental or physical, you are going to have to come to terms with people labeling you to put you in a category with similar people for statistical purposes or to more easily describe to others what you suffer from. You get used to it, and even get used to using these labels when describing yourself. Because it is easier. Because it is common place. Because  like anything else you repeatedly hear and do, it becomes habit.

                  That being said, I have a problem with the term I am supposed to use for my disorder. I have a problem with the term anxiety disorder when describing my OCD. There I said it. Everyone light your torches and get your pitchforks ready...I don't like the label. I can not speak for everyone, I can only attest to my own thirty two years of having OCD and what my opinion is about those hellish thirty two years. Anxiety disorder as a description is not wrong when it comes to OCD,  but it lacks the complete description of what actually goes on. OCD, to me, is not simply an anxiety disorder. It is an anxiety causing disorder and there is a difference.

               Anxiety happens to everyone at some point in there lives. That isn't what we are talking about here. Anxiety has several disorders under it's wing. We aren't talking abut those in this post, either, although those are equally life altering and important to talk about. We are talking about a mental illness that isn't as much triggered by the anxiety as it causes the triggers to be there in the first place. It causes the anxiety. It creates the issues. Not the other way around and I think just simply calling it an anxiety disorder and not an anxiety causing disorder makes people misunderstand how it works.

                Calling it just an anxiety disorder doesn't explain how OCD fishes through your brain to find the most vile, most revolting, most disturbing thoughts to bother you with. It isn't interested in small things that don't upset you. It wants to horrify you, terrorize you, and make you live in a world of shame and guilt. It needs the anxiety to function, so it must cause it to do so. These thoughts are what cause the anxiety. Once it finds the one thing or three things or ten things that are completely unlike your personality, once it has uncovered something that really disgusts and upsets you, that is the image or thought it hooks onto. That will be the thing you obsess over. That will be the thing it haunts you with, until you learn to desensitize yourself to it. Then it goes fishing again. Once an intrusive thought no longer bothers you, it is dropped by the OCD so it can search for something else to up the ante, crank up the fear, and increase the feeling or horror.

                 No, the term anxiety disorder doesn't quite explain the Hounds of Hell that live inside your head, trying to take over your life by making you feel dirty and shamed, afraid and horrified. It doesn't really speak of the depth you will go to avoid such upsetting thoughts or how much you can end up giving up just to try and prevent the hell that OCD shows you. Calling it an anxiety causing disorder makes way more sense than just calling it simply an anxiety disorder because that is what it does. It causes the anxiety that causes the anxiety. It is more than just a few words under a label. It is my life. It is many other people's lives and it entails way more than simple labels can describe. That is all I am saying.

                    Labeling it as just an anxiety disorder makes some people confuse it with normal anxiety and it is way more than just anxiety to us. It is a life full of undeserving guilt and pain. It is a life full of people misunderstanding your diagnoses. It is a life full of pushing through and jumping over hurdles that OCD purposely puts in your way. It is the hell we are trying to crawl out of one fistful of dirt and ash at a time. To call it anything less than what it is to us and what it does to us feels insulting and sanitized and there never anything sanitized about having OCD. It is an anxiety causing disorder not simply an anxiety disorder and I refuse to call it anything else. I refuse to bow down and live my life under a label I don't believe describes my pain accurately. I refuse to label myself with something that only half describes the hell I live through on a daily basis.  I think it is important to label ourselves correctly if we are going to be forced to wear the labels given to us, around our necks like chains, to make us more easily identifiable by our mental illnesses. So, if we must be labeled, I am  going to label myself by how I feel my disorder affects me. And when asked by others what OCD is, I am going to say it is an anxiety causing disorder because for me, it is the truth. It is my truth and I will wear that chain of labels more proudly if I feel it represents what I live with more clearly to others. I mean, I will probably put charms on my chain and snazz it up with some spray paint or modge podge or something, but I don't mind wearing a chain of labels or a chest plate covered in name tags, or whatever the hell they want to give me to describe my OCD, as long as it is factual to what I go through. I just need factual and honest and real if I am going to have to use labels to define my life's issues. I don't really think that is asking for too much, I mean I could be wrong. But I have to represent myself the way I feel I am not how others think I should be. This is me. My name is Nelly and I have an anxiety causing disorder. I have OCD and I am not letting something as small as a not descriptive enough label hold me down.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween And An Awesome Link....

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all have a terrific holiday and that you all stay safe.

In my last post I discussed the fact that I wrote a pitch and sent into an online magazine that I really admire, CultNoise. Regardless, if my pitch is something they are interested in or not, I want to share their amazing site with you. It isn't just a site about OCD, although there is some very informative OCD articles within. There are opinion pieces and current affairs. There is fashion advice and an entertainment section. There is a whole slew of interesting things to check out...Basically, there is a bunch of really great articles written by really great writers and I felt the need to share all of this "greatness" with you. I am not trying to tell you what to do, or what to read, or who to be, but in my humble opinion, it is worth a good read. Maybe three or four good reads. Heck, you could even make it something you read all of the time, if you want to. I know I do.

So, please check out the link and get your read on. Have an awesome weekend full of joy, laughter, costumes, and maybe if you are very, very lucky lots of candy too.  Please eat it responsibly :)

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Hermit With A Mustache...

        I am tired of the OCD pushing me into a dark corner. I want to shine and feel the sun on my face again. I want to taste the air and feel it on my skin. Sink my feet into the dew dampened earth and breathe in the warm scent of rain. I want to appreciate the silence of winter only broken by the eerie skeleton bone sound, the ice covered tree limbs make whilst clinking together in the wind. I will be damned if this mental illness is going to steal one more thing from me. I don't care how small it is. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this and my OCD can go to hell, where it belongs. I am stronger than it ever thought of being. I just want my OCD to know that I am still here, standing, climbing, crawling, and fighting even though that's not what it wants. I am not going anywhere and I clearly am not going to bow down to it. I am the warrior of my own mind and I will NEVER give up.

       My son jokingly called me a hermit last night.... I have yet to bloom into my full hermit mode, in my opinion. But as I told him with a strong sense of self assurance, I fully expect to get to that point by my mid sixties. I also plan to get one of those mustache tattoos on the inside of my pointer finger so when I put my hands a certain way on my face, I can look as if I have a handle bar mustache. No, I do not care if that is cliche. It's gonna happen....

