Thursday, December 15, 2016

I Dwell There No Longer...

I have dwelled in the shadows for so long I can accurately describe the taste of darkness.

Musty dampness with a hint of mothballs.

I have lived in the recesses of my mind to the point where I know ever mark on the walls, every dent, every scratch, every happenstance pen mark.

I have treaded what seems to me like oceans of guilt and shame. I have drunken so much water while trying to keep my head above it's waves that the salt content has etched into my esophagus like finely frosted glass panes .

Surely that is why when my anxiety flows away from me, I am unable to speak. It is why I do not utter a sound lest my glass throat shatter.

I have absorbed those oceans through my skin and that is why my tears are salty and why there is so many of them able to fall in one setting.

That must be why.

I know what it is to live but be lifeless. To exhale but not be really breathing. I know how badly soap stings when  it seeps into the dried hardened cracks of overly washed hands.

I know what it is like to be so exhausted just breathing seems like a monumental task. To be so tried that one can not sleep. To pray to dream about something other than what is going on in my life. To dream of being someone else. Someone more whole.

But I also know what the sun feels like on my face. I know what warmth feels like. Like a hundred million tiny glimpses of light beaming on me from the clouds. I know how little condensation drips when the light of life thaws your soul.

I know what it feels like to laugh. Like the coziest fuzziest hairs on your favorite blanket touching naked skin. The prickles of glee penetrating my consciousness.

I know what happiness is and I cling to those moments like a buoy to a person in the act of drowning.

I know what life can be and what it will be. It will be hard. I will always tread water. I will cry myself to sleep some days. But other days I will laugh too. I will hold on. I will keep going. I will overcome. I may lose battles with this mental illness but I will not lose myself.

I am no longer bothered by other people's stigma. They have not lived as I. They do not understand me and that is okay. I no longer allow other people's judgments bother me. Stigma can only control you if you have fear of it and I am not afraid.

For I dwell there no longer....

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kindness Week...

I wanted to do something kind in honor of this being national kindness week but that is kind of hard to do when I haven't left my home since three days before Thanksgiving. I can't very well open doors for anyone or compliment people as I sit on my couch watching mind numbingly boring television. It's hard to be kind to others when you are shut in. I mean, I am kind but I am kind of like a hermit too.

I was thinking about kindness week last night and I thought about all of those times all I needed to hang on or to make my day less shitty was one kind word. And just how powerful one kind word can really be. My act of kindness will have to come from my blog this week and I wanted to share something I really believe in.

 Be kind to yourself. With all the negative self talk, all of the stigma that surrounds our diagnoses, with all of the self doubt, be kind. Say something kind about yourself once a day. It doesn't have to be prophetic. It doesn't have to be deep. It can be a simple as," Well, I have decent hair today."

One kind word to ourselves can mean a lot. Especially, since many of us go weeks, months, sometimes even years without hearing one nice thing.

Kindness week doesn't have to mean only being kind to others. We need to also remember to also be kind to ourselves. We deserve it too.

So be kind to others, try to lift them up. Be helpful if you can and also be kind to you too.  I know it isn't easy. We can sometimes be our worst enemy. We tend to be harder on ourselves than others are on us. We tend to judge ourselves way too harshly. So, be kind.

Tell yourself how worthy you are, how beautiful, how unique. Tell yourself how you are loved. How you are heard. Tell yourself how strong you are, how intelligent, how remarkable. Tell yourself these things even if you don't yet believe them. Just because you can't see it doesn't make it any less true.

Tell yourself what a good person you are. Because you are  good person. Be proud of all of your accomplishments even if they seem small to you. Celebrate your wins. Be kind to yourself.

I think of how strong all us are, how amazing, how determined. I think about how different and yet supportive we all are. How brave. I think of us as magnificent in spite of our challenges.

And although today hasn't been stellar and I feel kinda crappy, I am going to be kind to myself this week too. Even if it means I have to tell myself that I am beautiful whilst sitting in my bathrobe with coffee stains on it. Because I need to hear I am beautiful sometimes just as all people do.

  So in honor of kindness week : I am unique and all of you are unique too. I am strong just like all of you are strong. We are worthy. We are important. We matter. And if I am beautiful than you are all beautiful even in your coffee stained robes on a not so stellar day when you feel like crap.

Be safe, and be kind, and have a great weekend my friends.
Neurotic Nelly

Sunday, November 20, 2016


  Next Thursday is Thanksgiving so I thought I would write today. Mostly because I am going to be spending time with my family and because I am going to be cooking for two days straight.

There will be a lot of preparing food, possibly some burning of fingers, most likely a few tears shed from the sheer amount of baking. I may never be the same. I may not make it guys.

All joking aside, I truly hope that all of you have a wonderful day of family and friends, of good food and good thoughts.  And even if you happen to find yourself alone on Thanksgiving I hope that you have a peaceful and relaxing day. I am thankful for all of you. Because even if you don't know it, you are magnificent. You are fantastic. You are worth so much. Many of you have helped me feel less alone, less odd, and less damaged. I hope that in some small way, my words will reach those that need it the most and do the same for them. Because unity is power. If you feel like you have nothing else to be thankful for, be thankful for each other.

So, thank you all for reading, and being there for me, for leaving comments, for being supportive, for being the strong fantastic people you are. Thank you all for being you.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
See you Thursday after next and until then, walk with your heads held high. You are magnificent, marvelous people and I appreciate you all.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Struggle.....

I struggle daily with my OCD.

There, I said it.

I struggle with the thoughts and the obsessions. I struggle with the feeling of not being good enough. I struggle with the anxiety. I struggle in public and I struggle in private.

I struggle with people assuming I am fine because I appear to be a healthy, functional adult.

I struggle with stress and lack of sleep making my OCD worse.

I struggle that my child has inherited my mental illness and I struggle not to blame myself for it because he got it from my poisoned genes.

I struggle with not being able to drive and doing or going places that I would like to.

I struggle to have to depend on others more than I would like to.

I struggle with my children' homeschooling that makes me terrified that I am somehow failing them if I can't do everything for them correctly.

I struggle.....believe me.....I struggle.

But I am hopeful.

I can not just sit in the misery of my own making and punish myself for something I can not control. I have to force myself to remember how important we all are to this universe. I have to remember that I have people in my life who love me, depend on me, care for me. I have to remember that I have made it through thirty three years of OCD and I am still living, fighting, breathing. Yes, I struggle but that is no different today as it was yesterday, last week, or sixteen years ago. There are hard days, hard weeks, and hard months but I am hopeful.

I know there is no magical cure. I know that this will be what it is. I know that I am different because of my disorder but I also know that I am stronger than most people. That I am brave. I know that I am not someone who ever backs down. I know who I am as a person.

I remain hopeful.

And if my blog does anything for anyone, I would hope that it has helped other people feel hopeful. I would hope that it helps them feel less alone, less scared. I would hope that it would make people realize that even if they struggle how important they are, how worthy, how magnificent. I would hope that they could hear how brave and strong they are in my words and take that to heart. To know what badasses they are in their own struggles even if it is hard for them to see it themselves.

Life is full of struggles be it mental illness or not, be it stress induced panic or not, be it hard scrabble days where you fight tooth and nail just to get out of bed in the morning or a nice crisp day with nothing to worry about at all. There is always something to overcome, over throw, or override. Always......and we are pretty good at overcoming things.

So this weekend, my wish for you is to have a great week but in case you don't, I hope that you can remain hopeful....because you are important. You are worthy. You are good enough. People care.

See you all on Thursday with a new post. Hang in there.
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Truth and Perceptions....

I have a new hobby and it is taking over my life.

I have spent countless hours refinishing old furniture, lately. Some people would complain but I like that it has made me obsessive or rather that my obsessive disorder is triggered on it because if I am sanding and staining and scrubbing things beautiful, I am not obsessing about getting some rare cancer from inhaling Scandinavian sheep farts.

I kid, but the reality of my dysfunction can be literally exhausting. I am afraid of every pain, every ache, every fleeting moment. I am terrified of things getting contaminated or tainted. I am frightened of every day life. My brain makes me worry. If my side hurts I may have liver cancer. If my head hurts it could be a tumor. A rash could mean something nefarious and scary.  The gum under the table could give me Hepatitis. And even though I know this is all bullshit my mind makes up, it changes nothing for my anxiety.

And as much as I would love to, I can not turn it off. I can't stop thinking about it. The only thing I can do is distract myself when that same old broken record with the same old shitty song starts replaying in my head over and over and over again.

Being me can be so very tiring.

Days, weeks, months are filled with excessive worry. People see me as someone who has her shit together. I try so very hard to present myself that way but the truth and perception are two very different things.

