Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Pills

If only the doctor could prescribe me "Happy Pills"!  Wouldn't that be great. Happiness in a jar. How much would I pay?  Or rather how much might the people around me pay for me? lol  The mythological cure for all that ails you. Somebody get to work please and figure it out!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So Now...Da, da, da, da...The Clouds Move In

So after a fun two weeks of blogging and showing everyone how I seem to be fine with my illnesses I am feeling suddenly overwhelmed with sadness. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it is the thought of moving and the stress of figuring out where we should go. Maybe it's my brain weirding out, maybe it is just my "personality"...

This is how it is. One minute I can be fine, the next I am feeling fat, ugly, lonely and depressed. As if fat, ugly and lonely were actually defined as feelings. To me they are. I FEEL fat, I FEEL ugly, I FEEL lonely, I FEEL everything. If there is something I can say I have accomplished in this life, it has got to be feeling the full given range of emotions any one person could feel.

Is that normal? Do you FEEL everything? Is everything you go through and experience a "feeling"?  Others throughout my lifetime seem to have operated on different sets of emotional plains. I FEEL like I am often out of place in a world full of "normal" people. People who can just pick up and move on, into a happier place so easily.  I wish I were wired that way. How that has always been one of my greatest wishes...

I Have No Idea

I have no idea today, about anything.  It is hard to make decisions when you are OCD and anxiety ridden and you are basically doing it for the first time in your life. My problem?  My husband gets out of the Marines in 9 months and we have no idea where we should go or what we should do. The two places we have considered moving? 1) Back to Florida where all of our family lives, but we don't really like the area all that much. 2) A small town in Northern California where friends live but there isn't really a promise of great lively hood.

I mean up to this point in our regular lives and our married lives we have never made the decision on our own. The Marines have always told us where we are moving and what we will be doing.  You think it would be a God send moment of freedom to choose. But is really a terrifying experience of "What Now?"  We are still young. Both around age 40 and we still have a 13 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. Right now we live in San Diego in Base housing.  I love San Diego, my husband, not so much. My daughter would be happy to move to either place, my son would be happy to never move again. Of course all our family wants us to move back to Florida.  But we have never lived around them, married, with children etc... how would that affect us? There are good and bad points to that.  If we moved to N. California we would be far from family and I would at least feel a bit guilty. I mean aren't we supposed to always choose family?

I guess I have been waiting for a BIG SIGN that is flashing with bright lights to jump out in front of me and say "Go Here!" -But that hasn't happened. We honestly could move anywhere in the United States right now....But where?  How do you decide? How do you make giant decisions?  I need help here!  My panic is on overload! And to top it all off I seem to be binge eating.  I think I may have an unrealized problem with that, to boot!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

I could not go today with out recognizing those who have sacrificed their lives for what they believe in, this country.  How lucky are we to live in the United States of America, where we have so many freedoms and so many rights protected by these men are women who willingly serve our country. I am SO proud to be a Marine Corps wife of 19 years.  Please remember all those who are serving and have served. These are two people we know who gave their lives and I will NEVER forget their sacrifices.

Army Spc. Jeffrey M Wershow
KIA July 6, 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom

Ssgt Damon Kendall Waters-Bey
KIA March 30, 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Pure O

Things I suffer with from Pure O:
Harm-Related Obsessions:
Hit and Run OCD
Fear of leading to someones accidental injury or death
Fear of wanting to harm self or others

Religious or Morally themed Obsessions:
Fear of being damned or committing an "unpardonable sin"
Excessive concerns about past mistakes or previous decisions

Obsessions of Acting on an Unwanted Impulse:
Fear of accidentally talking about robbing a bank (while at a bank)
Fear of accidentally talking about terrorism or hijacking (while at an airport)

Obsessions Involving Health or Bodily Sensations:
Hyper-vigilance/ Hyper-awareness of bodily sensations/ getting attention stuck on thinking/ analyzing various autonomic processes (breathing, heart-rate, swallowing, blinking, eye floaters, flickering of the visual field)
Fear of having or developing a chronic, progressive illness (AIDS, HIV, ALS, Alzheimer's, Cancer)

Obsessions Involving "Mental Contamination" or "Emotional Contamination":
Fear that one is destined to complete an unwanted action, and that exposure to certain stimuli will make this more likely to happen (e.g., fear that hearing about famous serial killers will make one commit murder) you can see this is not a small list!  I find it greatly improved with my medications but off medication you can see where this would drive me absolutely nuts!  To combat these when I have felt them, I will pray, count numbers in my head, or say the abc's in my head to keep the thoughts away. I will stick close to my husband because I feel like his presence grounds me in reality, I will ask him to reassure me of things I have or have not done. Etc...

