College, Mental Illness, OCD

Correcting Thoughts

Correcting

I was writing the following post and came to a deep understanding. My mind corrected itself and instantly I felt better. I’m amazed by how much I’ve progressed in the last four months. I thought it might be helpful to read my thoughts and how I changed them from being negative.

“The upcoming weeks are going to be difficult for me. Difficult, but exciting. I’m officially back at college and am entering back into the real world. It’s amazing how far I have come. Four months ago I couldn’t get dressed because of my anxiety, now I’m getting ready to take on four classes! I still face daily anxiety at high levels, but I’ve been taught how to cope with them. The downfall is, being taught is completely different than actually doing it. My first class starts today at 10:00 and just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach with nerves. I’m happy to be back at school, it’s something I want so badly…yet I’m not sure how much I can handle. I’m an eggshell that could crack any second. As I write this and as these negative thoughts circle in my head, I can’t help but be shocked by my awareness of my emotions. Knowing that I’m scared means I can cope with it. Although I’m frightened of the weeks ahead, I need to take a step back and live in the moment. I need to stop expecting the worse and live in the moment. I’m surprised how my mind recognized that there was negativity in my thoughts and corrected it right in the middle of me writing this.”

Sometimes you need to take a step back. If the future is giving me too much anxiety, I need to just live in the moment. I need to take it hour by hour if that’s what it takes.

~ Stay Chipper! ~


Man, my therapist John back at Rogers would be proud! He had be doing this kind of writing daily in a journal! 


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Mental Illness, OCD, Tourette Syndrome

Popping Bubbles

Popping Bubbles

As a child, one of my favorite activities was going outside on a nice sunny day and blowing bubbles. The best time to do it was early spring; the 40-50º (f) weather seems to reach out and pull you by the hand that time of year. The snow is mostly melted and the sun is no longer a winter sun. The brightness just looks like summer. I would run onto the porch and lift the green wooden top that covers a large croc. Inside I had my my sidewalk chalk and a large jug of bubbles. I remember it’s pink exterior and long yellow wand hidden inside. I could spend hours with the bubbles. Most of the time I was reenacting the scene from Cinderella and singing “Sweet Nightingale” while pretending to wash the sidewalks.

Bubbles took a break from my life for a few years. I outgrew playing Cinderella and my pink jug of bubbles became empty. I was making new friends and learning new games to play outside. Little did I know that bubbles would play a huge role in my life, and it wasn’t always a good role. Once I started getting quite sick with my Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and Anxiety, my life no longer revolved around making friends. My life revolved around surviving a day at school without a breakdown emotionally or physically with my tics. I didn’t realize other people didn’t understand my situation or that they were confused by my actions. My illness kept me in a safe bubble away from society. Did you catch that? A safe bubble. I never knew that was a bad thing.

Being in a bubble made life manageable for me. In school, I was allowed to take breaks to release my tics, I was given extra homework time, I had a mom that was able to do homework along side of me, and I was not given detention if my homework wasn’t finished. At home, I didn’t have to do any chores, my mom helped me brush my teeth, take my showers, get dressed, and go out. Even though I needed all this extra help, it is a main reason why I recently went into residential treatment. Deep down I was afraid to leave this safe bubble and return to society. To this day, doing everyday tasks such as cleaning my room, brushing my teeth, putting together my own dinner, and so on, gives me anxiety. Having left residential treatment and returning home, my bubble has been popped. I’m dealing with daily tasks all day, everyday, and am overcoming the anxiety that comes along with it. Soon I will be returning to school, and knowing that there is no bubble to go back to is pretty scary. I think I can handle it. I have the skills, I know the program, and I know that if I keep fighting, one day the anxiety won’t be there.

~ Stay Chipper ~

5-16-12-bubble-pop


Incase you didn’t catch it, I’m finally home from treatment!!! I’m very excited and will be talking about how I feel about it in my next post, so keep an eye out next week!

I am going to start posting on a schedule now that I’m home. I’m planning on posting every Monday at 9:00 am EST.