The truth is that I have battled this mental illness for thirty three years. I know nothing else. It has stolen so much of my time and resources. It has ruined relationships. It has made my life hell.

But I refuse to be macabre and morose about it. I refuse to stay silent in the shadows and be ashamed. It is not me being brave it is me trying desperately to survive under it's clutches. And I will survive because I am not someone who gives up. I can't afford to be or this illness would take everything from me and I am not going down like that.

Which leads me to my point of this post:

Last weekend someone threw this table out to be picked up by the garbage truck. It was rough, dirty, and damp. It looked like it had went through hell and back and possibly a house fire and a war zone with angry bat wielding leprechauns. Someone had felt that it's ugliness meant that nothing beautiful was underneath the years of it's mistreatment and bad style choices. They overlooked it. They counted it to be less than. But I could see it for what it really was. Something that just needed some tlc. It just needed someone to see it for what it truly was, strong underneath all of it's ugly.

I saw myself in that piece of furniture. A little warped, some ugly bits on the outside, thought of as less than what I am worth at first glance because not everything about me is pretty to behold or easy to deal with. But under all of that distraction and dysfunction I am sturdy. I am more beautiful and strong than I ever thought possible.

Under the layers of paint and pain I am still me, still real, still a solid force to deal with. Maybe that is why this table, so casually discarded, moved me so much. Because I could see, even if no one else could, that this table was way more than just trash.

Refinishing this table delighted me. It healed me with every scrape of the paint chisel, with every piece of sandpaper, with every brush stroke of stain. Every moment of saving this table felt like me saving myself. Weird, I know.

 A little sanding, a little stain, and a little bit of soapy water and viola.....

How could something so beautiful and sturdy as this be considered as garbage?

So, I am going to keep at it and keep refinishing the furniture I find  discarded because of perceived flaws. I will make them beautiful again. And every time I bring something back to it's original beauty I will be reminded that deep down we are all beautiful underneath too. Despite our flaws and in spite of our supposed "ugly". Flaws don't make you weak, hideous, nor does it make you expendable. We are beautiful.

Truth and perceptions, people....truth and perceptions.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hang In There....

        You are not broken. Maybe, there are some chips on the surface. Maybe, you are a bit tattered around the edges. Maybe, you lean a bit to the side. Maybe right now, it feels like your life is a raging inferno of garbage and it is all falling  down around your head. Maybe, the debris field of all of the things you think you have lost is all you can see.You might be different, unique, unwell, depressed, repressed, upset, scared, or complicated but you are not broken. Hang in there.

Being us is never easy. We know this. The people that love us know this. Life is complicated. Mental illness is complicated. We can be complicated. Hang in there.

I know that sometimes we get exhausted. The fall into bed face first, fully clothed, and reeking of last night's dinner and disappointment kind of exhausted. It happens. People have shitty days, shitty weeks, shitty months. I once had a whole shitty year. Things can always get better. Hang in there.

On some days we feel completely alone. It can feel like not another soul on the face of this planet understands how you feel. 
It can feel like no one gets you, knows your struggles, or can comprehend the pain you are in. You are never alone. We all feel this way on occasion and we do understand you. Hang in there.

People care about you. They do, even if you are unable to see it. Sometimes our illness can block out all of the good things in our lives or can skew our perceptions and view of life making us unable to see the good. Sometimes we can not see the love other people have for us or we mistake it for pity. Sometimes we convince ourselves the blatant lie, that they would be better off without us because we are a burden. There are people in your life that look up to you, that love you, that care more for you then you would ever guess and they do not see you as anything but the person they care for. They do not consider you a burden and they don't want to lose you. You are loved. Hang in there. 

Hang in there, the world is a vast place and you have an important role in it. You are important. You are worthy. You are unique. You are loved.  So, please hang in there because you matter. 

You matter to all of us. We are all in the same boat and by boat I may mean a shitty, moss covered pirate ship with torn sails, marooned on a sand dune full of rotten coconuts with no elected captain and no real sense of direction but we are making the best of it. We stand up for each other. We know how you feel. So, hang in there.

You are worth it.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, September 30, 2016

Porch Opossums, Flower Pots, and Mental Illness......Oh My

I have an inside/outside cat. We have, on occasion, put out cat food for him. Problem being that we have discovered that he doesn't actually eat the outside food. The food bowl would empty but the cat would not be the one emptying it. It was like a bizarre magical trick until a few days ago. That is when we saw it.

We have an opossum. 

Smallish but getting bigger everyday. It has taken over our porch at night. It has become fearless. It doesn't really care if you see it, as long as you don't get too close. Last night, that bastard broke one of my flower pots and stood there defiantly licking his fur on my outside bench.  Clearly, it is not afraid of me or my outside cat, or my flower pots.

It made me think about mental illness, which is probably some sort of mental problem in itself, actually. How it takes what it wants. Slowly it feeds off of your fears or stress, especially in the night. How it becomes brazen in it's symptoms. How fearless it is when stealing little bit of your life away. How it has no issues knocking over your flower post and watching you whole world turn upside down. It isn't afraid. It is defiant. It is a little bastard and before you know it, it makes claims on your porch without your permission or knowledge.

And what do we do? Usually, we blame ourselves for something we did not ask for. We get scared. We worry about stigma and sometimes that worry gets in the way of the help that we need. We keep it secret a lot of the time. We struggle with sense of self worth.  We hurt.

But, I think what we need to realize is that just like the porch opossum, we are not responsible for mental illness befalling us. It is just something that happens. It is not our fault nor does it say anything about who we are as people. It does not label us. I t does not lessen our worth.

There is no need to blame ourselves for something we have no control over. And there are many things to help people with mental illness. There are therapies, medications, groups, and treatments that have been helpful for most mental illnesses. There are people that understand. there are people that know what living under the stigma of mental illness is like and there are people who care. 

Honestly, mental illnesses aren't even that rare. Much like finding an opossum eating out of your garbage can, lots of people have encountered it. The current statistics prove that 1 in 5 people in the US will have some sort of mental illness in their lifetimes. That isn't a small number. In fact, you probably know someone affected by mental illness right now. So, there is nothing to be ashamed about when you break down the sheer amount of people that suffer with you. Why we treat it like some majestic rarity is really beyond me. Clearly it is neither majestic nor a rarity at all.

That is the Point that I am making, I think. Mental illness should not be seen as a weakness or weirdness. It should be treated and looked upon the same way as any physical illness is. And until it is, we should keep fighting the stigma, keep helping ourselves, and keep being proud of how much we have been able to accomplish.  Because having a mental illness is hard and we should be proud of every single time we win against it. No matter how small that win may be. It is still a win.

I am strong. You are strong and we can do this. We can tell the mental illness opossums of the world that flower pots be damned we are not afraid to fight back and get help. That we are worth it. That we matter. Because we do and our minds and porches are not something we are just going to give over without a fight.

Neurotic Nelly

Friday, September 16, 2016

I Am Going To Be Fine....


Calm down. Be calm and breathe. Think about fluffy kittens and silly puppy faces. Jam your hands in your pockets. Tap your fingers on your knee. Breathe Nelly, Breathe. You can do this. You are going to be alright.



Deep breaths. Come on you can do it. Inhale and exhale. That's it. You got it. You got it! Again, inhale really deep and exhale really long. There ya go.

I am writing this trying not to have a panic attack. I hate this. I hate this so much. My heart rate goes through the roof and my breathing becomes shallow and fast. My palms get sweaty as I battle this overriding feeling of complete and utter doom. Dread encapsulates my senses and fear fills my nostrils. I can smell it. I can taste my own terror. I want to run. I want to hide......I want to throw up.

I could get angry with myself for not being able to do things like a normal fucking person, but what is the point? This is my reality. This is what I have to live with and who I am. This is one of my many, many issues and that is okay. I am going to be okay.

Just breathe.

I wish I had more control of this than I do. I find it embarrassing when it happens in public. I am not ashamed that it happens but it can be upsetting to other people. I wish that I could leave my house with the certainty that I will not lose my shit and breakdown in the middle of the floor in a public space. But I don't have that certainty and I have learned to just be happy when I surprise myself and do well. Tomorrow is probably not going to be one of those days. Not if I am already fighting of a tsunami of panic the night before. But whatever the outcome of this day, I am going to be fine.

I am going to be fine either way. Breathe....

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm Back and Hopefully Better....

Well, I have recovered....sort of.  Apparently while going to my doctor's office for a checkup I contracted what can only be described as the flaming gungamo.

I have no idea how it happened. I used hand sanatizer. I avoided direct contact with other patients. I kept my hands in my pockets. All of my OCD germ tactics to stay safe.

I was going to write but I was ill in bed coughing up a lung and wishing my ears didn't feel like I was trapped underwater.