I actually had him read the article last night thinking it would be a great insight or revelation into my mind and he read it and said..."Yep that's you...I've always known all those things!"  He knew?? Funny how we think we live with these obsessions in our minds yet our closest family or friends know we feel this way!  When I read it I thought I was CRAZY!!  Didn't you? 

I will say that sharing these things is scary... I mean, these are my darkest thoughts, that most people keep undercover.  

A friend brought up to me that I might want to think about diet changes and herbal supplements to help. I have a one point...a long time ago tired some of these things, but it did not seem to help.  Although, God only knows I probably didn't stick to it long. I told her I would be interested in learning what she uses for a family member and how it is helping them. But I would also have to consult with my doctor as I would be terrified to stop my meds. And I don't know how or if I could mix the two.  So when I learn more on that I will share it with you all! ♥

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Pure-O" OCD: Common Obsessions & Mental Rituals

I just found this really insightful article on Pure O.  I may not want you to read it though!!  It scares me and might scare you about me...but oh well...go ahead!(*I do not suffer from every single thing listed here and will discuss what I do tomorrow. You can read my past posts and guess for yourselves until then!)

I'll post more on my feelings about it tomorrow. Great! ;)

"Pure-O" OCD: Common Obsessions & Mental Rituals

Irritable! Ugh!!!

Things that are making me cRaZy today:

1- People who drive slow!!!
2- People's whiny kids!!!
3- Me feeling like I am talking to myself on here!
4- Anything and everything else that seems to be coming up today!


Please know I am not belittling any ones blog posts on trying to recover. I mean isn't that why I am writing this? To find some recovery?

But here is me...I have these disorders, I am living with them, I deal with them, they have come to define a part of me...Maybe I don't think I really need to "recover" from them.  I think I am constantly learning better ways to live with them. I take medications to help them. But I mean really, they have become friends of mine.  Is that sad to say?  I have no idea. -But it is true. They keep me company, I know how I will feel in certain situations and that brings me a sense of familiarity. Am I dispensing bad advice? I hope not. In fact I don't mean to dispense advice at all. I just mean to tell you how I feel.  And I don't feel totally distraught having these things in my life!  At least not all the time. Yes, there are times I wish I was "normal", I mean, yes, I wish I could carry on friendships in a "normal" fashion, and I wish some thoughts would just go away but maybe I have accepted that they won't.   Maybe I will always be this way and it is better to accept than constantly reject myself for feeling these things!

Maybe I AM just this way. Maybe I am.
Maybe I'll feel different is possible!♥

Friday, May 25, 2012

Am I making ANY sense?

Ok, maybe I don't talk about the things I really suffer with enough. I see alot of other blogs and they are in the throws of their illnesses. I don't really know where I am in mine. It is like betting on the roulette table in Vegas. One minute I am good the next I feel like it is the end of the world. Will I ever "get better"?  I doubt it. Is my doubt something that holds me back from getting better? Maybe.  Maybe I like to be ill? Maybe. Maybe I'm just comfortable with who I am.  Maybe?  Is that a problem?  Who knows. I function. I go out in the world and most people would think I am "normal".

Some would say I make these things up. Well, they are in my mind, but I don't think I make them up. They are just there. I don't like the deep darkness of the obsessive thoughts. It is a pain in the ass a lot of times!

For instance, driving to the store at night and seeing someone walking along side the road. For most this is a normal occurrence. For me it can set my mind on a roller coaster of obsessive thoughts.  I suddenly hit a pot hole, but I drive on. Then my mind switches into the "crazy" part. I start to think how easy it would be for someone walking on the side of the road at night to get hit? Wouldn't it be so horrible! What if I hit someone by accident?  What if the pot hole I just felt was actually them?  I turn around and drive back they are still walking, I didn't hit them. It was a pot hole. I'm driving on now, but what if I only thought it was them, what if it was someone else? I turn around again, drive by again, now they are gone. There is a pot hole, that is all it was! I drive on home. But my mind still remains trapped in what if? What if? What if? -- So I avoid this feeling, I don't drive at night alone. There, it is now something I don't have to worry about. Whew... That is my OCD in action. I become obsessed by a thought, and then my compulsion is to avoid it, by not repeating the action.

But that's not normal, right? It is not normal for me to avoid driving at night because I am scared of feeling these feelings. But for works.

What about my social anxiety?  I want to be social. But it brings so much anxiety, so I don't. Why?  I feel ugly, my hair is not right, I'm not skinny enough, I am not pretty enough, I might have a skewed sense of humor they don't get,  I don't like others to see these things in me. They probably won't like me. And if they do then I am really screwed! As I have mentioned here before, I then feel trapped to carry on a relationship I know I will not fulfill my part in. I will let them down. So, it's better to just not start. Panic attack, avoidance, whew...relief.