        I guess I am closed inside my home more than most people, but I have been slowly working on it. I now walk outside for around four miles every other day for exercise. I sometimes sit on my front porch to read. I even went to the grocery store all by myself the other day. I dressed up a bit to go, so I felt good about myself. It was kind of nerve wracking but I didn't have a full nuclear meltdown. I was pretty proud of myself. I am thirty six years old and that was the first time I remember going anywhere completely on my own in the last few years. It wasn't too bad. I may do it again sometime. In all honesty, I was more worried about the fact that my dress was shorter than I was used to and I was afraid one wrong move could show the world my rear end. It didn't but I can't be sure if it was because it was just me being afraid of something new and well fitting or because I did some side ways calisthenics to get the things from the bottom shelves without bending over,  just to be sure. All I can say, is no hind ends were shown and that is a win for me.

           I also have been trying to broaden my horizons with my writing. I was actually terrified to write my piece on the Willard Suitcases. I was afraid that it wasn't good enough or that I would fail and let everyone down. I was afraid it wouldn't read well or that my opinion wouldn't come across. I not only second guessed myself, I third, and fourth , and one hundred and sixty eighth guessed myself. But I think when you have a passion you have to be willing to try even if failure is an option. Thankfully, it was readable and became a post I am very proud of. I got nothing but positive feedback from it which assuaged away any fears of what I sometimes see as my own shortcomings, whether they be real or imagined.

            Last year, I pitched a writing piece to an online magazine hoping they would publish it. They didn't and I shouldn't have tried at that time, anyway, because I wasn't really ready. It just reinforced my OCD negative thinking.  I want to keep trying  new things and sometimes when I have gotten an opportunity to be a part of something small,  I get scared and end up not doing it.  That has to stop. I know that I am a decent writer and that just because something I write does not get picked does not mean anything more than it was not what they were looking for. All of the "I am not good enough", "I am a failure", "Who would want to read something a thirty six year old high school dropout would write, anyway?" OCD thinking can not be allowed to take over my life. I don't need to listen to the lies I tell myself because of my OCD. I am capable of anything I put my mind to, including writing.

            To prove to myself I am at a better place mentally, I sent in a writing piece to a different online magazine. I don't feel worried about it. If they don't choose it, I am not going to be upset. I know it has nothing to do with me personally, nor does it speak of  my skill set. I have to keep trying new things. So, I am going to, and see what happens. If it doesn't pan out, who cares? It is not the end of the world. Publishing doesn't define me, I define me. Getting printed doesn't make me any more or any less talented. I am secure enough in myself now, to have a to hell with it attitude. If it works, awesome, If it doesn't, I will keep trying.

             I am afraid of rejection but I can't let rejection make me fear living my life. Hell, I am afraid of a lot of things. You can't live your life if fear controls it. The worst thing that could happen from this is people saying no. I mean, big deal. It's not like I have never been told no before. So, here I go slowly putting my toes in the water. I hope that it all goes well, but if it doesn't I can handle that too.  My OCD isn't going to be allowed to drive me around anymore. This is my life and I aim to step out of the backseat and actually live it.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

OCD Week...

This week is the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Awareness Week!!!!!!

I would have taken my picture holding the sign like I try and do every year but my face has decided to break out and no one really needs to see that. I have no idea why this happens to me, I am not a teenager and haven't been for a very long time. Anyway, I will just post the poster on my blog sans my face and also the links to how you can get involved with showing support of OCD Awareness week.

OCD Awareness Week

Remember you can show support by using the #OCDweek hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help get OCD Awareness Week trending!

The biggest thing I want people to understand about having OCD is that many people that have OCD do not have the symptoms everyone associates with the disorder. Not everyone has a fear of germs, or contamination fears, or shows physical compulsions. OCD is a very complicated disorder with very complicated symptoms and although all of sufferers have the same types of feelings of guilt for our intrusive thoughts and self doubt, that doesn't mean we all do or have the same symptoms.   You may know someone that suffers from OCD and have absolutely no idea that you do. We tend to hide it as best as we can. So, please support us because we could use it. Please share the awareness for our disorder. It is important that we not only teach others about just what OCD is and how hard it is living with the disorder, but also that we give those of us that suffer from it, a podium to open up publicly about it. We need to be honest, be real, and  help others by tearing down the stigma that surrounds not only our disorder but all mental illness, everywhere.

Thank you for your support,
Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Their Names Matter....

        When the volume of the world around us is ear-splitting, the silence of the stigma we face daily, is deafening. It is proven with the way we treat those that have suffered before us. By the looks we avert and  the absence of our questions. The disregard we pass on to the past. Who were these people? What were their lives like? What were their names?

         Questions that Jon Crispin and his amazing website Willard Suitcases makes us pause and think about. Questions that need to be asked and in some small way, answered.  Willard Suitcases is a record of these people's lives  through the contents of their personal suitcases. With four hundred suitcases ranging from 1910 to the 1960's it is an open and honest depiction into the lives of the patients that called Willard Psychiatric Center home.

        A few days ago I stumbled upon Jon Crispin's work and realized that he had held a mirror to my face. What I found there was something that not only could I not turn away from  but needed to see. It is a window into the past. The past of people much like me and you. People that suffered from the silence of stigma and in many ways, although they are long gone from this earth, still suffer from the affects of it. I saw these people through the eyes of an amazing photographer who showed us their lovingly packed away belongings, the little bits and pieces of their forgotten lives, the soft whispers of their past. I saw their talents as an artist, a leather worker, a budding author, an academic. I saw their dreams and their faces smiling back at me in black and white and sepia tones. At some point, unbeknownst to myself, these pictures of simple suitcases filled with their clandestine contents stopped being something to view out of curiousity and became something very personal to me. I read some of their thoughts, gathered minute traces of their lives, and in doing so found myself lying there somewhere beneath the satin shoes, little carved terriers, books written in German, old records, letters written by loved ones,  blackened shoe polish, matching Bakelite hair brushes, and brightly colored embroidery string. These patients were not silent ghosts that lurked the halls invisible and forgotten. They were people. They were you and me.  I could have been them if I were born in their time. One of those suitcases could have been mine...One of those notebooks could have had my name scrawled across the top in pencil.