The first day I awoke to the feeling one would have if they had swallowed razor blades. Thinking I had Strep throat I went to the Urgent Care. Spoiler alert: it was not strep throat.
 I was given antibiotics. The pharmacist tried to pander their flu shots to me while I waited in line looking and feeling like a snot zombie. I was not amused.

The second day, I felt as if angry bat wielding leprechauns had attacked me in my sleep. My head hurt. My sinuses were flaming balls of lava. My eyes refused to focus. I had what I like to call congestion stupidity, where the facial pressure makes you unable to concentrate. The pressure triggered my vertigo which allowed me to spend the day  bumping into everything and falling over as if I was drunk. It was fantastic....sarcasm.

The third day, I wanted to die. There was clearly no relief or hope in sight. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it and I was not entirely convinced I wanted to. The urge to crawl instead of walk from the couch to the bed to the bathroom was becoming more of a need rather than a desire. I don't remember much about it except whimpering sounds that I realized where coming from me as I laid rolled in a cover, scrunched into a ball, with kleenex shoved into my nostrils. I woke up choking from the chest congestion. I woke up unable to breathe from my whole face. I woke up having to blow my nose....I slept too much but none of it was long term bouts of rest. It was like a bad ironic joke and the punchline was clearly me at this point.

Thankfully, the third day was the worst and I was up and running on the fourth day. It has been twelve days since.

I now still cough but not as much as before and I don't sound like I have peanut m & m's shoved up nose. So, that's a plus. I did, however, pass it on to both of my children.  This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.....sorry kids.

That being said, I am in a way better mood than usual. Probably from my new found ability to breathe through both of my nostrils at the same time. Nose breathing is great, isn't it?

Other than being sick, I have nothing really to talk about. I am thankful to be back to my old crazy self. I am happy to be on the mend. I am still confused as to how I caught this bug in the first place but I am happy it is mostly over.

So, here's to you guys. I hope to write a better post than this for next week. I am hoping all of you are feeling well, and are having good days. If you are not, please just remember that even in the darkest of hours daylight is only around the corner. Just hang in there. You matter. You are important. You have insurmountable worth. You are heard.

Until next week guys,
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dear Self....

We don't tell ourselves good things about ourselves enough. We as mental illness sufferers can be very negative about ourselves and our accomplishments. Sometimes we fail to see even the smallest of victories as anything but failure. We get lost in the comparisons we make of ourselves with other not mentally ill people. Sometimes we forget to pat ourselves on our own backs for the things we have worked hard to improve on in our lives. We need to be proud of ourselves. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to know how important and worthy we are. If we don't then who will? So for the next few weeks I am going to write letters to myself detailing the things I have done that I am proud of. No negative criticisms, no put downs, no self deprecating backhanded comments.  Just positive feedback and maybe some humorous anecdotes. Because sometimes I need to remember that I do not have to be my own worst enemy.

Dear self,

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how proud I am of you that you didn't have a panic attack when going to your doctor's office yesterday. Sure, you tapped the arm rest of the car with your hands until they were sore, but you did not forget to breathe and focus. I mean, I would not be ashamed had you had a panic attack but I am equally proud that you didn't.

I also commend you on your extreme composure when the hand sanitizer in your purse ran out in the doctor's office and you used the one on the waiting room counter. Even though it was gritty and you promptly wiped it on your husband's shirt in front of your children with a haste only seen in Nascar races. You were completely unapologetic about doing so but I have to concede that it was the appropriate action since hand sanitizer has no business being gritty and your husband's shirt could never be a dirty as whatever lived and apparently died in that sanitizer bottle before you used it.

I would also like to congratulate you on last night. When you were staring intently at the garden orb weaver spider weaving her web on your porch and the cat touched your foot, you only screamed once. It might have been a tad bit hysterical and possibly over dramatic, but I give you props. It could have been a worse reaction. You didn't faint....

 I am proud of how you have handled school starting back up and all of the scheduling you have had to do. I know it is not your strong suit and that it gives you a ton of anxiety. You are doing the best you can and you are getting it done. Sure, the laundry is piling up around you but we can both pretend it is because of the stress of online public school. I mean, I know better because you hate laundry and your husband isn't really buying that little white lie either after fourteen years of half-assed laundry washing, but no one else needs to know. Your secret is safe with me.

I am proud of how well you have dealt with your Grandma being ill, getting better, and moving to live with her son six states away. I know this will be hard. I know that it makes you sad. I understand that change is hard for you.

Please know that it is okay to cry. I know you hate to cry because it makes you feel weak. But everyone cries, Nelly. It's just tears. It  can not make you something you are not. If it bothers you so much to admit that you do sometimes need to cry we can simply  call it "eye ball sweat" from now on. I am okay with pretending your eyes are just overheated when you are sad.

I know things have been stressful and hard and off-putting but you are doing great. No, it isn't everyone else's great but it is your great and you should be proud. You are doing the best that you can. So head up, feet forward and keep going on. Remember who you are. I believe in you, even if your eyeballs need to sweat occasionally.

So, be brave Nelly, and by brave I mean keep pushing through. You can do this.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don't Be An Idiot.....

Words can not accurately describe how annoyed I get when I hear someone say that they believe that religion is a mental illness.

Mental illness is not something you pick. It is not a belief system. It is not a decoration that is worn around the neck like a talisman. It is not a side effect of religion nor is it a choice. It is not Voodoo. It is not a sign of demons. It is a chemical imbalance in your brain. It is a very real physical illness located in your cerebral cortex.

One can not simply choose to not have mental illness and turn away from it.  One can not switch one's mental illness for another one that they think better suits them. Mental Illness does not work that way because it is not a choice.

Some people do not like religion, but to compare it to something that has no bearing on class, race, gender, or belief systems is ridiculous. It is ignorant and anyone that repeats such drivel looks ignorant while spewing idiotic bullshit to the masses to try and make themselves look hip and different.

 To claim that religion is a mental illness is to make the words "mental illness", something that can be picked and chosen to label anything that other people don't like because it upsets them, confuses them, or makes them uncomfortable.

Calling something that isn't a true mental illness a mental illness is wrong and hurtful. It promotes the ignorance and stigma that we put up with on a daily basis. It makes our diagnoses seen as not a medical condition but a word to damn anything that is not thought of as acceptable or understandable. It takes our diagnoses and the lives that we live and  minimizes the struggle we go through and understates the triumphs that we accomplish.

If you don't want to believe in a religion, that is your choice, but do not use our diagnosis as a label for your decision to not believe. Because a chemical imbalance and a choice are not the same thing.

Don't be an idiot. Please educate yourself.
Neurotic Nelly

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I Know Who I Am....

I know who I am.....

Many people in my life have told me that they thought I was very good with my OCD. That I seem to be dealing well.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

They truly have no idea.

It's an act of sorts. You see what I allow you to see. You hear what I allow myself to say. There are certain OCD fears, I have told no one, and may never open up about. No one knows unless I let them in. I have mastered the mask I plaster on my face to appear to the masses as a normal human being.

I am an actress of my own life. I smile when I feel like shit, I seem awake when I am exhausted, I lie to you when you ask me if I am okay. One can not look at me and know how damaged I really am.

That is the hell of it.

There is no sign upon my forehead identifying me as OCD. As a PureO there are no compulsions to show as proof.

I have had people I know tell me I talk about it too much. As if I can just turn it off like water from the tap. Like it is optional to be obessive compulsive. Like if I ignore it, it will go away.

I get it, talking about it is boring and uncomfortable. One should try living with it for thirty two years and see how uncomfortable it really is.

OCD is hell. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is the hardest thing I will ever do and I do it everyday. It is not something I glorify being. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. It is not something I would ever be proud of.

But I am proud that I am still fighting. That I remain as honest as I can be about it. That I keep trying even on days that I damn well know I will lose. I am proud of being strong in the face of the horror that OCD inflicts on my daily life.

I know who I am....

It might not be enough for some, to be just someone with OCD fighting to live as normal and happy a life as possible, but it is enough for me. I am proud of being who I am despite of this disorder that has single-handedly tried to take over my life. This disorder that tries to steal my life away from one fear at a time. This disorder that has made my life hell. I am proud. I know who I am.

Not just with this mental illness but in spite of it. I am a good person, a kind person, a sensitive person. Maybe to some that isn't enough. Maybe it isn't enough that I can not work. Maybe it isn't enough to them that I am unable to be more productive in their eyes. Maybe it is isn't enough that I am not always on the same page as everyone else and I don't do what everyone else does when they do it. Maybe it isn't  enough for them but then again they do not live with what I do. They don't have to deal with this.

I will tell you a little secret, most people have no idea who they really are....