Don’t forget! I love getting emails! Keep em’ coming! Chipperchelseakay@gmail.com

Mental Illness, OCD, Rogers Memorial Hospital Blogs, Tourette Syndrome

Reviews and Inspiration

 

You Have Control

A few days ago during one of my groups at Partial, we watched this incredible video of a guy named Ethan. It’s full of inspiration, determination, strength, and a whole lot of jokes. I wanted to share this because it spoke a lot to me and has helped me quite a bit the last few days. He shares his story and some personal videos that will inspire and amaze you.  My favorite quote that he says is towards the end. He says, “Emotions don’t matter, thoughts don’t matter; it’s focus and behavior and what we do with that stuff.”

The morning after we had watched the video I had these strong feelings that were trying to prevent me from going into partial. I was fighting internally and crying externally. All of a sudden a thought jumped towards the front of my brain. It said, “Thoughts don’t matter, it’s what I do with it that makes the difference” Ethan’s words got me out of my bed and into my clothing. It reminded me that I am in control. I control my behaviors.

This speech not only brings a greater awareness to the mental health world, it is a video that I can watch to gain my strength. I believe that anyone who is struggling-with or without a mental illness- can look at this and relate to the struggles we all face as human beings.

~Stay Chipper!~


Don’t forget, you can always email me at chipperchelseakay@gmail.com

I also want to give a big thank you for all the support I’ve gotten from my fellow bloggers! I want to apologize that I haven’t been keeping up on your blogs or commenting as much as I should. Once I am out of treatment I will definitely catch up with all of you!

Mental Illness, OCD, Rogers Memorial Hospital Blogs

Sneak Another Peek

Sneak Another Peek

I’ve always been passionate about understanding others; stepping into their shoes and seeing, thinking, and appreciating the lives they live. I think it is important to take that extra step and see things from a different point of view. It is the only way to achieve a true understanding. I believe in this philosophy so much so, that it’s one of the main reasons I have this blog; to give others a glimpse of a life with mental illness. I’ve been in treatment for 2 months and 26 days and I think it’s time for another peek into my brain.

I have discharged from the Cedar Ridge residential program and am now in the partial program. In short, that means I am living in a hotel and drive to the main hospital Monday-Friday from 8:00-2:30. I am given exposures to work on while I am there, and then some to work on when I return back to the hotel. This is where the problem comes in. My OCD is more Anxiety than it is obsessive thoughts and compulsions. Mine is almost like a severe case of procrastination. I have these urges that are so big and so strong that tell me, “I can’t do this and I don’t want to.” It feels like a thunderstorm inside my head. My body feels heavy and my mind is racing, finding distractions that my mind can grasp onto, desperately trying to prevent me from doing a specific task.

These urges are so violent that I’m unable to get daily tasks done on my own. Just making my bed this morning was a challenge. My brain switches into distraction mode and is begging me to do something else besides make that bed. Feelings of dread weigh my body down and my legs tense as if trying to walk away without my permission. I’ve learned a few skills that I’ve been trying to use. My main one is taking small steps. My first small step was to stop crying and get my breathing even. I took a second and tried moving my hand up to my face to wipe away my tears, while at the same time making a loud even exhale of breath. I laced my hands in front of my stomach and looked down at my feet. I decided I was going to take a small step in the direction of my bed. A few seconds pass. Inhale. I take a small step forward. Exhale. I take another step. Inhale. I allow myself to feel all the panic and anxiety that’s exploding throughout my body, almost like a firework show inside my stomach and chest. I acknowledge that this is anxiety and it will go away on its own as I take my last step. After a few more breaths I pick up the blankets and start making my bed. Now I have to do this all over again for my next task.

I know I’m able to do these tasks, even if it is hard, but my problem is getting myself to get up and take the first step. This dread that overwhelms my body is just so hard to get past. I’ve never felt something so strong. I’ve just given into it for so long that my body has come accustomed to it and automatically avoids. I know I can get past it, but it’s going to be my hardest fight yet. I’ve fallen backwards and I’m trying to pick up all the pieces, I really am, it’s just going to take a little bit of time and a whole lot of strength.

~ Stay Chipper! ~


Remember you can always email me at Chipperchelseakay@gmail.com I’m always excited when I see emails!