       Difference being, that my full name can be printed and photographed and their's can not. Not because they weren't real people. Not because they aren't worthy of such an overlooked privilege, but because they were mental patients and  because of the New York patient privacy laws, their full names are forever redacted. Many of them have numbers on their tombstones instead of names as if their lives did not matter. As if they did not have talents, loved ones, aspirations, or dreams. As if they were simply cogs in a wheel. Nondescript.  Unmentionable. Undesirables, graceless, faceless and nameless because they suffered. Their voices, or in this case names, remain silent. Much like the creator and photographer of the Willard Suitcases site, I feel this is unacceptable.

 Their names matter.

       The sterilization and sanitation of the ignored and forgotten has become all too familiar. The turning of a blind eye to things we do not understand or the shame we dole out onto things that make us feel uncomfortable. These hauntingly beautiful photos speak of a person's life as the individual. Not just as the inmates of an asylum scrubbed raw and washed clean only to become indiscernible from each other. These people had families, friends, lives, and dreams. Lives that don't simply disappear just because they were institutionalized. Having lived in Willard Psychiatric Center in no way makes them any less remarkable, less talented, or less human than anyone else.

       I applaud Jon Crispin and his site for giving these people  their dignity and individuality back and for showing us the humanity the world has stripped away from them for far too long. For showing us the human face behind the diagnoses. For reminding people that mental illness sufferers are not any less unique and individual than anyone else.

In closing:
      Their names should be allowed to be said, printed, and remembered. They deserve to be heard in death as they should have been in life. They should have their names on their grave markers above their bodies. They deserve to be seen. We have to stand not just for their names but by their names because it is not just  taking a stand for these remarkable people, it is taking a stand for all of those that came before them and for all of us that have come after. They deserve better.

      I have never been to New York. I have never visited Willard, but that doesn't change my opinion on doing what is right. These remarkable people deserve to be recognized for the people they were and the lives that they lived and should not be allowed to fade away from history slowly and deliberately, simply because they suffered from mental illness.

Please take a a few minutes to look at Jon Crispin's site  Willard Suitcases and leave him a message of support for his remarkable work in keeping these people's memories alive and in the public eye.

And if the story of these people has touched you in any way, please check out these links to help support the cause of giving back these wonderful souls the rights to their names.

For a more detailed look at Willard Psychiatric Center and it's suitcases story click here to purchase:
The Lives They Left Behind:Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic by Darby Penney.

For more information and updates on what is being done to restore the name rights to the former patients of Willard Psychiatric Center, please check out The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project.

For New York residents that want to get involved, Legislation for The Willard Cemetery Memorial Project.

For more information on the patients of Willard Psychiatric Center, check out The Inmates of Willard by Linda S. Stuhler and a link to her book The Inmates of Willard 1870-1900 a Genealogy Resource.

Their names matter. They always did, and they always will.

Neurotic Nelly

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


It has occurred to me that I have not changed anything on my blog in about year. I have this thing where I have to rearrange my furniture about every three months or things seem dirty and stale. I guess this is my way of rearranging my furniture in blog form. I have a new blog post coming up that I am really excited to share with you guys but I just couldn't stand to post it in the old format. It somehow felt...well dirty and stale. I even made myself change the description because even though the old description was me trying to be inspirational, it somehow seemed to lack the fact that I am a severe OCD sufferer with a sense of humor. (I am not claiming it is a sense of humor everyone else gets, but it a sense of humor of some kind.) Speaking of titles and descriptions,  it really irritates me that the title has to be on the side and  can not placed in the middle. It also frustrates me that I had to put the three dots to separate the "by Neurotic Nelly" because it was all stuck together. Ugh.

I'm just not going to look at it. I refuse to be beaten by Blogger's refusal to make titles go where they are supposed to. This me ignoring it.....after three hours of fiddleling with it and slowly driving myself insane.

I hope you guys like the update and that it is easier to read. Please ignore the fact that my cat's ear seems to have become some odd superhero ear that stretches all the way to the left side. I have the worst luck in figuring out how to make the background fit perfectly. Everyone has a cross to bear...never having a background that fits correctly is mine. What can ya do? I'm just not going to look at it....I am not going to even mention how long I fiddeled with the background. We don't have enough time to go through all that. It was too painful to relive...(place various excuses here).

My new post should be posted in the next few days. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and please let me know how you feel about my blog changes, unless it is about my cat's ear. Just don't look at it and it will go away. That's how I am dealing with it currently...

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, September 25, 2015

It Might Have Been Hobbs.....

                    Last night, I returned from my four mile walk, thirsty. As I opened my refrigerator I noted a pitcher of fresh tea, a half gallon of milk, and a mysterious shiny brown flat Lego piece just haphazardly laying on the shelf. Now as a parent of two boys, I have run across some odd things in my fridge that don't belong. A slinky, a pair of foam hulk hands, a ball, peanut butter, a half eaten cookie dried and gross just to name a few. My oldest likes to put the little rubber holder for my e-cigarette on the back inside of the fridge to mess with me because it is a suction cup....but these things have happened over the years not recently. The Lego placement was new. Mind you, my kids are now thirteen and almost nine. So, I asked each of them separately who put it there. After the foam hulk hands incident, I no longer ask why because kids are weird and there is absolutely no answer they could possibly give you that would make any kind of sense. It isn't really important why there was a Lego in my fridge. It doesn't stop time and open up a parallel universe. I just like to know for sanity's sake, who put it there, because otherwise I am going to think I did it. Like the time I put the block of cheese on top of the refrigerator instead of inside the refrigerator. I just want to make sure I am not sleepwalking or losing what little sanity I have left now that I am homeschooling two children. I know it wasn't my husband and I am certain it wasn't me unless I truly am a sleepwalker, and since I have never woke up in the bathtub after eating a cat food sandwich, I am fairly confident I am not. That leaves the two other humans in this house.

Neither child "claims" to have done it. I tried the parental eyeballing while asking politely. My oldest laughed a bit, something he does when he might be telling me a story. He claims it because my face is funny when I do that. I claim it is because he is a bad liar. My youngest however, offered up fanciful explanations on who could be responsible. His answer? The cats.

Let me just give you a rundown of my four cats my youngest has named as suspects, for a moment.

Higgins is a two year old slightly crossed eyed cat that spends his days laying on homework but only as you try to work on it. He is lovable and funny albeit slightly stupid. I love him but he is not the brightest cat I have ever seen. He isn't completely innocent as he plays with stolen goods. He loves playing with balls but only the balls he has shredded off of my favorite pair of house slippers last year. He plays with them right in front of me too unabashed and unashamed.

