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