And lately I have been SO tired all the time. I have not yet figured out if this is depression creeping in or what?  I need to take a nap most days. I look forward to it. And I am NOT a nap person.  I don't feel like cleaning my house, either. I do the minimum. I have a ton of laundry that needs to be done but it is so much work. Uh!  So what is this? Depression? Early stages of hoarding? Some other undiagnosed mental illness? I have no idea!

I go to a psychiatrist for meds, but I do not currently see a therapist. I have in the past, but I just don't always feel like RE-spilling everything to a new person every time I have ever had to move. It is such an ordeal and takes for ever. Maybe I need to....who knows.

Maybe we never really escape all of it. Maybe it is our life to live through it?
Maybe I am just insane and will always be. But other than a few odd, weird things, I don't mind being me.?.?...  Am I making ANY sense??

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Should Be Grateful for My Mental Illnesses

Today I passed a girl on the street who was obviously having issues.  She had her beanie pulled over her head and was talking and singing to the street light and waving her arms in the air like she was in a church singing and talking to God. And it was strange. Even I couldn't help but chuckle.  Which immediately made me feel bad! Thinking about it more I realize how truly sad it is. People who are homeless, or not medicated for what ever reason, roaming the streets. Making themselves venerable to others laughing, or worse.  Getting shied away from or taken advantage of. I just can't imagine. And this is not a once in a great while occurrence for me. I see these people, even certain persons, who go around town carrying on conversations with people who aren't there.

I always have had a fear I would one day end up like that. Even though my doctor assures me that schizophrenia is not something that other mental illnesses "grow" into. But it has still always scared me. All I can say is I should be grateful for the mental illnesses I have and grateful they are not worse than they are.  Sounds weird saying I should be grateful for it, but in that perspective I am!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

OC87 - I HAVE to see this when it comes out!!

Can you make a movie while having mental illness? Bud Clayman is doing it. Will making a documentary about your mental illness change your life? Maybe. Mental illness interrupted his dream of a filmmaking career. Thirty years later, he's making the movie of his life.

My crazy thought of the day...or year!

I want to move somewhere totally once in a lifetime...

I mean think about it. How often in life will we, my husband and kids and I, or you ever have the chance to move where ever you want?  My husband is retiring from the Marines the beginning of next year and I have seriously been thinking about an adventure move. Like, Iceland, or Hawaii or somewhere just nuts. I know those are at two opposite spectrum's of the temperature scale, but why not?  Why not go out and live somewhere half way around the world?  I am intrigued and studying other places all the sudden. 

I know it is's insane, to pack up and move somewhere totally off the grid...but wouldn't it be so exciting?  Oh well...we'll see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Linkin Park / Somewhere I Belong

Lyrics | Linkin Park lyrics - Somewhere I Belong lyrics"Somewhere I Belong"

(When this began)
I had nothing to say
And I get lost in the nothingness inside of me
(I was confused)
And I let it all out to find
That I’m not the only person with these things in mind
(Inside of me)
But all that they can see the words revealed
Is the only real thing that I’ve got left to feel
(Nothing to lose)
Just stuck, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
(Erase all the pain till it’s gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

And I’ve got nothing to say
I can’t believe I didn’t fall right down on my face
(I was confused)
Looking everywhere only to find
That it’s not the way I had imagined it all in my mind
(So what am I)
What do I have but negativity
’Cause I can’t justify the way, everyone is looking at me
(Nothing to lose)
Nothing to gain, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own

[Repeat Chorus]

I will never know myself until I do this on my own
And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed
I will never be anything till I break away from me
I will break away, I'll find myself today

[Repeat Chorus]

I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m somewhere I belong
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m somewhere I belong
Somewhere I belong

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mental Illness, Insanity??

I think all too often when we do think of mental illness, we think of insanity. Now yes, some mental illness may be befriended with insanity.  But who is so knowing that they could ever define one as or as not insane? Is it not a one way street going in two directions?