So, I guess I have that. With struggle comes truth and with hardship comes knowledge. And when you fight just to get out of bed in the morning to face a day you know will be full of grief and fears, you find who you really are.

I know who I am....

And if I am not enough for them or they judge me because I am different, fuck 'em. I don't really need them in my life anyway.

I have spent way too much of my life blaming myself and I refuse to let anyone make me feel like I am nothing. I know who I am and I am more than enough.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Until Thursday...

I missed my last two posting dates because my grandmother is very ill and I have been beside myself with worry. It has taken a toll on me mentally as well as emotionally and I just haven't been able to get the gumption to write a post and be uplifting or even slightly happy.

I will be writing this coming Thursday and will have more time to dedicate to my posts then. I am sorry that I haven't been able to write but my OCD has kicked into over drive and I couldn't calm down enough to be productive.

Anyway, I hope you all are doing well this week and I am sending positive thoughts your way if you are struggling right now. Just know that you are not alone. You are worthy. You are unique. You matter.

Until Thursday,
Neurotic Nelly.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

What It Has Done...

Talking about mental illness to the masses is hard. It is hard to deal with it's misrepresented preconceived notions and it is hard to deal with the media's silence. We are often times villainized or sanitized but very often totally ignored.

That being said, because my diagnoses is severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I do not necessarily deal with as many of the violent misconceptions other mental illness diagnosis come with.

Many people have the incorrect idea that OCD is somehow less life changing or devastating than it actually is. We can blame many things for this but the biggest issue is the idea that OCD is inherently about organization and cleanliness. Leaving people to use the term OCD for things that are not actually OCD and that is a problem. Because if we desensitize the diagnoses to being more about how a person likes their morning coffee, we are saying that it is not a scary, upsetting, life altering mental illness. And it  minimizes the very real , very terrorizing issues people that actually suffer from OCD face.

Make no mistake, I do not want to limit people's discussions on OCD. I have no issue with people using the term OCD. I just want people to know what it actually stands for and the disorder it describes. I want open debates. I want people to ask me about OCD. I want people to learn. I want us all to educate each other.

OCD has devastated my life. People see me as a happy go lucky thirty six year old house wife. I am, in essence, an anxiety ridden thirty six year old hermit. I tell people that I am a house wife but I do not tell them the reason I am a house wife has nothing to do with my dreams of being a stay at home mother. The reality is that because of my severe OCD I was unable to finish high school. I was then unable to attend college and I am currently and have always been, unable to hold down a job. I say I am a house wife because I do stay at home and take care of my home and children but I do not go into the details that I do this because I am unable to do anything else.  I am for lack of a better description, unemployable.

I had dreams of graduating high school and my grades were very good. My panic attacks made my attendance extremely poor. I had high hopes of trying to get into Julliard. I wanted to sing on Broadway. I am talented enough to do so. I could have graduated and at the very least tried out, but this disorder prevented me from being who I thought I could be. Instead of me trying out for a musical college, I struggled to leave my home. Instead of me making plans for my future, I became unable to be in crowds of people without having panic attacks.

 Those options were torn away from me. Not in one fell swoop like other disorders but by little bits and pieces over time. One tiny fear after another.  Anxiety attacks on replay over and over again .

This disorder has damaged my relationships. It has made me hard to understand and harder to live with. I am under no illusions that being married to me is a cake walk. I know better.  I know how stressful it is to live with someone who is almost constantly stressed out. I am afraid.  I am afraid of everything, all of the time.

It has made me unable to do things that other people do on a daily basis without ever thinking about it. I have issues going to public places. I am unable to take medications to help because my OCD is medication resistant.

I am a thirty six year old hermit, with no diploma or higher education, who does not drive, who is too unreliable to employ, and who can not even make doctor appointments on the phone without fending off a panic attack. That is my reality. That is what OCD has done to me.

 We can discuss semantics and pretend that I have made a go of it and accomplished a great deal despite my anxiety but the reality is still reality and it has been my reality for thirty two years. I do not make excuses or shy away from the truth that this disorder, my disorder, has effectively unabashedly and irrevocably changed my life.

OCD comes with extra baggage. The kind of baggage you don't see on television or movies. The kind of ugly sludge green, hard plastic, Bakelite luggage no one wants to claim at the baggage check because it is unbelievably heavy and embarrassing to be seen with. It comes with hesitations and freak outs. It comes with phobias, panic attacks, devastating intrusive thoughts, and mental or physical compulsions. It comes with sexual, blasphemous, or harm fears. It comes with suicidal ideologies and avoidance behaviors. It comes with triggers and life altering consequences.

And yes, I am doing well for someone that lives with severe OCD but let's not pretend that it hasn't shaped the person I have become because it has.

It marks the things I do on a regular basis.
I cannot deal with certain things like germs, contaminations, or other people breathing on me or touching me. My life has become a life of avoidance. I avoid, it is the hallmark of what I do.

 This is the reality of what OCD has done to me.

I strive to continue to work on it. I strive to be better accepting of all that comes with having a mental illness. I am happy to be where I am today even if it isn't what I thought I would achieve when I was younger. I actually enjoy being a stay at home mom.

I do have family and friends and a fantastic support system. I do have really good days. I do know that I do not suffer alone. There are many people who suffer from OCD.

I am not bitter about how my life has been affected but I refuse to be obtuse and pretend. OCD is hard. Shit happens.

I also hold on to being proud of the things that I can do and the small victories I am able to achieve. Waking up and getting out of bed on a bad day is a feat. Taking a shower after I get out of bed on a bad day is a victory. Walking outside amongst other people and interacting with them after I have taken that shower, after getting out of bed on a bad day is a fucking act of heroism. I don't need the things I can do to be big to be proud of them. I just need to acknowledge that I did them and because I have done them, I get stronger from it.

Victories do not have to be big. They just have to be victories.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Us......Rant

  I am going to take this day to write about something that is a bit off topic because I can not understand how people in this country have gotten so ridiculous.

I read an article a few days ago claiming that Disney Princess's may be harmful to young girls development. Have we gotten so low that we now are looking to blame cartoons for our children's issues?

 Really, people, really?

These stories have been around for hundreds of years, albeit the originals tended to be more macabre and morose. Snow White came out in pictures in 1938 and I could be wrong but I don't remember reading that little girls were damaged by watching it. I didn't hear about how my great grandmother's ego was destroyed by a girl that ate a poisoned apple. She had real problems like living through the great depression and working hard all of her life just to put food on the table.

I grew up in the eighties and have seen almost all of the Disney Princess movies. I don't feel negatively affected by them although, I am sure some cockamamie article will claim I was permanently scarred by it and the pain is so deeply hidden in my soul that I just don't know it yet. I never felt stunted because Ariel lost her voice or Pocahontas sang the," Colours of the Wind". I mean, Sweet lord, this victimhood shit is getting a little out of hand if we are clinging to the desperate belief that Disney movies have scarred our children's future.

The problem isn't the movies. It isn't stereotypes portrayed in children animations. The problem is us.

We have strayed form being the parents we ought to be. We are too busy at work, at school, and on our phones. We watch too much Netflix and spend too much time writing tweets about how hard it is to "adult".

We do not spend enough time with our children and we don't really listen to them when we do. We are too busy, too distracted, and too self absorbed.

I see parents at the park with their children, not watching them, not playing with them, not interacting with them, but instead playing on their cellphones. They remain totally oblivious that little Jimmy is about to fall off the six foot slide face first. Facebooking, texting, or tweeting has become the most important form of communication in our lives. Go to the grocery store and look if you don't believe me. Hell people can't even drive their cars with their most precious cargo inside without fucking looking at their phones. They are putting their lives, their children's lives, and everyone else on the roads live's at risk for a text message they could have read when they pulled into their own driveway...

I don't know who they are messaging but I know damn sure, Princess Jasmine didn't send that omni-important text....

We send our children to school assuming that our children will learn what they need to strive in life but don't actually know what lessons are being taught. Most of us have no idea. That is the schools job so why should we be involved?

We don't realize that many of the children's books are not as factual as they should be. The history books may mention the Holocaust but doesn't explain how the Nazis were inspired by eugenics that was created by Darwin and perpetuated on criminals and the mentally ill in the states. It has little to no information of the Native Tribes that lived in this country long before the Europeans ever set foot here and lacks accurate descriptions of the hell holes they were forced to live on. There is no real discussion on the who the presidents were as actual people. Andrew Johnson was a drunk and Warren G. Harding was a man whore, not that anyone even remembers those two because we don't really go in depth about the people that have ruled this country.