Lola is Higgins's sister. She is smarter, goofier, and squshily fat. When she is not catching and eating flies and then throwing them back up in neat tidy piles around the house for me to clean,  she can be found laying around on her back like an overstuffed burrito on my youngest's computer chair. She too is not completely honest as she demands you to sit on the chair with half of your butt hanging off because she has claimed this particular chair as hers and refuses to leave it even if you really need to sit down.

Then there is Marley, who is an outside light orange cat we took in before we moved. He is sweet and very much a lap cat although he has some serious boundary issues. He likes to lay on your face when you lie down, possibly in an effort to suffocate you in your sleep. He has a chubby face though, which makes him irresistible even if does he has a disturbing habit of forcing you to make eye contact while he poops in the litter box....ew.

 And finally that leaves the last suspect, Hobbs. Hobbs is my 13 year old dark orange, great and wonderful, gelatinous ball of flab and fur that insists on being petted constantly especially by strangers that come to the door. He Loves boxes and children and sleeping on your head like a hat. He occasionally tries to eat your hair, has an affinity for licking grocery bags and plastic shower curtains, meows with a meow that can only be described as sounding like an 80 year old woman with a smokers cough, drinks with his paw like a princess, and has an addiction to yogurt and amaretto coffee creamer. Which he does only when you are not looking because even though he weighs twenty two pounds he is somehow very sneaky. He also makes it a point to swipe the inside side of the litter box lid instead of covering his own poo because he feels the rules just don't apply to him.

I mean, none of these cats seem like putting a Lego in the fridge is beyond their pattern of behavior. I might even consider it as a strong possibility if the fact that cats don't have opposable thumbs didn't keep getting in the way.... Sure they are sneaky, and rude, and selfish but that is all cats.

I don't know does this face seem guilty to you?

On second thought, it might have been Hobbs.....

Neurotic Nelly

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Right Choice...

         I have begun to dread bedtime for my kids and the morning time right before we have to leave the house. Waiting to see if anxiety is going to plague my youngest child and make it impossible for him to go to school. I had once thought that having the same diagnoses and issues would make it easier for me to know how handle this.  I now know better. What I have learned through all of this is I now see both sides of the coin. I see what is like to be the parent of a child with extreme anxiety but I also know what it is like to suffer from the extreme anxiety my child suffers from. Neither side is pleasant. I thought it would make it simpler to deal with. That it would offer some unforeseen help in this matter. That I would have a better handle on things because I can relate. It was supposed to make this easier. It doesn't. What I have found, is that I think it in some ways makes it harder. I do not have the luxury of pretending I don't know what he is going through. I do know and it guts me every single day.

The decisions I have to make are  like a weight hanging over my head, threatening to crash down on me at any moment. Do I make him go to school through his horrid panic attacks or do I give in? When do I make this decision? What do I do with the disapproval of others thoughts on the matter (the school) that don't have to look at his tiny little face welling up with tears and agony? How do I wade through all of the over emotion and mental baggage while still holding my child's hand as I plaster on a brave face and not get frustrated because I do not have the answers I once thought I would have? How do I do the right thing when I am often unsure of what the right thing is? It feels like every decision I make is of monumental importance and yet has perilous consequences all at the same time. What if I make the wrong choice and it causes more anxiety? What if I home school but it damages his future to be productive because he becomes unable to leave the house at all? What if I force him to go to regular school and it scars him further? What if? What if? What if? Which do I choose? What is the lesser of the two evils?

Where as I am more than comfortable talking about my thirty two year struggle with my OCD, I am left paralyzed by my son's. Frozen with the fear of the things he will go through and the struggles he will have to deal with. I know the suffering too well, too intimately to pretend it does not affect him the way it does. I am crazy not naive. I am frustrated by my lack of being able to help him with something I have immense experience in. It is a great irony that I should know so much about my OCD and yet feel completely helpless on how to help him with his. I am afraid of the anxiety stealing away parts of his life. Small bits at first like it did with me. So small one doesn't pay much attention until it is too late. A day or two of school. Then a few weeks, then months. Having to drop out because you have missed so much or are too overwhelmed to walk out the front door. The slow but deliberate taking of dreams. The loss of going to college, the loss of going out freely in public, the inability to finish any trade school and get a license. The taking of the ability to work part time and then eventually the ability to work at all. The loss of being able to leave the house without a great amount of discomfort and stress.  The gross amount of time it took from me, pilfered from my existence, stole out from underneath my clinched hands as I tried so desperately to hold onto it, is not what I want for anyone let alone my own child....I don't think even then, I really appreciated the extent of anxiety''s hunger. It is always waiting, it is never full. Once it gets a taste of your dreams, hopes, and desires it becomes a ravenous beast, devouring everything in it's path.

I go on and try and portray positivity to my son. I make his lunches for school each night and hold back the tears of feeling completely defeated. Will he even be able to get to eat this today? Will he even be able to smile again in the mornings? I miss that. His smile before heading off to school with his friends. Anxiety has stolen that from me as well but even more, it has stolen it from him and that is unacceptable.

We have made appointments for more therapy beyond the school therapist, because the school therapist is not able to help him like he needs, but there is a wait. One for almost a month away and one for an actual month away and I can't help but wonder what we are supposed to do in the mean time. Do we keep going on like there isn't a big pink thieving elephant in the room taking up space in our lives and grasping away bits and pieces of my son's life? Do we just keep calling the school and saying he had a panic attack and couldn't make it in again? I feel so helpless, so stupid, so unprepared. He needs more than what he has right this second and he needs it yesterday, not a month away. What happens when the negative self talk starts in? Because it will. Is he going to think badly of himself because he has this? Is he going to hate himself and think of himself as weak or broken like I did at his age? How do I combat that? How do I stop that from happening to him as we wait for more time pass before we can get the help he needs?

 I have been open and honest with him and told him he is like me, we will do this together, he can do it, and how much I love him and yet I feel like a complete failure as a parent. Your one job as a parent is to protect your child and be there for them. To be their champion. The only thing I am the champion of right now is a bunch of unanswered questions and a whole bunch of fears that somehow either path I choose to help him is fraught with disaster. I just need someone to tell me what to do...which is the right path....because there is too much riding on this...it has to be the right one.