noun, plural in·san·i·ties.
1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. dementia, lunacy, madness, craziness, mania, aberration.
2. Law . such unsoundness of mind as frees one from legal responsibility, as for committing a crime, or as signals one's lack of legal capacity, as for entering into a contractual agreement.
3. Psychiatry . (formerly) psychosis.
4. a. extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness: Trying to drive through that traffic would be pure insanity.
b. a foolish or senseless action, policy, statement, etc.: We've heard decades of insanities in our political discourse.
But look at the definition.
Does that not apply to SO many people you know or have seen on the news or the internet?  Are lunacy, madness, craziness, ,mania and aberration so broad of terms that they could not include SO many people?
I mean jeeze...I know some people I have definitely thought of in these terms and they would not be considered mentally ill, or insane....Just rude or judgemental or even religious!! 
Think of the KKK...are these people not insane?  Are they not mentally ill?  I would think so.
Think of many politicians and their "crazy" antics, would they not fall under this definition?
What about the strict, unaccepting religions?  Are they not manic in their beliefs? Have they not  filed others under these definitions when defending their "religion'? What about your "average" criminal?  Who in their "right minds" would commit acts that cause them to have to go to jail?
I mean I just don't know that I can agree that all insanity is mental illness and vice-versa!  And I definitely think insanity is seen in those who would not be considered mentally ill! 
Are we not a world filled with people who are suffering, who are wanting, who are searching for  answers?  What sets the diagnosed apart from those who are not diagnosed? A diagnosis? 
Maybe we all have some type of mental illness at some time in our lives, just as we have all at one time or another suffered from physical illness? 
I for one, am not ashamed to be mentally ill!  I am nicer, and more compassionate than a great many people and I probably would not be this way if it were not for my "metal illness".  Yes, I want to change things about myself, but don't we all?  Maybe I should be easier on myself!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm Entirely Bonkers!

Love this Quote, Makes me feel extra special!  All the crazy people are the best!
Nikola Tesla, Michelangelo ... Me! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I love this quote. I'm not sure why though. I avoid. I avoid life.  I avoid people. Living in denial is something I find easy. I guard my heart.  Disappointment is almost too much for me to take for some reason. But I know how true this statement is...

Guess I should make it an affirmation. If that doesn't sound crazy! I've been told they help and eventually sink in. Guess I will try it for a week and see what happens. Although I think I will struggle with this my entire life.

Friday, May 18, 2012

All the Medications I've Ever Taken

I was just thinking today about all the different meds I have ever taken. It's a long list. Starting when I was a teen in high school.  My mom took me to the doctor and described my "mood swings" and they prescribed me birth control pills.  Of all things, they thought I was experiencing PMS!  Makes me laugh, now. PMS that debilitated my daily happenings. Needless to say these extra hormones made me worse!  So I went off of them and nothing else was ever done for me. I was just a "sensitive teen with irritability problems and low self esteem."   
The next time I went to the doctors about it was not until I was 23.  I was diagnosed with Dysthymia, a condition that people are not even aware of but just live with daily. They go through life feeling unimportant, dissatisfied, frightened and simply don't enjoy their lives.  --Yeah, ok.  So they prescribed me the mighty prozac...and it worked. But it turned me into a robot, no feelings, no emotions, no nothing. I couldn't cry if I cut my leg off.  It did not feel like me. 

After that I went on and off many meds, and was diagnosed on and off with many problems. Finally  culminating in a main diagnosis of OCD, and Social Anxiety Disorder, and a bit of depression. But my OCD is more of Pure O.

Purely Obsessional Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (also called Pure Obsessional OCD, Pure-O, OCD without overt compulsions or Primarily Obsessional OCD) is a lesser-known form or manifestation of OCD. For people with Purely Obsessional OCD, there are usually no observable compulsions, such as those commonly seen in those with the typical form of OCD (checking, hand-washing, etc.). While ritualizing and neutralizing behaviors do take place, they are almost entirely in the form of excessive mental rumination. (Wikipedia)

So I obsess. I over think, I over think, I over think.... this can go on for ever. My mind never stops...when I am not on meds. I just think thought upon worse thought, upon worse thought. Round and round. It is a nightmare in real life. Thank God for Anafranil (Clomipramine).

Clomipramine is used to treat people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (a condition that causes repeated unwanted thoughts and the need to perform certain behaviors over and over). Clomipramine is in a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that is needed to maintain mental balance.

That and Xanax have saved my life. Literally!

But back to meds I have tried: prozac, zoloft, celexa, cymbalta, paxil, luvoxx, effexor, welbutrin, norpamine, buspar, klonopin, and ativan.   All of which had side effects I hated, or they worked for a year or two and then stopped. 

Over the past 20 years I have taken a lot of things, to say the least. But I am glad I never gave up.  I feel better now than I have in a long time. Even though everything is not perfect, it is close enough. I still struggle with social anxiety and anxiety in general. But I'm still a work in progress. So I will hope for the best.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Going Nuts by Way of Teenager

So my 13 year old daughter decided to wear her new shoes to school this morning. One small problem. She left them at the neighbors house last night and they had already left for the day.  No big deal. Well... that's what I thought. She went into a melt down. Crying, stomping her foot and letting me know it was my fault she didn't have them because I should have seen she didn't wear them home last night and remind her to go get them.  Needless to say this made me insane. I gave her other shoes and told her to get over it, but she dragged it out for a bit. Uh.  I can tell a teen aged girl is going to prove to be a bit more of a challenge for me than my son was! But like my mom always said, "One day your daughter will act exactly like you." -And she did! Except I guess I should be grateful as my meltdowns at her age consisted of a lot more in depth wallowing, crying and arguing than hers! Mine ruined my whole day and my mothers.  Hers was only about 5 minutes and the rest of the day was fine!  Hope that is the extent of her problems through school.  Wouldn't that be great! I'll keep crossing my fingers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things That Make Me Nuts - Today

