Hey there, I’m Chelsea! I am 27 years old and am currently completing my year-long mental health counseling residency to become a psychotherapist! It has been quite strange to shift from the patient to the therapist, and I never imagined doing so. I suffered in the past with OCD and Tourette Syndrome (along with the other illnesses included with the Deluxe OCD package, such as Depression and Anxiety). It has changed my life completely. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there is a future we never imagined for ourselves, and we must never give up! The present is temporary so if it is a difficult chapter, know that it will pass; if it is a peaceful chapter, savor every moment.

My Tourette Syndrome first presented itself when I was eight years old and eventually evolved into OCD and other diagnoses. I traveled all over the United States with my family to receive treatment. I was introduced to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure Response Therapy (ERP) when I went to UPENN, The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. I worked with two doctors every day for a little over a month. My parents and I lived in a hotel room, making the best of it. That is always what I have found myself doingβ€”making the best of every situation. Eventually, they referred me for more intensive treatment. In 2010 I was admitted to Rogers Memorial Hospital located in Wisconsin. It was a residential hospital for mental illness. I was admitted into the adolescent unit with other teenagers suffering from debilitating OCD. After three months of living there and working on facing my OCD, I felt “cured.”

I spent four years feeling free from the chains of OCD. I graduated from high school and went off to college to study Psychology. My OCD crept back in during my Freshman year of college. In all honesty, there were signs of it I hadn’t noticed in the previous years. This OCD, however, was new. It morphed into something unexpected. It tricked me into thinking I was dizzy. Irrational, intrusive thoughts played games with my mind. I took a medical leave from college my sophomore year and realized that what we had thought was Postural Orthostatic Hypertension (POTS) ended up being predominantly OCD/Anxiety. I tried fighting it on my own, but this was new territory. I gained over 50 pounds in a matter of months, causing disordered eating. Rogers Memorial Hospital admitted me for a second time.

The first step was admission into the Eating Disorder Center and then into the Adult OCD Center Cedar Ridge. It was the hardest fight I would ever face, but the experience was unbelievably positive. The people I met, the support system there, and the beautiful environment made this time a fond memory and a place I go back to in my mind when I need comfort.

My life experiences seem surreal looking back. In the present, I still face some lingering thoughts and emotions here and there. I am growing as a person and learning more about what works for me and what does not. I have officially graduated with my master’s of arts in psychology and will complete my master of science in mental health counseling this May. School has always been my most crippling trigger. I would have said in the past that getting this far is a miracle. However, I do not think there was ever another option for me. I refuse to give in to my mental illnesses and make sacrifices due to fears and emotions that do not hold truth in my life. 

I thank God every day for the strength and support I have been given. I will continue to fight for the life I have always dreamed of and hopefully offer support and awareness to anyone reading this blog! I would love for you all to come along on this journey through life with me!

~ Stay Chipper Friends! ~

I would love to hear from you if you find you are relating to anything I’ve written! You can email me at Chipperchelseakay@gmail.com!

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41 thoughts on “About

  1. Great site..some really thoughtful and sincere words shared on here.. I live with dysthymia and severe depression and a lot of what I write is influenced by it as well.. intentional or not..look forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I recently stumbled upon your blog from the Community Pool post I knew I was in for an amazing story and downright an amazing blog. I just finished reading up the posts you have written so far and then me tell you, you are an inspiration. Reading your story and your journey thus far has been amazing as I can connect to bits and pieces. Ending each post with “Stay Chipper Friends” just melts my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I can not tell you how much your kind words have boosted my confidence about my blog. I continue to be amazed about how even though our stories are different, I am still able to connect with the words you write. Again thank you for the kind words! It means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Chelsea this is such a moving post. I don’t really know what to say but I really wanted to say something, some posts you cant just leave without writing a comment. I guess I just want to say is good luck and keep your chin up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chelesea;
    First of all please accept my heartfelt congratulation for creating this wonderful blog.
    Your blog is so special for me; because, reading this page is absolutely amazing experience through this page there are two things becomes quiet visible; first; at a very early age you have gone through very much in your life; second despite of it; I can feel, I can see, I can experience your never say die, fight till finish kind of the attitude through your writing.
    Please keep it up this spirit alive;
    Wishing you all the best,,,,,,,,,,
    Whenever you have spare time please read this post; and comment on it, I am eagerly awaiting to welcome you at my blog………………

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chelesea;
    I am absolutely thankful for your visit, reading and comment on my post.
    I wish, we both have many common hobby and passion and best part we both have willingness to become best blogging buddy; so, to strengthen this very delicate yet very promising friendship; from today, I have subscribed for your blog; if you will do the same; I will be more than happy; because, for me blogging is all about connecting with good friends like you.
    I wish my new friend will not disappoint me.
    Wishing you all the best………………..


  6. Chelsea;
    I think you might have not read my above comment; so to draw your attention; one more time I am writing here.
    If you will subscribe to my blog it will be much more beneficial for both of us, because I mostly publish the interactive and communicative types of posts where I touch the most sensible issues of our life with most unique and ideal way so we can overcome the difficulties of our life.
    I consider my readers view very very important and in this regard; time to time, I publish post in which readers can share their stories without any constrain in mind.
    Recently, I have published this post and I know very well your life has many many stories related to the subject of my post; so, can you please help me to complete this post.
    You have stories,you have writing skill and most importantly you want to share it in front of world; so, I wish, you will immediately respond the matter in most positive manner.
    Wishing you all the best…….


