Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Failure is a huge fear for everyone. It plagues our thoughts. It fills our dreams. It prevents us from trying to reach our dreams. Most people's fears of failure is about a promotion, a career, or a relationship. For people with mental illness it can be much smaller things that we are afraid to fail at. For us it can be a simple as failing to be able to leave the house. To go to school. To even get a job because at some point our illness is going to appear at work and make it impossible to work. I used to love school. I was an excellent student. I liked most of my teachers and was respectful to all of them. I stunk at Math but I excelled at Reading and Language Arts. I love books. Their contents are precious. The old musty smell of hundreds of uses before me. I would often check the names of who this book belonged to before me and try to imagine what their lives were like and what they did now. I loved this class so much I wished it was the only one that we had. I was as odd child. I used to and still use big words that the other kids didn't understand. I loved book reports and assignments. Reading was a away to escape myself. In them I could be the hero. I could be tall and beautiful. I could be brave and strong. I could be all the things I was not.
 In high school the anxiety started. I had lots of friends so I wasn't sure why getting out of the car or to the bus stop would scare me. I couldn't breathe. The world would close in on me and the floor seemed to move. Many times I was frozen to the seat and the tears would rain down. I was unable to walk in to the building I so loved. In my freshman year I missed half of the classes most of the time. I was smart enough and my test scores were good enough that I was passed. The school was made aware of what was going on. I tried so hard to go. Often times I failed. After passing sophomore year came. It was the second day of school and I had to miss because I was sick. It wasn't anxiety this time. I was fine to go the next day and so I did. I was doing really well and proud of myself. Maybe I had beat this stupid anxiety. I had my English class second period and although I had only met the teacher once I just knew she was going to be great. This, after all, was my element. I couldn't wait. I had to go to her and give her my absence letter. She took one look at me and in a snarl said,"We aren't going to do this missing school all the time thing  again are we?"
That was it. I don't remember anything else that day. I was crushed. I was devastated. Her unkind words made it impossible to go back. I could not face her again. After I was doing so well she had judged me and found me lacking. Worse she humiliated me in front of my peers. My anxiety was back full force. I had to be home schooled after that. The school agreed to work with me at home. I was fine with that but I had missed out on all the friendships and experiences that I could have had. All because she didn't believe that my illness was real. I felt like a failure.
Working was something that I loved. I love to talk to others. I love being around people.  I excelled at doing what was asked of me.After a month the anxiety was back. I became unable to leave the house. I started to get physically ill. I was fired. Again, I  failed.
It is has gotten to the point that anxiety comes when I have to do something as a schedule. I had a lady last year come visit me. It was every Tuesday. After two months I was trying to hide from her so she would think I was not home. I couldn't even face her to tell her why I could not talk to her anymore. I finally broke down and called her. I thanked her for her time and her compassion. Failure.
That's what I wanted to tell her. That I was a failure and I have failed in everything that everyone else seems to be effortless at. That I am broken to the point that I can not function like I should. That I look like I am normal but inside I am a complete basket case.
It took me years to realize that I am not a failure. That I may have failed at things I have tried, but the difference between a failure and me is that I keep trying. I get back up and try something else. I always try. I can't be like everyone else, because I am not like everyone else, and that is ok. I don't have to be.
If you have anxiety please realize, it is not you. It is not your fault. You are not a failure. You just have a different path to take. And if you are reading this and you know someone that has anxiety do not make them feel bad for not being able to do certain things. We are aware of what we can not do. We know what we have failed at and we don't need you to remind us. We deserve better treatment than to be made fun of or chastised.  We don't need you to do that for us, we do that to ourselves enough already.. Chances are you are not perfect either and you should take time to reflect on that before you judge.
                                                       Neurotic Nelly


  1. You're perfectly you. Trees no one else like you in the entire universe. Carry on being you.

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  3. I had the same problems as you with school and lots of other thihgs when I was going towards an associated degree. I finally got it but I took off so many semesters for anxiety and depression. This was another great write Nelly. It is obvious that you would excel in English and literature, you were born to be a writer. Try not to concentrate on what you consider to be your failures, and focus on all your successes. You are a great mom, wife, and friend. and you are one by one kicking your neurosis ass if you dont see it i do, and i think this blog has helped a lot. ill be thinking of you till we talk again.
    take care of yourself, you are worth it

  4. Thank you Debbie! It's good to know that I am not alone in having this issue. I am trying my hardest to kick its ass. Sometimes it gets the better of me but I am stubborn. I am not going down that easy.