 Monday he had a two and half hour long panic attack at school and they did not let him go home. I am over this. I have decided to pull him out and have him home schooled for the rest of this year as we get him the help he needs. We can try regular school again next year but he can't go to regular school, which is his biggest trigger, if he doesn't have the therapy and support he needs to get through it. I just hope I am making the right choice for him. I hope I am doing right by him not only as his mother but as a fellow anxiety OCD sufferer. I hope I am picking the right path for him to take.....because it is all about him and what works for him and what helps him. Everyone else's opinion, including the school's, at this point has lost it's validity and is background noise to me. I must do what I feel is best. Just please, please, please God, let this be the right choice....

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, August 28, 2015

What About Our Asses?

I am now afraid of the toilet...and it is all  my mother's fault.

Two weeks ago while my husband was cleaning out the garage he asked me to come downstairs and look at a little friend he found. By words such as little and friend I was under the impression that this little friend would be something cute and well, little. What I saw, however, ran a chill in my bones. He motioned me to the sewer drain and proclaimed that something adorable was inside. This is the point where I should have realized my husband loves animals a little too much.....It was not some tiny little mouse, or a playful puppy, or a tiny kitten. No, when he removed the drain cover what popped out was a beady little eyed monster that kept washing it's face in sewer water. This was not friendly, this was not cute, this was a rather large sewer rat.

My pulse quickened. My mouth became dry. I could feel the icy fingers of my OCD niggling in the back of my neck. "Isn't it cute?" he said.

Oh, sure, sure it was. If by cute you mean cute like the Bubonic Plague, Weil's Disease, Rat Bite Fever, or Hanta Virus cute. If you mean cute like tearing off your own arm with your own teeth rather than touch anything it has ever touched as cute then yeah, it's cute alright. I am sure people that got the Black Death just thought these creatures were truly adorable. I know I felt all warm and fuzzy as it made eye contact with me, watching me watching it, as it cleaned it's disease covered hands with it's disease covered face.

And I may have possibly screamed (not going to confirm or deny) as it decided to go back into the pipe it so hideously came out of and back into whatever sewer system it dwells in. I felt better after it was gone. I felt safer and cleaner.

But then, I mention this whole incident to my mother because I now question my husband's sanity a tiny bit and she mentions that sewer rats can climb out your toilet.... .... .....I am just going to pause here a minute and compose myself while letting that little "I probably didn't need to fucking know because ignorance is bliss" factoid sink in.

My reaction was that of a total nuclear meltdown. I begged her to explain to me why she felt the need to share this little nugget of information with me knowing how truly fucked up in the head I am. I mean, I have been hovering my pasty white rearend over the toilet for thirty six years in my own houses and never once have I ever had a second thought about whether or not I could be hovering over a rat washing it's face in poop water. Did I need to know this? Um....no. Fear welled up in my voice. Panic set in. I immediately went into the bathroom and shut the toilet lid. The last thing I needed was to be thinking that beady eyed bastard was walking around in my house somewhere after it took a Sunday stroll through my toilet pipes only to munch on my face while I was asleep. Assuming I will ever truly sleep again...

I was told it can't happen to me because I have cats but let's be real for a second, I know my cats. I have had them for years. I have watched them as creepy crawly spiders have run across the floor and they were to busy licking their own butt to give a damn. They saw said spiders, they just didn't care. They won't even get up off of the couch for a treat. They expect you to bring it to them. They are so lazy you could leave the house for six hours, come back and they would still be in the same spot napping. Maybe someone else's cats would be a deterrent. Not my cats. They are lazy fat asses. I love them to pieces but it is the truth.

I get that there are rodents, I know there are such things as sewer rats, I am not judging. We are all God's creatures. I just prefer that some of God's creatures stay the fuck away from where I sleep, eat, and poop. I don't think I am asking too much. I mean, I don't pop up in his little rat house unannounced washing my face with his poo water now do I? It's common courtesy. That is all I am saying.

 Pooping will never be safe for me again....Great just great.

And finally, just as I got these images out of my mind after a week of obsessing and deflecting my new found terror of the commode, I go on facebook and my dear friend, who I had not told the rat story to, had felt the need to post an article about how easy it is for a rat to crawl out of your toilet. Seriously????? Is there some kind of rat in the shitter conspiracy I am unaware of? Did she too find an "adorable little friend" in her drain? Because if so, I think I am going to just start pooping in the yard. I don't need this kind of anxiety in my life....

I mean, we can put a man on the moon but nobody has figured out in the 400 years of having toilets how to create one that prevents Cinderella's little helpers from getting into your house and biting your ass?  Am I the only one a little freaked out about this?  What about our asses, people? Who is protecting our asses???!!!????

If I ever lift that lid and see one of these evil disease spreading bastards looking up at me I am going to burn my house down, starting with the toilet. I am not even kidding. I can go back to pooping like it is the 1300's. I can find a bucket like that crazy hobo my mother saw last year copping a squat by a junked out car on the side of the road as she drove downtown. We all  thought he was gross and crazy but maybe just maybe he once had a toilet and lifted it's lid only to be bit on the ass. Maybe he's not the crazy one.  Maybe we are, playing poop russian roulette every time we sit down unawares and unconcerned on the porcelain throne. Eh? Eh?

I mean if you think about it, the only thing that could possibly keep a rat from coming out of your toilet is the lid that we all take for granted as a seat because it is implied that is what the lid is for. And as times have changed we made the lid out of cheap light plastic so it is more sleek and stylish instead of the first lids created out of heavy wood. Now I ask you, if a rat can hold it's breath for fifteen minutes, can tread water for three days, can survive a fall from five stories, can swim a half a mile in the open sea, can dive 100 feet underwater, can crawl vertically along walls, and can chew through aluminum sheeting, plaster, wood, rubber, and concrete block.....are we actually naive enough to believe a thin light weight lid made of plastic is going to keep them  from crawling out of your toilet...yeah, right, sure it is. I don't know about you but I no longer feel safe in my own bathroom.

I am now afraid of the toilet.....and I just want to thank my Mom. Thanks Mom. I needed to be just that much crazier.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Shit Day and A Piss Pot.....

Well today is going to be a shit day.....

I was going to write on Tuesday like usual but life got in the way, as it often does, and more stress has decided to take up residence in my life. I am trying to breathe.....I am not sure I am doing it right. I mean, it looks like I am breathing but I don't feel any better about it. I think I am breathing through all of this but between my clenched teeth and white knuckles, I am not so sure...I may just be drowning and am too busy paddling the waves of stress to realize it. Can you actually drown from stress? If you don't hear from me on Tuesday, I guess we will have an answer to that....Hopefully I will find a life jacket soon.

