Yes, it’s true, I’ve started a blog! This is one big scary step for me because not only is this a personal blog, it is a blog about my struggles with Mental Health.
I’ve suffered with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for most of my life. These illnesses tend to be a subject for comedians to make jokes about when in reality they’ve taken over the lives of people suffering with them. They’ve destroyed me, they’ve taught me strength, they’ve pushed me down, and they’ve shown me how I can pick myself back up. I’ve learned the true power of hope and how it can be the strongest thing in the world, and as much as I hate having my illnesses, they are the reason I know exactly who and what I want to be in the world.
Depression and Anxiety have had their shots at me too, along with eating disorders and conversion disorders created by my OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has the power to take over a brain and create illusions. Reality may not even be reality at all for us. I’ve overcome it all once before, but it has taken control yet again. I’m struggling to leave my house, to get dressed, and do any type of school work. I am on a medical leave from college and hope to get back soon but there is no certainty. Currently I am trying my best to reprogram my brain with the tools I have learned from my treatment in the past with Residential Therapy at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin and Outpatient Therapy at The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at UPenn. OCD and Tourette Syndrome is something that may always be present in my life and I’m learning that staying chipper is the only way to keep my strength and fight it to get back my life.
I’ve always been open about my illnesses, but I’ve never gone into detail about how everyday tasks can be nearly impossible at times. I think I’ve been afraid that people will think I’m making everything up. Afraid that they will think, “How can a girl go paralyzed at the sound of the single word ‘school’ and then get up and walk moments later? She’s faking because she doesn’t want to go!” I’ve been afraid that people will think I’m a fraud or I am lazy because I can’t do daily tasks…and I still am. I’m scared to open up so deeply because what my brain makes me feel sounds like a science fiction movie.
I am nervous, excited, and relieved to share my past experience and current journey with all of you and hope I can shed light on how powerful and debilitating Mental Illness is. I also hope that anyone currently struggling with not just Mental Illness but any challenge that life brings can look at these posts and find inspiration.
If you can relate to anything I’ve written or would like to share your own story, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment. I want this to be a place where we can be a group of supportive, understanding friends! I can’t wait to meet you guys and get to know all of you!
~ Stay Chipper Friends! ~