Friday, September 16, 2016

I Am Going To Be Fine....

Breathe.

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.

Inhale.

Exhale.

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.

Sincerely,
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