I think people sometimes get irritated with me because I am a positive thinker. I can understand that the glass is always half full can be an annoying concept. But reality is, that I can not afford to dwell in my misery with no hope of salvation. No hope of a light at the end of the tunnel. No hope that things will eventually work themselves out. I have to believe that, because if I didn't I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning and face, obvious shit days like today is going to be. I need hope to keep fighting. I wish more people could understand that. I am positive not because I am a positive person but because I have to be to survive.  I was not born a ray of sunshine, I will myself to be a ray of sunshine because beneath this happy looking exterior I am a boiling pot of over pressurized stress. I am simply trying to continue to hold the walls around me up. Granted my walls are currently held together with chewed bubble gum, used tape, and wet newspapers but I am a firm believer in working with what you are given. And I was given recyclable refuse.

Again, I am confronted with the same ole, same ole issue of people thinking I am dealing well because I appear to be dealing well. Well, I am not dealing well. I am just really good at faking it and I would love to let my hair down and just fall apart at the knees but I have responsibilities, and kids, and shit to do today so I do not have the luxury of full nuclear meltdown this morning. I am not sure anyone would understand if I lost it right now and locked myself in my crappy closet sized bathroom and shut out the world for a few minutes while I ball my eyes out, anyway. I need sleep. I need a break. I need a good old cry.......I don't have time for that right now though. I guess losing my complete composure will just have to wait. What I wouldn't give for the fairy God mother to be real so she could turn that sewer rat I saw in my basement drain into a a beautiful white horse so I could ride away. I don't have a pumpkin to make into a carriage but I think I saw a half rotted peach in the back of my fridge this morning. She's a fairy so surely she could make something you could ride in out of that...

If I were still in Texas, I would say that I don't have a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of but there seems to be an over abundance of piss in my life right now. I don't have money for a pot to piss in but  I can't have this much piss and not have one so maybe I just have a cheap hand me down pot that smells of  old bologna and asbestos that used to belong to my great great grandfather and I am unaware of it........I am pretty sure this is too much piss for one person. Clearly someone else is pissing in my pot uninvited and unannounced....How rude. They could at least have the decency to rent it from me first.

Yes, today is going to be a shit day and I accept that but because I strive to see the positive side in things, I am going to see this piss pot as half full of shit instead of half empty...although, I am uncertain if that is actually a positive thing to want...

Till next Tuesday my friends, I hope today is treating you far better than it is treating me,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blow Out The Candles and Laugh Out Loud....

Monday was my 36th birthday and my mom's 57th. We celebrated on Saturday at her house.

My mom picked out the candles.....

Birthdays mean a lot to most people but for me it is deeper because I get to share mine with one of the strongest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am honored to share that special day with her.

It started on Friday night when we decided to try and dye our eyelashes at home. My advice is don't....Redheads have blonde/red eyelashes and it makes us look like we don't have any. Mascara is nice but there tends to be gaps near the root where the mascara won't get. We tried the dye and other than thinking I may have blinded myself, I saw no difference except where the dye had gotten on my skin. My mother had a slightly better outcome but I didn't feel the feeling of chemicals in my eyeball was worth it. I think we will just get it done professionally next time...

Then when went to the store to get me a new dress. Every woman should have at least one fancy outfit for special occasions and none of my old dresses fit anymore. We found really great deals and I got out of there fairly cheap.

After makeup and doing my hair we left to go to our chosen restaurant....we picked the wrong one. It took 45 mins to get our cokes. The waitresses were really busy so I wasn't upset about it but after another twenty minutes I was starting to wonder if the kitchen area that all the waitresses kept going back to was actually the Bermuda Triangle of wait staff. We were given spinach dip that resembled something scraped off of the windshield. It tasted so strongly of onions that I had to resist the urge to expel it from my mouth with such force it would have ended up on my mother's forehead, I forced myself to swallow this offending spinach. I almost didn't make it. I thought I was going to die. I was not so secretly hoping that the rest of the food would be better.

Then after an hour and a half our food order came. Well, more accurately my mother's food order came. Mine had apparently been given to another table on accident and they ate it. The manager came over to apologize profusely and offer my meal for free. He acted as if the people of the table had stolen my sandwich. I wasn't too worried about it, I mean if someone has given my plate to another table I sure hope they eat it after they breathed all over it because I sure as hell am not going to.

Thirty minutes later my food arrives. My only regret is that someone else wasn't there to have "stolen" my second sandwich. It was terrible. It tasted as if someone had drenched it in pickle juice. I later found out my mayo may have been separating. The manager came over to ask me how it was and he had so much hope in his eyes I lied to him and told him it was great.....I just couldn't do it. I could not tell him that I would have rather went out to the parking lot and licked the tar off the tires of my car rather than finish this sandwich. This free sandwich....beggars can't be choosers.

So I ate half of it just out of hunger and we left. It was so funny. I rarely get upset at hiccups like this. I do however laugh my ass off. I mean as far as birthday dinners go it was pretty bad. But it was the company I had rather than the food I ate and I was happy to have just spent the day with my mom. To talk to my mom. To laugh about my bad luck with food with my mom.

We then had cake at mom's with the rest of the family and opened gifts. I got some cool things and I was really excited to get my new fangled cheese grater........Moral of the story is always appreciate the good things you have, especially the people, and learn to laugh at the small stuff. It isn't important and it makes for great story telling. Just blow out the candles and make a wish and laugh out loud.

I also learned that with my dress on sale and my meal being free, I am a cheap date, so there is always that. :)

With sincerest regards,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Greatest Tragedy......

         I am going to go into a territory that is going to make everyone uncomfortable and I am going to go there because someone has to. It needs to be said but more importantly it needs to be heard.

         This country and it's media are adept at avoiding it's problems head on. We are masters of deflecting and sensationalizing. We stick to our ideals and angrily attack others for theirs and yet no one is listening to anyone and no one is getting the bigger picture. Someone needs to step up and be honest and I think it should come from our community because we know what is really going on. I am a representation of this community. The mental illness community. I am mentally ill.

         We have had these horrible incidents of mass murder, carnage and pain, blood and bullets. Yet instead of reporting the facts, instead of having an honest conversation, what we do is sensationalize and look to the first thing we can look to to explain the events.