#1. Going to the grocery store
#2. Teachers who keep the kids 20 minutes after the end of the day
#3. People who walk as slow as they possibly can across the street when you want to turn
#4. Nosy Neighbors

That is all for the day! ♥

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I got tired of dealing with my tire today. What was supposed to take 10 minutes took an hour and 1/2 because the guys putting it on the car forgot to balance it it went on, then off,  then back on....Uh!  But it's finally on right and I will be driving like a granny to assure that an expensive little excursion like that doesn't happen again any time soon! But I guess I was so stressed out from the whole ordeal of yesterday and today I took a 2 1/2 hour nap! Oops!  Only meant to lay down for about 45 minutes. But needless to say it has made me feel a lot better. I use to hate to take naps and all of a sudden this year I love them.  I don't know if this is due to stress/ depression or age or all of them together. But it is what it is. 

Yes, I seem to get stressed easily. Things others might brush off become big deals to me. Maybe it's because I need more things to fill up my time, things with other purposes that make the little purposes seem smaller?  But what to do, what to do? We are moving in 10 months so getting a job is kind of useless, or at least that's what I tell myself. Not to mention I have applied for a bazillion jobs here and gone on a few interviews, and nothing. Discouraging to say the least.  So I stay home, doing what I do.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully a good one!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crazy Day with a Miracle

Ever have one of those days where you wake up and everything goes crazy from there?

Well- today was my day! Woke up with a panic attack.  Why,You might ask? I have no idea. Just did. Then I hit a curb, because I was looking for a sushi restaurant and someone behind me was honking....and it blew out my tire.  The rim shoved up in the tire and cut I had to buy a new tire.  $140. bucks...OUCH!  And I just got new tires 3 months ago.  So that was lovely.  And they had to order it, so I still have the spare on till tomorrow when they can install it. Fun....

Then, my sister went to the OB for her baby check up and was admitted immediately for an emergency c-section.  Her pre-eclamsia was was out of control. I am in California and she is in Florida so I couldn't run to be with her. Luckily the baby was only due in 3 weeks so she was good to deliver. She is the only good thing to come out of today...My baby niece, a miracle. My first one from my family... (I have others from my husbands brothers and sisters.) But it was scary, my sister had to have anesthesia because it was such an emergency.  So I am SO glad that is over! 

And now, I am just BEAT. I have a headache, my eyes are all cried out, and I am beat. I just want to be a vegetable.  I took 2 Xanax anxiety was through the roof!  And I don't deal well with stress...I freak out.  I sweat, I count numbers and say my ABC's a million times and I clean obsessively, all the sudden, for no reason. My bathroom is sparkling!  I just go into full force, overdrive, crazy woman. 

Oh well. Such is my life....
Love you baby niece, Fiona Lee ♥
Love you Laura and Alan

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Being Crazy and being a mom seem to go hand in hand, don't they?  At least that's how it feels sometimes. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

My kids, Jake 17, and Emma 13 are so much a part of me in so many ways. For the good and the not so good!  Jake says I have "feminized" him! Haha!  He says his dad being gone in the Marines for months at a time and him being with me and a sister has made him a "sensitive guy"  one who always finds the girls with "issues" and helps them out. Funny. He is a great kid though and we laugh a lot together. Which is good for me and my mental issues. Emma is a lot like me too, she is caring and sweet.  She is like her dad in the humor department though, and like her dad in the friend department, Thank God. She makes friends so easy. It is so natural for her. I wish I was more like her in that way.

I am sure it is not easy to live with a mom who has a quite a few up's and down's. But they do it wonderfully and always make me feel loved!

So today I am saying a big "Thanks" to my kids and my husband. I would be lost without them...even when they are driving me nuts!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Things that Keep Me Sane

...Well as sane as I can be! 

#1. My Family
#2. My Pets
#3. My Medicine!
#4. Sunshiny Days
#5. Iced COFFEE!
#6. Thrifting
#7. Blogging

And a few more I am sure I am forgetting.  But those will do for today.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Hours

One of my most favorite movies of all times is The Hours.  I love this movie because the first time I watched it I thought,"Someone knows how I feel."  Weird, to have a movie do that to you. I just felt so in touch with the characters emotions.  I think any woman watching it would probably relate to one of the characters in some small way.