 See if your child is reading Shakespeare, Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, or Fredrick Douglass. Go ask your fifth grader if they know who Napoleon was and what he did. Ask a senior in high school what the secretary of state does. Ask a college student which countries were the allies in WWII and who was our president at that time. Ask any of the children that you know to show you on a map where England, France, or Australia are located. Ask them where Brazil is. See if they know that there are pyramids in Peru.

I bet you most of them have no idea.

To the victor goes the spoils and the victors have given us such great things as Common Core. Our children learn about next to nothing and are forced to cram so much into such a small time frame they retain little to none of that knowledge. There are high schoolers who can not read nor write in cursive and we have allowed this to happen because we did not pay attention.

That wasn't Disney. That wasn't a girl wearing a crown in a fancy dress drawn with crayons and markers. That was us.

We tell little girls that they are princesses and should demand what they want and never be told no. We tell them they can wear what they want and not be looked at or talked about, which is not based in reality. We tell little girls that one day their prince will come and make everything better so pay attention to how you look and not what is in your mind or your education because to be a girl is to be above all else, pretty.

We sell make up to them with the pretense that they are not pretty enough without it. We tell them they need to be skinny to be beautiful. We tell them that when they get thin they must also have big breasts because that is how the ideal woman looks and we all must strive for perfection. We let magazines tell our little girls that they should be sexy but not whorish. That they should show their bodies off  but also be humble about it. That they should be worried about boyfriends instead of grades. We want to make sure they fill out that college application but remember to make duck lips while they do it...

 We bombard them with  advertisements that make women look sexual as they do the most mundane things. Sexy women eating hamburgers. Sexy women shaving their armpits. Sexy women eating  pieces of chocolate while moaning. What the fuck is this? Who eats like that? Who looks like that all of the time? No one. This is not reality in any sense of the word. It's ridiculous and yet our children are growing up thinking that this is the epitome of a real woman.

 We as women, talk about our own bodies with shame and disgust in front of our daughters and it teaches them to hate their own bodies. We are obsessed with looks and have taught our children that looks outweigh brains. That what is on the outside is more valuable that what is on the inside.

Cinderella isn't showing our little girls how to be disgusted that they don't look like Barbie, that is all on us.

We ask Facebook friends how to punish our children because we are unsure. We can't make decisions on our own childcare because we have been told by every online media source, baby whiner advocacy group, and news rag that everything we do is wrong and "damaging" to our children. We believe that we must not punish our children, we must let them have everything they want and never tell them no. We can not spank, we can not ground, we can not tell them what to do or it might hurt their feelings. We put feelings above behavior and we can't seem to acknowledge how stupid that really is because we make too many excuses and apparently we are fine with it or we would stop reading such tripe and believing it.

 Mulan didn't tell us how to parent so I guess we have to look at someone else to float the blame....

We have children that throw monumental fits and act like complete  assholes and the parents ignore it or make excuses for it. Our children are completely hopped up on ADD medications and because we don't know what to do with hyper kids that don't actually have ADD but just need to go play outside,  they get addicted to them and then move onto harder drugs. We scratch our heads and wonder how they got like this. Sure there are children that are autistic and do have ADD but lets not pretend it is every kid on the freaking planet because it isn't. There is no way in hell every child on the face of the earth needs to be medicated and sedated.

I'm looking at you, Sleeping Beauty...

We think the fits and alligator tears of a child going ballistic is cute. It's not cute, it fucking annoying and before someone starts screaming at me that I wouldn't know, I am a parent of two boys. One has an anxiety disorder and the other has severe ADD and they never acted that way in public because they knew I did not need to go to Facebook to decide a punishment.

And the public will get their pitchforks ready because someone is offended that I am telling the truth and they need to make excuses for their shitty parenting in....3....2...1.

If your child has special needs then this post isn't about you so sit down. This is about the parents that do not watch nor interact with their children. The one's who look at their phones instead of correcting their child's behavior. The ones that don't wipe the years worth of food off their child's faces nor wipe their snot covered noses. The ones that have no idea where their children are or what they are doing because they are too busy not caring nor paying attention. The countless parents that ignore their children and then have the audacity to pretend they do not know why their child is a little grime covered monster.

Your children who think they are special snowflakes are brats. Spoiled rotten, attention seeking, brats steeped in the victimhood that is today's excuse perpetuated by the media that everyone has an issue and everyone needs a fucking pass for their bad behavior because their life is traumatizing for having just been born.

And because Belle got to dance with a talking clock and chipped teacup and they didn't we should all cry and throw ourselves on the floor and bitch about how unfair life really is....

Someone told us that Disney Princesses are ruining our children and we are so desperate to believe that it wasn't our fault that we eat that ridiculous notion up. So we can firmly lay the blame on the devices our children use, and the games they play, the youtube they watch, the cell phones they have, and the Disney princesses they idolize


who bought those things for them, who gives them the money to purchase the games and cellphone apps, and who turns a blind all to all that they do on those devices because they are too busy being wrapped up in their own shit to spend any actual time with their own children?

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure it wasn't Tinkerbell.

 We don't want to look at who is really responsible because then we would have to shoulder the blame and take the responsibility that we have failed because we are too wrapped up in things that do not matter or at the very least, should not matter as much as the raising of our children.  Children that one day will be adults raising the next generation and won't know how to do it because all we ever gave them was poor excuses and a ripe sense of victimhood.

We don't want to admit that we are failing our children because we have gotten adept at not seeing the truth. It is easier lie to them than to admit our own shortcomings. We tell them that it is okay not to follow the rules. We tell them they can do what they want when they want. We tell them not to have their own opinions or beliefs and to believe that everyone else's opinions are more important than their own. We tell them history is not important and is perfectly okay to bend to their ideals and to erase. We tell them they don't need to know who they are as a person as long as they look good and take lots of pictures while doing so. We tell them minds are not to be fed and educated but to be indoctrinated with complete and utter bullshit. We are responsible for this. We and only we.

We lie to their faces and pretend that we aren't the ones making their lives impossible to navigate when they become full grown adults without the tools to do so because they have been treated like a victim all of their lives because it was easier for us to do so......We lie to them as we tuck them into bed and tell them just how much we love them, right before we look down at our cellphones and hit the like button on a Facebook cat meme.

But sure, let's blame Rapunzel for that too, if it makes you sleep better at night.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, June 23, 2016

OCD Explained By Fairytales ....

 I have been dealing with some massive writer's block lately and it is annoying me. It has caused me to struggle in writing posts like I would like too these last few weeks. My mind is completely left me. I hate having nothing to post. So, I decided that instead of beating myself up trying to force myself to write when my mind refuses to cooperate, that I would just share one of my best and most read posts from a couple of years ago. I believe in this post and I feel it represents how I feel right now. I hope you all like it....

OCD Explained By Fairytales by Neurotic Nelly

Have a great weekend guys and I promise to be back and writing something new next Thursday!

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Staying Positive...

     Staying positive doesn't mean pretending to be happy all of the time. It doesn't mean stuffing down your feelings and ignoring what is going on your life. It simply means knowing that things might be going really badly right now, but things will get better at some point.

That is how I get through my bad days. I remember that I also have good days. That these bad days will not last forever. My depression will ebb away, my OCD will calm down, I will not always feel completely emotionally inept.

Sometimes, I still feel defeated but I know that there are times that I feel victorious. I feel vindicated. I feel healthy. Those days are what get me through the gloom and doom. Those days are my inspiration to keep going, keep fighting, and keep staying positive.

Staying positive to me is knowing that I matter, that I am worth the fight, that I am unique, and I am loved. It means knowing that I am not what my mental illness tries to tell me I am. I am better than that, worth more than that, and I refuse to listen to my mental illnesses's lies.

My post today is just a reminder that we are all better than our worst days. We are strong. We are important. We matter and we will get through this. We can stay positive and know that there are better days ahead, even if they seem far far away. They are there. They will come.

Here is hoping you all have a great weekend and are staying positive because each and every one of you is worth it,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We Can Not Be Diminished......Rant....Rant...Rant

XXXX.....Language Warning and Possible Triggers.....XXXX

 I read this Gawker article after reading the same story line on three different websites and I felt the need to share.  Trigger warning on the article linked.

     This, this right here is part of the reason I write what I write. Because people are ignorant and can do more damage than they realize. Because this sort of ignorance has to be put in it's rightful place (the trash can). Because we need positive articles and posts about mental illness survivors not knee jerk reactions to diagnoses by morons with access to a keyboard.

     I am not even going to touch on what all this colossal twat face says in her poorly written article about the death of her "frenemy" with mental illness and what a blessing it was to her. She has no idea what she is talking about and her ignorance is nothing new to those of us who struggle to live in a world full of self absorbed idiots that think they have a talent for talking about something they have no fucking clue about. She is typical, she looks typical, her writing is typical, and her stigma inducing misconstrued attention seeking typical. Big deal, she is old news.