          In the eighties asylums and mental hospitals were shut down at such a rate the many mentally ill people who had resided in them were left destitute and homeless. Unable to get the proper support they needed, they lived on the streets ignored and overlooked for decades. And as the people that needed help languished in poverty and filth, laws were passed to make having adults committed to mental illness facilities almost impossible unless the person first tried to harm themselves or had committed a violent crime. Problem being, that many of our mass shooters have never committed a violent crime until they became mass shooters.....pretty terrible loophole right?

           America, we do not have a gun problem. We do not have a racism problem. Are these two things problematic and causing issues? Yes, but that is not what is going on here. America, we have a mental illness problem and it needs to be addressed.

           We as a country love symbols. They are simple and neat and convenient to blame when things go horribly wrong. We want to look at inanimate objects as the cause of our issues instead of the root of the whole problem. It is much easier to blame guns, or flags, or people that have been dead for over 150 years and make it seem like we are making progress because in this country we have accepted that we don't really need actual progress, just the symbolism of it. Symbols make great scapegoats. They are easy targets. Take them away or call for their desecration and on the surface it appears that we have solved our ills. We have cut out the offending issues. We have accomplished something.

          The only problem is, we are not looking at the right problem to fix. We are not even addressing the real issue. Symbols are neat and tidy and fixing the actual issue is messy and hard. We have become lazy and we accept our laziness as long as we are able to sleep peacefully at night because we have gotten rid of inanimate objects instead of the very animate issue. Our denial makes us feel safer. Our denial is slowing killing us.

         I am not a doctor, but I can see the problem very clearly because I belong to the community of those who are overlooked or ignored. I know when someone goes and shoots up a theater, or a church. or a school that it isn't because of guns or flags or whatever the media wants to spew out of it's mouth hole. These people are insane.  These are the people who's families have tried to get them help but were turned away. These are the people who can not get or do not take the medications they need to stay functioning. These are the people that said and acted as if something was very wrong with them and people ignored it. The world ignored it. The system ignored it.

       And why? Because this system is fundamentally broken. Laws have been passed with loopholes so large you could drive a train through them. Lack of funding. Lack of desire to try and fix it. Lack of understanding. Lack of staff. Lack of empathy. Lack of proper medication. Lack of fighting stigma. Lack of accurate representation. Lack of media truth. Lack of proper places to go. Lack of places that are willing to help. Lack of education on mental illness. Lack of honesty about just what is going on here. No this isn't just a symbol problem...this is a "lack there of "problem.

      Many people knew these people needed to be committed but there was no one left willing to take them, no place left to help them, and nothing left to stop them.

      I say it isn't solely about guns because when someone has gone this far they will use anything to kill whether it be bombs, knives, or sharpened spoon handles. I say it is not solely about racism because there is racism all around this world for every single race and yet most people, ignorant as they may be, do not go and shoot up a church and murder nine innocent people. I am not saying he wasn't a racist, I am simply saying he killed because he is insane.

       President Obama in a speech once said that America doesn't have a monopoly on crazy people and he is right. Except that what America does have a monopoly on, is a poor understanding and an extreme sense of denial when it comes to "crazy" people. We are one of the few countries still willing to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that mental illness plays no part in our daily lives....

These people didn't slip through the cracks, they were thrown out of the door without so much as a second thought.

Adam Lanza's mom tried to get him help but was turned away.
James Holmes's family knew something was wrong but was unable to stop him.
Aaron Alexis was known to be violent and had acted violently but it was all brushed over.
Dylan Roof's friends had seen his bizarre behavior and said nothing.
John Russel Houser's family was so terrified of him that they fled and got a protection order against him.

No one listened and no one cared....until it was too late.

       None of their victims had to die. It was not inevitable. It was not unpreventable. It was not fate. It was ignorance and the lack of support. It was pure and simple denial and it makes me wonder how many more times this will have to happen before people stop making it about their political agendas, stop making excuses, stop blaming symbols, and start to open their eyes.

      The truth is that until we fix the system that is supposed to catch people that are like this, this will continue. You can protest and shout about the symbols all you want. It changes nothing. Change comes with fixing the problem that creates the shooter in the first place. Change comes from fixing a broken system that makes helping people like this before they get this bad, impossible. Change comes from seeing the truth.
This system is supposed to protect not just the rest of the world from these people but also protect them from themselves.

       We, in the mental illness community, don't like to talk about these mass killers because we do not like to be associated with them. Statistics prove that we are far more likely to victims of violence rather to commit it. We don't want to blamed when these nut-jobs do this but on the other hand, it is everyone in America's fault because although we know it's a problem, no one wants to really look at it. No one wants to do the arduous task of fixing it. No one wants to get their hands dirty with this. It is much easier, much safer to claim it is because of something else and not look the problem directly in the eye. No matter how many people it kills before we get intelligent about it.

      If anyone had bothered to ask the mental illness community, we could have told you how broken this system is. How inadequate it has become. How ridiculous the laws to prevent people that need to be committed are. How tiny the funds for mental care facilities are. How many mental illness sufferers are taking up most of our jails rather than being treated. How many hospitals don't have enough beds for those that need them. How we are running a race to a finish line that makes no sense nor has any rewards because the decks are stacked against us. We are either blamed or ignored but no one wants to actually listen and that is probably the greatest tragedy of all. These types of acts could be minimized and maybe even prevented all together if only people stopped ceasing to ignore the obvious, simply because it is the easier thing to do.

Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Doctors......Warning Possible Triggers....

No one really likes to go to the doctors office but for me it is like the seventh level of Hell. I don't actually know where that saying comes from, but if Hell has levels than the doctor's office has to be somewhere in there right?

It isn't just that I have contamination fears and will be around sick people (which is bad enough) but I have had some bad life lessons from the doctor's office. I don't remember hating them before the tooth pick debacle of 86  unless I had to get shots, which all children despise even thought they are a necessary evil.

When I was about seven years old I had to go to the doctors because of my foot. My Dad had this annoying habit of chewing tooth picks and breaking them and throwing them on the ground. I had the bad habit of walking everywhere barefoot (still do). I stepped on something and felt it go into my foot but saw nothing when I looked at it. I continued to play. I told no one and no one was the wiser until a few days later when I was no longer able to put weight on it. Then came the red streaks which meant I had an infection and there was definitely something in there. So, we went to the doctor and sure enough they had to numb it as best as they could and remove whatever I had stepped on. Mind you, past a certain point numbing medicine doesn't work and this was one of those points. I remember flailing and screaming and finally they were able to cut and pull out a half of a toothpick out of my heel. I remember all of it, the pulling, the grabbing it, the cutting.....not a real great memory to remember.