My favorite character is Virginia Woolf, played by Nicole Kidman.  Virginia is schizophrenic and in the early 1800's that is a big problem, as there is no medication to help cure that ailment. She must move to the country side, away from family, where the doctors think the fresh air will do her mind good. If only!  But the struggle comes in her feeling dissociated with life. With the lives of those out in the world. In the end, she cannot live with feeling so alone and the feeling she has bestowed suffering upon her husband and she takes her own life.  Her goodbye note has always touched me so deeply:

 *I am in NO way condoning or advocating suicide. *

I am just moved with compassion for her suffering and her wanting it to stop it for herself and for her husband. It just deeply moves me.  I wish I felt this moved by a great many other things.  I guess I can just relate with the feeling. In no way do I ever wish my mental illness to cause others to suffer, but I guess it has sometimes. Maybe not "suffering" per se, but it has affected the lives of my family. It has affected them when my anxiety keeps me from activities which involve people, it has affected them when I am depressed and have cried, when I have a panic attack...hasn't it? And that is the reason I am now writing this. To figure out what it is that can mediate between my illness and the life I lead. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm Not Happy With My Life

That is NOT what I am saying, at all...

I am simply telling you how my brain works.  Many times I have heard, "Just decide to be happy!", "Just change your mind!", "Be thankful for all you have!", and on and on. As if it were that "easy". Don't you think I and so many others out there would have done it already? No, we just love to wallow in self pity and misery.  We love to feel like outsiders, like intruders on others lives. We love to have people mad at us because we have not called, because they think we are purposely avoiding them. We love to constantly wonder what others must be thinking about us, what they might be gossiping about us to others.
It's a double edge sword, if I want to have a friend I have to be a friend and that is not always so easy. I automatically think people probably won't like me, and God forbid they do, then what?  I will have to sign that invisible piece of friendship paper tying me to them, tying me to their life, and then if I let them down, I have failed. And failure is a hard pill to swallow for me.  If I don't have friends, then I don't let anyone down. Problem solved. Except...I get lonely. And lonely is kinda sucky. 

Lonely comes in the middle of the day when you have seen something really cool and you want to share it with someone. Yes, I can call my husband, but you know, guys don't always get the same joy out of the same things girls do. Lonely comes when I want to drink coffee and laugh and go to a thrift store, but there is no one to do that with.  So I do it by myself.  If there was ever a fear I have conquered it is doing things by myself. I don't need someone to do things with, but it is lonely when I want someone to do things with. Being alone just comes so easy, it whips past me and whirls me into an activity and it is over and done by myself, before I can blink an eye.

I love my life. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my animals.

I wish I could change my mind. I wish I could step past the fear of letting a friend in and keep going. But every time I have tried, I have let someone down.  Even explaining it all to them. I mean how would you feel if I suddenly stopped accepting your calls?  If I shied away from you coming over?  If I came across as cold and uncaring? -And I don't know why it happens!  It just does...

I'd be mad too...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One of my Secrets

I'm already regretting this...

Two of my mental short comings are Social Anxiety and OCD.  Put these two together and you have a great mix of anxiety and avoidance combined.

This normally rears it's ugly head in the form of me avoiding people in person, although it has evolved with technology.  This "task" has become easier over the years. I simply just do not engage people. I say "Hi" and keep walking, I wave and then go inside and shut the door, I don't let myself indulge in conversations with people, I don't answer the phone. I know, you don't understand, well, neither do I.  I have always been shy. I have always been self conscience. But how this all started I don't know...  Email, smart phones, messaging, etc. I simply don't answer, or I simply don't look.  I have even downloaded a "stealth" ring tone! If I know you might call and for some reason I feel like I can't talk, I change your ring tone to stealth. Then I don't even hear the phone ring! I legitimately, in my mind, didn't even know you called! For God's sake I am so strange! Maybe I'm hoping if I avoid that something that brings me anxiety, it simply doesn't exist! I remove the anxiety by removing the cause of it. Even though I know it still exists, OBVIOUSLY.

And the even crazier part is, I want to talk to people, I want to indulge in conversation, I want to NOT avoid...but I do, I just do! It just kicks in like an automated response. It takes no second thought on my part. It almost "just happens." The anxiety starts, the person is automatically avoided and I go on about my way.  

So...there. You know one of my secrets. You may or may not understand or care and it probably won't keep me from doing it in the future. But you know. I know it is incredibly awful of me to think of asking people to accept me like this, so I don't...they DO take offense. I would too...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I love Southern California husband and I took a morning walk around Lake Poway today . It is located right outside the northeastern part of San Diego. It was foggy when we started, but still beautiful.  I had no idea though, that the walk around the lake was 3 miles of up and downs...hiking really. But it was exhilarating. The flowers were beautiful and we even saw a baby rattler, as you can see in the picture my husband took.... ain't getting me near that thing!

But I realized how good Southern California has been for my mental health. Not that you can tell from theses pics, but it is always sunny, always nice, about 75° F, year round.  Only rains on occasion....perfect. Only problem is, we are moving in 10 months. :(  I will miss San Diego. I have been the "happiest" here than any other place I have ever lived.