I will, however, comment on the blog site that printed the piece, and their so called apology....

I apologize for an article that was posted here yesterday, entitled "My Former Friend's Death Was a Blessing.” I deeply regret the hurt that this article has caused and understand that it has perpetuated stigma and diminished the lives of people with mental illness. I am committed to immediately reviewing our vetting process to ensure that this experience has a positive influence on the ways in which we at xoJane present all women going forward. I appreciate all of you who took the time to let us know how you felt about this issue.

First of all, thank you for noticing that your article was not only offensive but damaging. Thank you for it removing after being told repeatedly how upsetting and stigmatizing it was. But don't ever make the mistake of thinking that an article written by a sniveling twenty something know it all who, in fact, truly knows nothing could diminish any of our lives because she is a fucking moron. You didn't diminish anything except the validation of a an online magazine many of us have never heard of and many of us will never read again.

You can not diminish the lives of strong, creative, unique, people and how dare you insinuate that this idiot could do so by a thoughtless article as if we were so damaged and have so little to live for, that it ruined our lives. It didn't ruin our lives, it pissed us off because once again we are having to fight against stigma from yet another place that in the year 2016 should absolutely fucking know better.

How dare you make a half attempt to say, "oops my bad" after letting such a completely inappropriate article headline your site. Something that says the death of a mentally ill person was a blessing. You did read her article before posting it right? I mean, that is what you do......

Why would it even be acceptable to post something like this? If we were talking about any other minority in place of the mentally ill you would have balked and never posted because you would feel like it was uncalled for. You would have been afraid of being seen as bigoted, intolerant, and prejudiced; but because it was just us that made it okay right?

You can't diminish us. We have already been stigmatized, lied about, cast aside, ignored, rebuked, insulted, and blacklisted. Do you really think your little corner of the web can really do anything that hasn't already been done to us for the centuries that mental illness has been unfairly punished, misunderstood, and demonized. Do you really?

Because I have got to tell you, as a mental illness suffer, I don't think that you hold that much power.

Her apology was a complete backpedal. I know that when I write something, some people may not like it. I don't cry about it. I stand by what I say. That is what real writers do.

 She didn't care that she hurt real people or may have put real people in real jeopardy, she is concerned by the backlash she got in rejoicing in the death of someone she deemed to be less than. She then played the victim and blamed the reaction on the readers claiming that if they were that sensitive they should not read it.....
Because she, clearly the victim in not only her own stories but also apparently the backlash for them, is overwhelmed. Well, I am too. I am overwhelmed by her lack of compassion, for her self imposed self importance, and for her lack of respect for other people. I am also overwhelmed that you as a website that hosts blogs felt that this was perfectly acceptable....which you, clearly, must have or it wouldn't have been posted.

I think her rush to be relevant and edgy is pathetic and I think that your rush to gain click bait for yourself regardless of who it hurts in the process is contemptible.

I just hope that no one read her article or her equally full of shit apology,   and ended up hurting themselves because that is what we are really talking about here. Not some stupid woman who has no idea what a real struggle in life is, but people losing their lives everyday. Good, decent, dearly loved people that commit suicide everyday because they feel less than, because they are told that they are a burden, because of shitty articles written by shitty writers who think they know all about mental illness from fucking facebook.  It bothers me, that online sites like yours  do not consider the wake of devastation they are allowing because they too want to be relevant. It is all about relevance in this world of self absorbance and self importance.

No one is really considering the loss those families feel. No one there, clearly, is considering the loss of the woman your writer complained about. No one is considering the reality that is living with a mental illness and just how fucking hard it is and just how fucking brave we are for doing it.

Writing a piece that slanders a dead woman that had mental illness  is low. It isn't brave. It isn't informative. It is pathetic. It is inappropriate and it is wrong.

You want edgy, you want courage, you want spectacular then look at us. Cause we are not hiding in the shadows, we are not sitting on the sidelines or cowering under the bleachers. We do not back down from paltry articles like this, we do not break under adversity. That is all we have ever known. This "story" is no different than the drivel we are force fed everyday about how different we are or how someone can't look past themselves long enough to understand what we go through.

You want to know what is a real blessing?

Living..... Living when it is hard because we know that we are worth it. Fighting on the worst days when you are exhausted and broken and numb. Having real friends, unlike the writer of your article, that stick by us and help us and support us. Knowing that we are creative and wondrous human beings that are capable of so much. Seeing the beauty in this world and knowing that it is something that we too possess. Knowing how important we are because we are just important as everyone else. Standing up for ourselves in the face of stupid people, and God help us, there are so many that we seem to run into. That's living. That's a blessing.....something that your writer obviously has no idea about.

No, we don't back down when we read or hear about discriminatory fluff pieces  like the one you posted but I will tell you what we actually do. We shine. We shine in the face of stigma, and lies, and petty people writing petty things while trying to seem not as petty as they actually are. We are better than that and we are better than them. We are the warriors of our own minds and some of the best damn people you will ever meet.

So, no, you didn't diminish us by posting that article. You diminished yourselves and whatever it is you claim to stand for.

That's all on you, bud....that is what your online site strived to be when you allowed her post to be on your page.

I don't want to say how badly you suck for that but, hey, if the shoe fits....lace that bitch up and wear it.

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I Am Not Ashamed...

There is a hashtag on twitter going around  called #imnotashamed. It is a symbol to fight against the stigma that many of us face on a daily basis. When you live under the diagnoses of having a mental illness a great deal of emotions come with it. One of those is shame.

        I am not ashamed. I used to be. I grew up being extremely ashamed of how different I was. How odd I seemed. How weak I felt. I grew up thinking that I was damaged. I was broken. I was worthless.

       It was not my choice to be born with a mental illness. It is, however, my choice on how I perceive myself to be because of it. I perceive myself to be just as unique and important as everyone else.

    When I was younger, I had delusions of my ability to control everything in my life. I felt that I had the power of willing myself into normalcy if I really wanted to. When I couldn't, I felt that it was my fault because I just didn't want it badly enough.

I blamed myself as if I had woken up one day and just decided to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As if I had ordered it as a side on my plate next to the eggs and hashbrowns. As if it were something you picked up by design.

 I just couldn't understand that my mental illness was not my fault. That it was simply a misfiring in my brain.

       I prayed relentlessly in the hopes that the bad thoughts would cease. When they did not I beat myself up because, clearly, I was doing something wrong. I wasn't praying right or hard enough. I was ashamed that I had failed to become normal even with my constant prayers.

      As a child I thought that if I could just be the best little girl I could be, that the OCD would go away. If I did my best at school, if I tried my hardest to listen, if I was sweet and kind and always followed the rules the thoughts would simply vanish... but they never did. I thought that deep down I was a terrible girl, a bad person, a horrid child. I continued to strive to be what I thought good little girls were supposed to be but the intrusive thoughts did not vanish, no matter how desperately I tried to be good enough and I blamed myself for that too.

       It took me years, literal years, to accept that my OCD was not the product of my failure as a person. That it was not a punishment for some unforeseen or long forgotten sin.

That it had never been my fault nor could I simply will it away with the good deeds and desperate prayers of a small naive child. I never had control of whether or not I would have this.

It simply is.

      And with that acknowledgement I began to realize that shame has no place in my life because to feel ashamed would mean that I would have to accept the blame for having something I never asked for nor wanted to have to begin with.

The guilt is not mine to carry. The blame does not rest at my feet for this.

        Living in shame just because I was born with a mental illness is no longer acceptable to me....and I rebuke any implication that says otherwise.

Mental illness does not define me as a human being. It does make me different in some ways  but it does not in any way lessen my worth.

It has changed my life but it does not get to own it. It does not get to control everything. It is there but it does not outshine who I am as a person. It does not get to make me feel guilty and it will never again make me feel ashamed.

Because I am more than just a diagnoses and I am not ashamed.

If you are interested in the #imnotashamed hashtag look it up on twitter and read all about their fight against stigma.

Until next time, stay strong and be kind to yourself and never be ashamed.
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, May 12, 2016

It's Not Easy....

May is Mental Illness Awareness month.

What can I say that hasn't already been said....

It is not easy to be like us. It isn't easy to deal with the issues we deal with. It isn't easy to wrestle with things like stigma and ignorance. It isn't easy to get out of bed in the morning when you are depressed nor is it easy to to explain how you feel when you are Bipolar. It isn't easy to push through triggers when you have OCD or any of the many other anxiety disorders. It isn't easy to have Schizophrenia. It isn't easy to live with a mental illness. It's just not.

It's doable.....but not easy.

