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 behavior....is 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: http://theocdstories.com/pure-o/i-am-not-an-ocd-unicorn

Their website is: http://theocdstories.com

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 http://theocdstories.com website.

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