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