Why are we moving?  My husband is retiring from the Marine Corps after 20 years... and we are going to Paradise, CA. It is beautiful, but I will have to get ready for snow and
rain and real seasons again!  Really, I like to move, and Lord knows, I haven't become attached to anyone here. But it will be hard to say good bye to some place I have loved living, some place that has really connected with my soul. (Strange huh?  How I can be connected to a place but not any certain people. Hum...) San Diego is just the best. You must visit if you have never been here before and you will see what I mean. Have a nice day! ♥

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beautiful People

I love this quote. I think it applies to so many people I have met. Maybe because there are so many people who suffer. I think of a specific friend, A.  Whose life was touched by a tragic suicide. Who has suffered a great deal and made it through to the other side, if you can ever do that.

I do realize people who suffer are not just the ones with the mental illness, but their loved ones, too.  I just feel so deeply for the people who seem to be trapped feeling like they have no options, and then the family and friends they leave behind. Wondering... What went wrong? Angry, sad, confused. If only I had enough wisdom to put some of this suffering to rest... If only I could have enough compassion and love to spread over all those who hurt and make them feel like they are not alone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Private Craziness?

So, speaking about being confused...I awake this morning with the news on CNN, and the topic is how any and everything you put on the web should be greatly considered.  How employers may look you up and judge you based on your social networking posts. How we could put our health insurance at risk for disclosing certain aliments, or proving otherwise about ones we have claimed to have. How people can steal our identities with our name and birthdays, etc (not that everyone hasn't realized that already)... Which got me thinking, what am I doing here?  I am blatantly putting out there that I am mentally ill.  I have problems... my insurer knows, my family knows. But how will this affect me down the line?  Would I be denied a job?  I mean other than me telling you, and you "knowing" me, you probably would not realize I suffer these ailments.  When I have worked in the past, I have done my job, and rather well. I just don't hang out with people after work, and make friends with them outside of the job. I just fall apart at 

I mean, don't we all put on these"masks" in front of most people. Don't we all have "the work Shannon" and "the home Shannon" and "the mom Shannon" and on and on.  Which makes me wonder about split personalities. I guess that would be defined another way, but don't we all kind of have different persona's that go with our different "Shannon's"?  Putting myself out there on the web is actually easier for me that putting me out there in the real world. You don't know me, you have no preconceived notions about me. You can't talk about me to someone else behind my back. If you leave me, it won't really matter.  I mean right now as far as I know I am writing an online journal to myself. I'm talking to me!

I guess you just have to take some sort of risks in life. Which is hilarious for me to conclude when I hate taking risks in so many areas!  But maybe this will be my legacy. A journal passed down from generation to generation in my family, letting them know they got the "crazies" from me. -And just so we all know, I know it is considered politically incorrect to call myself or others crazy, but it doesn't bother me. At least I can be called something. I like it better than mentally ill, disturbed, plagued, or wacko. And if my privacy on the matter is shot now, I might as well shoot for the moon. If you know what I mean.

Anyway, life isn't really ever private and I am just putting out to the universe what it already knows.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Confused...This is how I feel today.  Yesterday I was talking about having questions, which lead to more questions and now I am just confused. Maybe because I had a weird incident yesterday. I was joking around with my husband and then boom all the sudden my brain was taking everything he said seriously and I was feeling hurt and defensive.  Which made him mad because I was "taking it the wrong way".  Which I was, but I was mad for him being mad.....does any of this make sense? Not really, I know. I live it. But it left me thinking, if I can't even figure my own mind out, how the hell can I expect someone else to?  I'm confusing myself right now!

I guess I should explain all the glorious mental illnesses I seem to suffer from, or so I'm told.... (1) OCD, but more of the obsessive thinking part of it, I do not hand wash or clean excessively, but I do count numbers and recite the alphabet to myself when I am trying not to think the obsessive thoughts, which I am told is the compulsive part.  (2) Panic Attacks, paralyzing fear of things I think might happen when I do certain things. Examples of this would be going to the dentist, of which I am phobic, and being around alot of people, or certain people. which leads to (3) Social Anxiety, I have acquaintances, not friends, and I prefer to keep it that way for fear of what, I don't know.(4) Depression...which God only knows seems to just go along with everything else...  So if all this is not confusing enough, then I don't know what is. And I will share that I currently take the generic for Anafranil, 250 mg a day and Xanax...but only 1 mg a day.  I have taken up to 5mg a day before. I aspire to get off it completely, but that hasn't come to fruition yet. Could be I need it, or could be it is strongly a placebo effect, because to be honest I don't know that 1 measly mg of Xanax actually does anything but soothe me in that I think it might be doing something.

