College, Mental Illness, OCD, Tourette Syndrome

Being Drafted Into the Mental Health War

I am going to take you back in time. We are in the Fall of 2007.  My parents only child has been very sick now for four years. She was diagnosed with Severe Tourette Syndrome in third grade. She has been on over 50 different medications. None of them easing the terror of the nights that are spent twitching and convulsing in bed. My mother would stay by her side all night as the tics were released, doing her best to sing soft calming melodies through the tears she held back. Just last year, 6th grade, my parents only child was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She couldn’t leave the house without a panic attack. She hasn’t brushed her hair in over a month, she hasn’t showered in over two. The doctors try new medications, desperately trying to save the flame in this young girl that seems to be slowly burning out. 7th grade. She is experiencing new and scary thoughts. She doesn’t like them. The thoughts tell her she has to kill herself, but she doesn’t want to. She tells my parents and they move into action without her knowing. They secretly lock up the medication. They secretly hide the knives. They secretly tie a string to her door that leads into their bedroom with a bell on the end. This notifies them each time she opens her door to leave her room. She didn’t want to kill herself, but she felt she had to. The thoughts were so strong one night. She didn’t want to do it. She still saw so much hope in life. She loved her parents and her friends. She ran into my mother’s bedroom crying to tell her the thoughts were loud in her head and my parents took her to the ER. This young girl of 13 years old did not feel safe. She felt she had to die.

Just last year, 6th grade, my parents only child was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She couldn’t leave the house without a panic attack. She hasn’t brushed her hair in over a month, she hasn’t showered in over two. The doctors try new medications, desperately trying to save the flame in this young girl that seems to be slowly burning out. 7th grade. She is experiencing new and scary thoughts. She doesn’t like them. The thoughts tell her she has to kill herself, but she doesn’t want to. She tells my parents and they move into action without her knowing. They secretly lock up the medication. They secretly hide the knives. They secretly tie a string to her door that leads into their bedroom with a bell on the end. This notifies them each time she opens her door to leave her room. She didn’t want to kill herself, but she felt she had to. The thoughts were so strong one night. She didn’t want to do it. She still saw so much hope in life. She loved her parents and her friends. She ran into my mother’s bedroom crying to tell her the thoughts were loud in her head and my parents took her to the ER. This young girl of 13 years old did not feel safe. She felt she had to die.

The thoughts were so strong one night. She didn’t want to do it. She still saw so much hope in life. She loved her parents and her friends. She ran into my mother’s bedroom crying to tell her the thoughts were loud in her head and my parents took her to the ER. This young girl of 13 years old did not feel safe. She felt she had to die.

In the end, she was admitted into a residential program for 14 days and it was discovered that Prozac was the culprit to these suicidal thoughts.  This journey, however, was only the beginning.

It is crazy to look back upon my memories. To see such dark times. Times that do not even seem real. It is as if a film playing in my head and not real life memories. To think that now I am in my first year of my Master’s program, fighting the stigma of chronic OCD. Showing the world that there is hope, there is a life worth living, and there is a future for them. The fight is hard. It is a test created in a way that makes you nearly destined to fail. But if you put every ounce of strength you have into this war called Mental Illness, you can win it. Time and time again you will be enlisted in this mental health army, drafted into battle. Choose to fight, choose to learn, choose to make friends and be an advocate for your life and others affected, choose to win.

victory

 

~ Stay Chipper Friends ~


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#OCDCON2016, Mental Illness, OCD

I’m Going To #OCDCON

I'm Going To #OCDCON

It’s been a while since my last post. I have realized just how much I relied on getting my thoughts and feelings out on here when I was sick last year. Now that I’ve been doing so well, I haven’t had too many thoughts poisoning my brain. I have thrived this summer. I took on an internship with the Director of Mental Health which has been amazing. My supervisor has given me many jobs and even made me the event organizer for a Suicide Prevention event. I’ve gathered speakers, booked two venues, and ordered promotional items. It has been a lot of fun.  It has shown me that I will be able to not only function, but thrive in the real world once I get out of school. A year ago, these thoughts would have put me into a panic attack, but now I am filled with such excitement!

I’m feeling ready for the real world. To take on responsibilities, to push myself to work harder, and to envision my future. With a future in mind, I’m taking my first steps by not only taking an internship with the Mental Health Department of the county but to fly to Chicago and attend the Annual OCD Conference by myself. This will be my first conference and I’m so excited to see what this experience holds. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s stories and to meet professionals in the field. It will give me a look at what specifically I want to do in the Mental Health field, what different positions there are, and to possibly network and gain connections. I truly feel like I’m ready to face this big scary world. I’m finally taking steps towards my dreams of helping others and I am just amazed by how far I’ve come.

~ Stay Chipper ~


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Mental Illness, OCD, Tourette Syndrome

They Story I’ve Been Too Afraid To Mention

In honor of National Suicidal Prevention Week I wanted to share my experience with suicidal thoughts. First I have a short free write and then I have a short poem.

I’m going to warn you that these posts aren’t as Chipper as my usual ones. This is to bring awareness and to let others know that they are not alone. I’d also like to mention that even the happiest looking person can be facing overwhelming hardships.


Me 2008I remember the chime of the silver bells that hung from my wooden bedroom door. I remember how they sang a sweet melody each time I creaked open the door, and how every time I did, my parents would run out into the dimly light hallway with tight worried faces. I would reassure them that I was okay, but in reality I wasn’t okay. They knew I was safe for now, but I was far from okay.

My parents knew everything I knew. I was as open with them as I could possibly be, and it probably saved my life. I never knew how much they did for me until years later. I don’t remember them locking up my multiple medications at night, or how they hid the sharp silver knives. I don’t remember when or where my dad hid the black bb gun. I don’t remember the hushed conversations my parents had with each other, or the tears that my mother shed every night. I don’t remember the angry prayers that were sent up to God. And I don’t remember the moment when my father punched a hole into the floral wallpapered wall in his bedroom. I do remember however, the day my mom bought a worn antique painting for my fathers room, which I now know was to cover up the gaping fist sized hole.    300x300

What I remember most were my thoughts. A hurricane inside my mind. The thoughts whirling and banging against the inside of my skull. I remember the streaks of tears that fell down my cheeks each night. And as the stars twinkled in the sky, I couldn’t help but hear my never-ending thoughts that said four simple words. “I need to die”


Eventually my parents rushed me to Urgent Care one night when I told them the thoughts were too strong. I didn’t want to kill myself, but I felt like I had too. I was admitted into Four Winds Hospital a few days later at the age of 13 to receive some help, along with some medication changes.


This poem I used for a school assignment. It had to create an image and emotion.

Young girl of just thirteen,

dysfunctional thoughts slaughter.

The wind whips against her skin,

tearing, scratching, causing her to bleed,

Blood pools in her thoughts,

she can see it, she can see her.

What of her parents? How would they react?

Seeing their one and only dead on the floor.

She loved them too much to give into the thoughts,

the thoughts that she desperately didn’t want to obey,

Will freedom ever come? Will the wind ever stop?

I wish I could go back and tell her how it ends….Oh, how it ends.


Oh how it ends……honestly, the thoughts did end; it gets better; there is always a choice; even when it doesn’t feel like it.

2008 concert


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