I want my blog to be uplifting, positive, sometimes humorous, and sometimes ranting but most of all I want my blog to be completely honest. I feel like a great many of the "discussions" about mental illness are sanitized, misconstrued, side swept, or only spoken about in the quietest whispers in the darkest of rooms and that needs to stop. Because, frankly, we deserve better.

Honesty is the only thing that can change the current system of misunderstanding. Mental illness is not another word for weakness. It is not an excuse. It does not make us any less important than anyone else.  It should be talked about openly in a public form without bias or false pretenses. Without shame or guilt. Without nameless baseless fear.

Without that kind of honesty and openness, mental illness will always be regarded as someone else's problem. It will continue to be misrepresented by the media and underfunded in it's programs. It will remain in the shadows, silenced by those that do not understand. It will be muted by those that are afraid. People that need help will go untreated. People that could be saved will not be. Many individuals that will suffer will do so in silence. And why?

 Because of stigma.

We fear how others will react to our diagnoses as if it were a label placed on a placard around our necks. We are afraid of being judged and to be seen as different. We are afraid of being thought of as less than or worthless or broken . We are afraid of being side eyed and talked about. We are afraid of being unjustly feared and unfairly ridiculed. We are afraid.....and we shouldn't have to live under that fear.

 I wanted to write a post about understanding, support for each other, standing up to stigma, believing in your self worth, and hope. Because those are the things that really matter in this world full of misconceptions of who we are or what we can achieve simply because of a diagnosis.

I wanted to give a shout out to those of you who suffer like me and tell you to hold on and keep fighting. To hold your head up high because we are good people, strong people, magnificent people. I wanted to make sure that everyone knows how truly important they are to the world. Each of you are completely remarkable, unequivocally unique individuals that make a difference everyday just by being who you are. By fighting  even though living with mental illness isn't easy. I wanted to dedicate today's post to the fact that we still get up everyday and try like hell. That is an amazing feat. That is the definition of inspiring.

No, living with mental illness isn't easy but that doesn't mean that we can't do it. It doesn't mean that we can't do it well and it certainly, doesn't mean that we are any less worthy, less capable, less lovable, less inspiring, less strong, or less important than anyone else. We are not less than, we are equal to.

I am proud of us. I am proud of me and I am proud of you. We are badasses, people. I hope you know that.

So, go look at yourself in the mirror, pat yourself on the back, and let yourself realize how spectacularly brave you are.

Happy Mental Illness Awareness month,
Neurotic Nelly

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I'm Back....

      It may seem like I fell off the face of the earth but the reality was that, I was here in my home doing mundane "home" type things. I washed dishes and obsessed. I vacuumed floors and obsessed. I weeded my garden and obsessed. I did laundry and obsessed. Okay, that last part was a lie.... I didn't do the laundry, my husband did, but I did obsess because that is what I do. Laundry, however, is something that I don't. I hate it. I hate it with every fiber of my being and I refuse to be apologetic about it.

       I would have written and blogged but I was unable too.
My computer finally went to the big computer place in the sky. I was sad and frustrated but it was not a big surprise. Ole' Bessie was giving me the white screen of death and because Ole' Bessie was a chromebook she was not repairable. She did have three very full years of being my chromebook before she could no longer keep up with all of my bad spelling and copious amounts netflix watching. I shall miss her but I am overjoyed to be back blogging and watching my British mystery shows.... I know, I am boring. I also watch Judge Judy. I have the television and netflix habits of a seventy year old. I refuse to be apologetic about that as well.

        I have replaced Ole' Bessie with a new computer which I have named Frank. I am not sure why, but this computer just seems like a Frank to me. Frank and I are getting know each other and my netflix habits but I think we are going to get along perfectly. I mean, he has spell check so that is a plus and he has back lit keys so I can type in the dark. He also seems to appreciate my wit and sense of humor. I don't really know that for a fact, but I am going to choose to believe that because it makes naming an inanimate object seem less weird to me....sorta.

        The long of the short is, I am sorry that I was away for what felt like three years but was, in fact, a couple of weeks and I am happy to announce that my blogging will be back to regular schedule. I am back......and pleased as punch to be so.

Neurotic Nelly

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Breaking Down....Getting Back Up...

I had a break down the other day. It was ugly. I cried, I worried, I sobbed, I snotted. It happened and although I felt ashamed of it because it made me feel weak, I got over it. I am not going to lie, I hated it, hated myself, and hated the hell my own mind puts me through.  Being like this takes up so much energy. It exhausts me. It depresses me. It angers me. When this happens, I wrestle with blaming myself for not being a normal fucking person who can put on her big girl pants and just push through all of the stress.

I knew it was coming. My distraction tactics weren't working as I had hoped. My ability to think of other things didn't pan out either. Thankfully. my family is very good to me when I get like this and they really support me.

I am much better today. I can still feel it though, stalking around in the dark recesses of my mind. I can feel the medical fears trying to claw their way back into my day. I am aware that they are still there waiting for me. It seems as though I can almost hear them breathing in the shadows. My OCD is haunting me.

I will not avoid my life because of some baseless fears that feel very real to me but are, in fact, imaginary things that my mind has conjured up to scare me and make my life miserable. I will not let the nameless and faceless ghosts of my mental illness take over my life. I refuse.

I have struggled with this for thirty two years. I know that sometimes my OCD wins. It pisses me off but just as I know that sometimes my medical fears win, I also know that most of the time I am the one who is victorious.  So, it may have gotten the better of me two days ago and I may have had a break down complete with a panic attack. Sure, I may have blubbered and felt sorry for myself, but that doesn't mean that I will give up. If anything it just makes me strive to fight harder. I broke down and now I am concentrating on getting back up.

I just have to keep on keeping on and remember that everything is going to be okay. And it will be okay just as soon as some of these stress triggers are over with.

Hope you all are having a fantastic week and please don't give up on yourself if you are not. Things are bound to get better. And be proud of yourself. You are strong. You are worthy. You are capable. You are unique.

Until next time,
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Am Not Voting....Rant...Rant...Rant

I am not voting....

There I said it. I have heard the primed and often repeated response from several people that if a person doesn't vote, they have no right to bitch about who wins or what happens. I humbly, disagree.

As a human being living on this planet, I can bitch about pretty much anything I want to. Emphatically and without permission.  If the warm weather turns cold, I can bitch about it. If the laundry piles up right after I have washed and folded it and put it away, I can bitch about it and throw a hissy fit if deemed necessary. If the one of my lovely cats eats too much canned cat food and lets out silent but deadly plumes of acrid air as a thank you gift, I can certainly bitch about that too. None of those things are things that I have any control over nor are any of those things off topic for me to complain about simply because I did not go all the way in to town, by flagging down a ride, standing in a long line of people that I don't really want to stand next to, and filling out a tiny little box on some kind of new wave voting machine..... They just happened. Without my say so or my input. Much like this election.

 Now, I am sure some people are going to question why I am not voting and some people may even get huffy about it. I don't really care if they do, their perception of me is none of my business. I will, however explain why I am not now nor have I ever voted.

I am repeatedly assaulted with the same old regurgitation that not voting means that I can not "change the world"  and that to do my duty as a true American I need to stand by my representatives......but these people don't represent me. They don't even know I exist.

I am a thirty six year old woman with a mental illness.

I could say that I don't go to the polling place because of my anxiety. That is somewhat true but not the complete reason why I avoid voting. I could summarize the hardships of not being able to drive and toting two children with me to the bad part of town all by myself, filled with said anxiety, trying to find a way to get there in some one else's vehicle. I could try and muster up some money, I don't really have to spare, on a taxi because contrary to some people's beliefs not all jobs allow you to take off to vote and my husband has one of those kinds of jobs where he is needed because people would absolutely freak out if he wasn't there to help them. I could, but I am not going to. It would be pointless.

You see, the problem isn't just the hardship of mobility or the extreme anxiety I would suffer  just so some patriotic vote pushers could rest easier tonight on the absurd notion that my personal vote counts for something.

The problem is that my vote means nothing. My vote is irrelevant. The people that I am asked to vote for do not see me. They see a number. They see a chad or a check mark or whatever they use to tally votes now a days. What they don't see is the individual. The human being with mental illness.

No, my vote doesn't really count because the candidates don't care about mental illness. If they did they would talk about mental illness in a constructive way, not just a political jargon to please the masses. They would have put their money where their mouth is and would have been in the trenches fighting for us, our healthcare, our representation. They would be trying to fix this completely broken down mental health care  system that has failed us time and time again.....It is obvious to me that they either are not bothered by it or don't care enough to look at it in detail because if they did, they would do something to change it.

It is clear to me that my vote imperceptible because, for all intensive purposes, I am invisible to them.