Then I had this wonderful doctor that used to whistle bird calls when he looked into your ear. He was kind and funny and kinda looked like Colonel Sanders. We moved away after having him as my doctor for about a  year. He was one of the only doctors that made me not hate going to the doctors office. He made me feel comfortable and less scared. I found out that a few years later he had contracted A.I.D.S. and most of his patients left making him have to shut down his practice. He was later found stabbed to death in his own bathtub. Very sad. He was a really great kid's doctor and the whole story makes me really upset. He deserved better than that.

Then there was the asshole fraud psychiatrist that scared my family into committing me so he could abuse the system and suck up all of the insurance money when I was ten. I hope he lost his ability to commit children when he was sued for fraud. Actually, I hope he rots in Hell but that isn't a very nice thing to say so I have to say I hope he is rotting in jail somewhere instead. But I highly doubt us, his many victims, could get so lucky.....Bastard.

Not to mention, the doctor who gave me my first stitches but didn't realize, I at the time, had a huge fear of needles. He thought he would just say out loud it needed a couple of stitches and go on like it wasn't a big deal for me. That went swimmingly....not. Just ask my mother, she probably still has bald patches where I snatched her hair out. I was around twelve years old.

Or the perv psychiatrist I had when I was twenty one, who made sexual comments to me when I was in need of actual counseling even going so far as to make me lift up my tank top when I was braless once to "check my heart rate". Something he never had done before the whole time I had been seeing him ....He too should be in prison but I was too embarrassed to say anything. Not to mention I figured I had no proof of his actions. He made sure we were alone. I was really ashamed and uncomfortable.....he was also a Bastard.

Or the E.R. doctor that felt the need to shove his finger into my open wound after I had accidentally impaled my shin on a stick when I was twenty six. No he did not numb it first. No he did not warn me first. He just stuck his finger in it up to his knuckle and moved it around.....That was pleasant. I secretly think he may have been a sadist.

So, yeah doctors are not my favorite past time for obvious reasons.  And I have a new appointment with my new doctor tomorrow and I am absolutely freaked out about it. I know it will go fine, probably. I am worried about my test score for my diabetes. I am worried he will be an asshole. I am worried he will be inept or mean or just plain rude. I really hate when that happens. Anyway, I have waited six months to see him and my anxiety is literally through the roof.  Ugh, I don't want to go but I have to. Ugh and double ugh. Anyway, I am just really hoping above all else, I can get my anxiety under control and make it to this appointment without a panic attack because I have to take good care of myself and that , unfortunately, means going to my biggest triggering place, the doctors office.

Wish me luck,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's Not A Sidebar.....

        I was watching a news channel yesterday and came across a story about a man cycling for awareness of a disease that killed his wife. He wants to promote awareness and raise money and I applaud him for that. My problem was the way the news sanitized his wife's illness and death.

        First, they both called her Depression a mood disorder. They did it repeatedly and then said that Depression had killed her. At no point did they mention mental illness anywhere in this supposed news article. At no point did they say that she killed herself.

        My problem with this is that it seemed very sanitized, very PC, very scrubbed clean and there is nothing clean or orderly about Depression.

        Is Depression a mood disorder? Yes, but lets call a spade a spade shall we? Depression is a MENTAL ILLNESS. Say it. Say it often, roll it around in your mouth until it feels familiar. Stop being afraid of these two words. Stop shying away from this term. We as sufferers have learned to use it without attaching stigma to it and so should everyone else. This woman didn't have Leprosy, she had Depression. It doesn't need to be dumbed down or sugar coated. It certainly wasn't sugar coated for her when she was suffering from it. She killed herself. Her Depression made her life so unbearable, so unspeakable, she was so desperate, she suffered so much that suicide, to her, seemed like the only option. Don't you dare sugar coat or undermine what she went through.

         You see, as a mentally ill person, I find the sanitizing and politically correct scrubbing of the struggles we go through on a daily basis an insult. It represents that what we go through is somehow less painful or less ugly or more acceptable.

         This woman didn't die from Depression. She committed suicide. There, I said it. I know it is hard for other people to hear that word, or read that word, or understand that word but you can not and should not whitewash that word into something less awful, less devastating. Because there is nothing beautiful or soothing about suicide. Yes, Depression is the reason she killed herself but say that. Don't over look the choice she made and the horrors she faced by saying she died from Depression and not explain what it made her do. If for some reason, you can not bring yourself to say the word suicide then simply say she lost her battle with Depression.

            Look, I am sorry that the words mental illness and suicide make other people uncomfortable. You should try living with them and see how uncomfortable that is. The point is, we don't have time to scrub away the ugly thoughts about these two words. Mental illness and suicide are ugly. We should know. In a country where suicide takes away somebody's loved one every 13 minutes, I hardly think we need to waste time trying to sanitize  something that needs to be talked about openly because only then can we get real and start making changes to a broken system that allows good people to fall through the cracks. This system is damaged and defunct and until we start looking at this problem as an actual problem nothing will change and it has to. Suicide is 100% preventable. And yet we as a society are too afraid to look into the dark abyss where it dwells because we are scared. Our society is cowardly when it comes to anything that deals with mental illness or suicide and it is proven and reiterated every single time this subject comes up. Because they white wash it. They sweep it under the rug. They look for other excuses. Or like in this case, they simply exclude these three words altogether.

            If you want to help us, if you want to change the system than you have to stop making excuses. You have to stop shying away form reality. A reality that all of us that suffer are very familiar with. You have to say words like mental illness, pain, suicide and you have to own them when you speak. You have to look people in the eye when talking about them. You have to stop promoting the stigma with your fear and be fearless. After all, we are fearless when talking about these things because we have no choice and if you want to be part of the solution than you have no choice either. We are not a side line. We are not a cutline. It is not a sidebar. It is the story. We are the story. We are real and our suffering is real and we deserve to have it talked about it, exactly like how it is. No sanitizing, no white washing, no scrubbing clean.......you cannot diminish the pain of mental illness by minimizing it's affects so you are less uncomfortable with the reality of it.

Neurotic Nelly