  7. I’m so pleased that you finding my blog has led me to reading yours. We have a little bit in common, although to a much lesser degree for me.

    You’ve not half been through the mill already so I hope things improve for you. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Tess x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am completely bing reading your blog. It is so much fun! I think we all go through hardships, and even if they are different, what we feel is the same. I look forward to your future posts as well…or should I say past posts πŸ˜€


  8. Chelsea, I love your blog:) You have so many positive and interesting things to say just like when we are in group. You always make me feel happy when I see or talk to you. I’m so glad I will be sticking around on your floor for my IOP. Stay positive and chipper, it rubs off on others. Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow!
    And, I thought I was a miserable person with problems!
    God! This page about you itself is inspiring as well as chilling the spine!
    I think I’ll hang around here for, umm.. As long as you write maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Chelsea, I am glad to “meet” someone else who has spent time at Cedar Ridge. I spent time there toward the end of this last year. I think God used it to save my life. I went through the partial hospitalization program, too, but had to leave early because of finances. I’m struggling through life here in rural Alaska, but I hope to one day be a totally different me through ERP. I’m glad I finally have access to the right therapy – ERP – and I hope others out there that need it can have it, too.
    Are you still using ERP daily? What is your personal recipe for success in your struggles?
    ~Kristen Helmer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kristen, thank you for reading my post! I LOVE “meeting” others who have received treatment from Rogers! It has saved my life twice. I always recommend treatment there. When I hear someone has recieved treatment there, I feel like my Rogers family has grown beyond just the people I met during my time there. I agree, ERP is groundbreaking and lifesaving although it is so hard to follow. There are two main thoughts I remind myself when I’m struggling.
      The first is that there is no rush to become “healthy” I don’t need to get rid of my demons immediately. Slow and steady wins the race. There is no time limit. It will all come together in the end on its own time.
      The second being that just because I’m having these thoughts or feelings doesn’t mean I have to let it scare me or control me. When I experience an intrusive thought, I don’t have to listen to it. That simple realization changed my life. Although just letting the though be and not acting upon it often gives me extreme anxiety, that anxiety can’t hurt me and I can still continue my daily activities with it….at least in theory I have that option. The process of not actually letting it take over is a different story. But in the end, the fact of the matter is, just because I’m experiencing these thoughts or feelings doesn’t mean I have to stop experiencing life. I have that power to fight them. To sit with the anxiety that can’t hurt me, to allow thoughts go through my head and not have to obey the orders. Just knowing I have that choice makes it easier. Once it fully hit me how I don’t have to be slave to my thoughts, I felt in more control.

      As of now, I’m not using ERP daily. I probably should be. I feel like It should be a skill I use the rest of my life. I will be getting a new therapist when I move to go to Grad School (wherever that ends up being) When I’m searching for one, I’m going to be sure they work with ERP. I feel it is so important. I know that I will have a downfall that will take me by surprise, it is just the nature of my OCD, and being prepared with ERP will be the way to pick myself back up.

      Sorry this is so long, I’m just so happy to hear from a fellow Rogers patient! Please don’t hesitate to ever reach out to me!

      Stay Chipper!


      1. Hi Chelsea, thanks for the reply! I really appreciate it! Please don’t worry about it being long. I like long replies. πŸ™‚ I like what you said about being a part of the Rogers family.
        What you said about being able to take your time in getting better — it is a good reminder to me.
        It is encouraging that you are getting through schooling. After trying two times to move away to attend college and experiencing a serious breakdown both times, I classified getting a college degree as something I probably couldn’t do because of the OCD. But ERP gives me hope now. Alaska doesn’t have much in the way of proper OCD treatment. I think the therapist that I talk to by phone is the only one certified in Alaska. It would be amazing one day to be a part of helping others in Alaska with ERP treatment. I’d be curious to hear more about your schooling journey and where you hope to end up in the long run career-wise.
        I hope the move to Graduate School goes well for you. Keep fighting!
        Your journey with TS is another thing I’m curious about. Are there specific blog posts that you wrote that you recommend I read in regard to that? Have you done tic reversal therapy? I don’t have TS — just one tic, which I didn’t know was a tic for a long time because it is throat clearing. It finally made sense when some of the team at Rogers’ partial talked to me about it. I have found out some about tic reversal from my therapist. It sounds tough, but then again ERP can be tough, too, but it’s all worth it.
        I’d like to keep in touch with you. Feel free to reply to this at my email address, if that works for you: takingthehelmer@gmail.com.
        Thanks Chelsea! Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. My 20-year old daughter struggles with GAD and severe OCD, including intrusive and unwanted thoughts of harming others and herself, which she is able to not act on. We’ve tried so many things, but nothing helps. She’s learning to manage her symptoms even with meds, but I feel so much pain for her as I see her struggle, especially during especially stressful times. I’m a social worker and am very familiar with these mental health struggles, but watching your own child suffer is incredibly difficult. Thanks for your inspiring blog!


    1. I am so sorry to hear of your daughter’s struggles. It is such a tough battle. My parents were a huge support in my own battle and I know it was not easy for them. They were strong when I wasn’t. They hid their tears at night so I wouldn’t see them. But their strength got me through it and I am forever grateful. I know for me, the best treatment for me was Exposure Response Prevention. I’m not sure if you guys have tried that, but it is definitely something I recommend looking at. Sending positive vibes your way. Stay Chipper!

      Liked by 1 person

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