 Look at the ads and tell me where just one of these candidates has talked about changing the false perception of mentally ill people? Show me their detailed plans on how they suggest we fix the problem of lack of hospital beds, lack of housing, lack of funding and facilities, and lack of compassion.  Tell me when they have brought up the few and far between programs that help the police deal with us in a constructive and non violent way. Show me where we are treated as the equally important individuals that we are. Show me where they have spent anytime discussing how they would change the system that has been said to have  64% of all persons in jail, 56% of all people in state prisons, and 45% of all people incarcerated in federal prisons suffering from mental illness symptoms. Show me the ads they have played that showed how they supported our causes and spotlighted our support groups. Show me where any of them, just once, talked about how suicide is the 10th leading cause of death of all age groups in America. Where is their campaign ad showing their outrage about that? What about the unacceptability that 22 veterans of this country kill themselves everyday? Where is the disgust that not enough is being done to help with PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression? Prove to me where they stood up for us and discussed our plight without the description or implication that we are somehow dangerous or criminal or less than everyone else. Show me the advocacy for the one in five American adults that will experience  mental illness each year. Can you do that?

No, I didn't think so.

So, no I am not voting. Not just because my vote doesn't really matter to them but because my vote matters very much to me. Up until the time I see a candidate raise our cause and fight for us, I refuse to raise my ass off this couch and make the effort to go downtown and deal with the anxiety of my very real mental illness, that is unequivocally unimportant  and invisible to them, and place my vote. I will not vote for someone who would not vote to help our situation and give our system the funding it needs to save the lives of other people that are just like us. I will not stand behind anyone who will not stand behind us and make it an essential part of their campaign to help the mental illness community with it's needs, it's under staffing, it's under funding, it's stigmatization, and it's misplaced shame. I refuse to do it.

I am positive that they will not miss my vote as they have not missed my vote in the eighteen years I have been eligible to vote and yet have remained silent. I am sure that they didn't even see that it was missing. That is okay, I am not bothered that my lack of voting is mind boggling to some people and my reasons are ignored by others. I and the other people that suffer from mental illness go unheard by the media and the people voted into office every day. This day is no different.

I do not need to have permission to be disappointed in my candidates. I do not have to apologize for standing up for what I believe in by not voting and I do not have to accept being put down, bullied, and shamed because I chose stick by those beliefs.

 The silence of my refusal to vote says more to me than me making some half-assed vote for someone that I am constantly told represents me. My refusal to vote is saying, if I don't matter to you than your election, that clearly has nothing to do with me in the first place, doesn't matter to me either.
If these people were really my representatives, and really represented all of us, I wouldn't have to resort to refusing my vote, which may be the biggest tragedy of the whole process, in my opinion.

I am not asking everyone else to not vote, I am simply explaining why I choose not to.

.......... and I boldly retain the right to bitch about that for as long I want too........

Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hello Dear Readers.....

Hello there dear readers,

I wanted to share with you guys a post I am very excited about that was published by an OCD group that I really believe in. There is a great bunch of information about OCD and is geared towards being informational as well as inspiring. I am honored to have been allowed to write a post for them.

 You can my new post here:

Their website is:

You can find both @TheOCDStories and me, @NeuroticNelly1 on twitter.

I am honored to still be blogging after 3 years. It has really opened my eyes and my heart and has allowed me to live with less fear in my life. Less fear of judgment, less fear of stigma. I have run into a few negative comments but mostly I have received some amazing support and have talked to some amazing people. I am truly thankful for all of the encouragement I have gotten while blogging. It really means a lot.

I always get a little scared when I put myself out there and offer a written piece to other websites. I am afraid of rejection but also I sometimes second guess  myself and my worthiness as a writer. I have committed to myself this year, to go out there and keep on doing so. I truly believe that sometimes you will fail but you can never succeed if you never try. It is, for me, all about trying to live out of my comfort zone and continuing to believe in myself. I have not always been very good at believing in myself. I am pushing to continue to change that. I know that I must practice what I preach.

I know that living with mental illness is never easy but if my blog does anything, it is my deepest wish that it inspires hope. I want people who suffer to know, that they are worthy capable human beings. That their feelings and desires matter. That they can be whatever they choose to be and that they are worth all of the trails and struggles and work. They are worth hanging in there. You are worth hanging in there.

People that suffer from mental illness have the same desires as people that do not. We all want to be loved, to be accepted, to be seen and heard. And there is no reason that we can't have those things. There is no reason for us to live our lives in under neath the weight of shame and wrapped in a straight jacket of stigma.

There is no reason mental illness should be looked at by the rest of the world any differently than any physical illness is. We did not choose to be this way but we do have to live with our mental illness. There is no reason we should have to live in fear of judgment on top of that as well.

I want all of us to know what amazing, unique, magnificent individuals we are. I want us never to doubt how important we all are not just to our loved ones but also the world.

We are all important. We all matter.

So, I thank each and every one of you that read this. My blog would not mean anything if no one read it. It would be like speaking into the wind. I really do appreciate the time and the comments and the encouragement. I hope that my posts also offer you all the same kind of inspiration and encouragement that you all have offered me.

Please if you have time, take a moment to read my guest post and to take a gander at the website.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Until next Thursday,
Neurotic Nelly

Thursday, February 25, 2016

No Wonder...

You can always tell how my week is going by the amount of curse words I say in my post. I apologize now, it has been a potty mouth kind of week......

I am trying really hard not to obsess.
I am trying my best and not succeeding.
I wish this was easier.

I often wonder how people go through life and receive worrying news, or news of any kind, and just put it out of their minds. I mean, how on earth does that work? How nice would it be to have such a magnificent ability? To just not think, and worry, and over analyze every damn thing would be mind boggling. These people have no idea how lucky they are to have such a gift.

As I write this, I am forcing myself to redo my living room to make it the way that I want it. Not because I have nothing better to do, but because two of my beloved family members are going through something stressful, hopefully it is nothing big. This in turn is freaking me out which then kicks in my OCD medical fears. Because my OCD works by taking my stress about other things and other people and then turns it into medical fears about myself, I am trying to shut it down before things get out of hand. I really don't fancy spending another night crying myself to sleep over some imagined ailment my mind makes up for me. My OCD tries to save me from my worry of my loved ones by giving me more unneeded worry about myself. It distracts me but with a negative distraction. It thinks it is helping....when it is, in fact, making things worse.

Example: If someone I love gets pneumonia, I get worried about them. My OCD brain shuts off that worry about them because I can not deal with the stress of it or the fear of losing them.  In turn, it turns my thoughts into an obsession that I may have a blood clot in my leg.

 Because I can not deal with stress well, my OCD seeks to distract me with some ridiculous bullshit obsession that I know is completely false but yet am still unable to completely ignore. Then all of that bad, negative, terrifying worry that I have for my loved one  just becomes a bad, negative, terrifying worry about myself. It sounds selfish but really my mind can not process the stress in a helpful way nor can it simply turn it off. It is simply distracting itself to save me from the anxiety of what my loved one is going through. It is just doing so in a way that creates an equal or larger amount of stress about something completely unrelated. Which I really don't need on top of every fucking thing else. Because I am still worried about that person just not to the point of breaking down because I am already breaking down by the worries my OCD mind has conveniently created for me about myself. Like an extremely fucked up self preservation tactic that is broken. If this was my only defense while traipsing through the wild, I would be eaten.

 It is a no wonder why I have an ulcer.

The only way for me to deal with this is to distract myself from such bullshit by forcing myself into obsessing about things I either want to do or like to think about. Like redoing my living room, or planting a new garden, or  planning a family trip. Something positive to fill the negative void of terror my OCD is creating. It is exhausting to constantly try and stuff this black hole of worry and doubt with happy or less scary thoughts but this is how I cope with my amazingly screwed up coping mechanism. Thanks OCD, you are such a little gem. (sarcasm)

I am  really trying not to obsess. I know that it doesn't help to worry about stuff. I know that distraction is something I need to do right now to keep myself healthy and above the fray of the OCD nonsense. I know what works best for me when things get like this. I know....but it is still hard.

So, I think tonight I am just going to go wash my face, put on my face moisturizer that I secretly think makes my face even more dry and has the wrinkle reducing properties of rubbing dry paper on my face (despite it's lofty claims) , and look at my laptop until my eyelids get heavy and I fall asleep....

I realize that at thirty six years old my life is about as exciting as a bottle of ketchup to some people, but when you have a mind that makes up shit to worry about over top of actual shit that needs to be worried about.....I don't really need any extra excitement. I got that part covered already. What I really need is an hour or two of Pintrest and a good night's sleep....and maybe some new face cream.

But hey, tomorrow has got to better than today and depending on how stressful my week is going to be, my living room is going to look fantastic....

Neurotic Nelly