So now that I have confused you with a nonsensical post, I am going to go walk the dogs.... and maybe tomorrow I will have had a revelation that makes more sense. ♥

Friday, May 4, 2012


So thinking on compassion all last night, I just had more questions than anything. How can I expect myself or others to be compassionate about something we all most obviously do not fully understand?

Talking to my husband, who is not a "talker", I had to ask...."What do you think of me having a mental illness?"  His response, "I don't really think of you as having a mental illness."  Hum...But I go to a psychiatrist and I have taken meds for the past, uh, 20 odd years....But he doesn't see me as having a mental illness?  He doesn't see my panic attacks as a mental illness, my obsessive thinking that plagues my every move, my blatant social anxiety, not liking to have friends, not liking to put myself out there,'s just me??  He sees it as me just being me? How can this be.  Maybe I need to look up the official definition of mental illness, something I honestly have never done in all the time I have suffered... wonder I have never looked it up...there are a million different definitions!  Here is one from the
Mental illness, n : Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Also called emotional illness, mental disease, mental disorder

Or another from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

Psychological? Biochemical? Genetic? Infection or head trauma?  Good Lord, there's a run of the gambit.  Yes, I knew it could be psychological, yes, I knew it could be Biochemical, and even genetic....but infection or head trauma?  Wouldn't that be a sucky way to get "blessed" with such a condition!  I think I fall into the Biochemical, genetic category.  Not that anyone else in my families history ever went to a doctor for a psych problem before me. But we are talking about a medical field who some might say is still in it's infancy.

My dad always called any therapist or psychologist a "Shrink."  No way he was going to go let someone pick his brain! But yet he has suffered obvious self esteem issues and been (in my opinion) a "self medicating" person.  My mom might have been considered OCD by some. Keeping a spotless house, and she was always a self proclaimed "worrier".  All my grandparents self medicated with alcohol...all 4 of them!  But it was just a normal round of drinks each night, that they would be damned if they would ever miss!

So how would I know if I had a genetic predisposition to mental illness when no one in my past has even ever admitted to anything "mental"?  Why do they see my illness as something that needs to be treated, but do not see their own needs? 

Wow, I am now more confused than ever. And honestly I thought my mental illnesses were "normal" mental illnesses. LOL  But the NAMI defines them as "serious".  I have serious mental illness. I see a psychiatrist and I take medications. I will probably do this the rest of my life. But for some reason, I and others don't take this as serious as a physical illness, like diabetes or arthritis.  How do we change this way of thinking?  How do we accept those with mental illness, accept ourselves, and work towards acceptance, and compassion?  I guess that will be my next round of stay tuned.


Thursday, May 3, 2012


I figured in learning about my own mental issues and all others, I would first address the issue of compassion.  I find it absurd that some people have no compassion for those who suffer mental illness or choose suicide. And I am definitely NOT promoting going out and killing yourself. I am however, promoting compassion for the suffering of others. And this I find easy, at least easy for me to feel compassionate about others sadness. Maybe I need to learn a bit more on how to be compassionate to myself. And compassionate to others whom I presume to be incapable of compassion.

In saying this I am reminded of a quote by the Dalai Lama, "Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival." So, I am set for tonight to think on compassion, to mull it over, and report back to you tomorrow on what I have come up with....

 If you have any thoughts, please...let me know! Leave a comment!

Who do you think of?

When you think of mental illness and suicide who do you think of?  The homeless man on the side of the road begging for money, the child at school in the "special" classes, a serial killer, someone locked up in an institution?  Or like me do you think of mental illness and think of yourself.  A regular, everyday person who was randomly chosen by fate to endure and live with depression, OCD, and anxiety.  Someone like my friends husband who was a doctor, the teenager down the street who walks past my house to school everyday, Virginia Woolf and other famous people. For no one is immune.

The problem is, there is no defined picture of who mental illness chooses to befriend. At random it wheels it's powers and stalks out it's victims. It attacks in the middle of the night, in school, at work, at home. It leaves in it's wake a miserable mess of emotion, and honestly, ignorance. Ignorance in those who are it's victims and ignorance in those who it has chosen not to bother. 

So I am standing up to it. I am not backing down. I am facing it head on. I am on a mission to educate and eradicate people's misnomers about mental illness and suicide. And promote compassion for a world filled with people who suffer in it's deepest depths. I want to promote getting well, seeking out help and reaching out. And not just to those who suffer, but to everyone.

So please join me on this journey, take a minute to expand your mind. Take a minute to listen....

I want to answer all the questions I have in my own mind...
Why do people suffer from mental illness?
What are exactly all the types of mental illnesses?
Who may be more susceptible to mental illness and suicide?
Do support groups help?
Does therapy help?
Do meds help?
Why are people so intolerant of certain illnesses?
Who, What, Why, Where and When???...
I want to discover...I want to learn....