Mental Health Month

Hello everyone hope all is well in your part of the world. May is mental health month so I thought I would discuss a few things.

I want to share with you some important information about ocd, and what type of treatment would be beneficial to someone that is struggling.

There are several types of therapy that can be effective in treating OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but the most commonly recommended and the one that I personally believe in is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically a form of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

ERP involves gradually exposing the ocd sufferer to situations or objects that trigger their obsessions while preventing them from engaging in their usual compulsive behaviors.

This process is done with the help of a therapist, and the individual is encouraged to sit with their “discomfort” and anxiety, until it starts to decrease. (Much easier said than done)

I have been doing this kind of therapy on my own for the past 6 months. I do not recommend doing ERP without a therapist.  Even though I am doing it, it is very difficult and a lot of hard work. Even though I am working hard I am still not committed as much as I should be and I am still struggling deeply.

I am only doing this on my own because at the moment I am finding it extremely difficult to find a qualified ocd specialist near me that accepts my medical insurance. And because I know how effective erp therapy is, I decided for me it’s better to try it alone than not try at all.

It’s important to consult with a mental health professional to determine the best course of treatment for each individual’s  needs, so please don’t do anything without consulting with your doctor first.

If you are like me and are finding it hard to find a specialist I encourage you to check with the International OCD Foundation first. There you will find all the information you need about OCD and they will search your area for a specialist for you. Here is their information.

If you can’t find someone in your area I highly recommend contacting NAMI.  They are awesome.  They even have a 24 hour help line that you can call and just chat with someone. They have helped me so much in the past and I can’t say enough good things about them. Plus they offer help for other mental illnesses, not just OCD and anxiety.

Both of these places are wonderful, educational, and helpful.  Please reach out to them and discuss your concerns and situation.

Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.



Hello/Weekly Smile

Hello everyone hope you all are having a safe and smooth week.

My week was actually quite nice.  Our weather has cooled down to the lower 80’s, a pleasant surprise because I thought it was going to be in the upper 90’s for another week.

My teenage son has been asking me to take him to the mall all summer. Considering that the mall is only about 4 miles from my house, this should not be a problem. 

In the last 20 years, I have probably been to the mall 3 or 4 times. The reason I stopped going years ago was because it was always overly crowded and overly priced, for me at least. The reason why I now don’t go to the mall?  Anxiety.

I have avoided the mall for 2 years. Just the thought of going, or even driving near it, would set my mind in a spin. All the people, the loudness, the little cramped stores, the over, large pricey ones, terrified me. So I just didn’t go.

Back to my son, he kept asking, and asking, and I kept giving him excuses. My kids know about my mental health, I am very open about it, but I try not to let them know how bad it is and how often I struggle. They worry, so I only tell them what I feel is best.

Remember my recent post about my “mental re-charge”?  One of the things I am working on is stepping out of my comfort zone. I also have a list I started a couple years ago called 50 things I want to do in my 50s. A trip to the mall is on that list and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. No more excuses.

I started up the car, turned the stereo on a good rock n roll station, and off we went. My son tried changing the station, but my rule in the car is that the driver gets to choose the music. Plus I’m the mom and I said so. (Joking) (kind of)

I was feeling nervous not knowing how I would feel walking around the mall. I kept thinking what if my anxiety gets to bad or what if I have a panic attack, a panic attack at the mall would be horrible.  I was starting to get worried but then it happened.  No not a panic attack, a song. Yes a song came on and snapped me out of my thoughts and out of my worries. Sounds a little silly but its true, and the funny thing is that music has helped me out a few times in the past.

The song is called “I love Rock n Roll” by Joan Jett. Something about that song got me out of my head. Next thing I knew, I was singing, and I was singing loud….. 🎵”I love rock n roll, put another dime in the jukebox baby. I love rock n roll, come on take a chance and dance with me”🎵, ok, I know what your probably thinking, did the lyrics really say “put another dime in the jukebox”? Yes, yes it did. This is an older song but wow it sure is a great one. The beat just gets you in a good mood.

So, there I am in my car singing, I’m really enjoying the beat. I even start playing imaginary drums while sitting at the stoplight. My son looks at me and says in his almost manly voice, “really mom?” I look back over at my son and sang even louder, and the louder I got the worst I sounded.  But I didn’t care.  I was having fun.

My son and I walked around the mall, did some window shopping, had a snack, and had a really great time.

As far as my anxiety? I lost it that day. It disappeared and I was to busy having fun with my son to even realize it wasn’t around. My time at the mall was spent without worrying, and without “what if’s”. It was spent without being scared.

Maybe good ole rock n roll had a little something to do with it, or maybe Joan Jett an her song from the 80’s had a little of the reason, but, I know the BIG MAIN reason I was able to enjoy a day with my son was because I took the chance and stepped out of my comfort zone.

I suffer with OCD, anxiety, and panic attacks. Because of this I use extreme caution when making plans. I rather be at home or close by if my mental health starts to peak. I don’t venture to far from my circle, my safe zone.

It’s hard. Its not easy when your so scared of something happening. But if I can keep adding days like this in my life then I know I am one step closer to finding my way towards happiness. Now that sounds like a step in the right direction to me.

Have a wonderful weekend and if you happen to hear a good song turn it up because it might be just what you needed.

Checking In

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Last month I wrote about my mental re-charge and the steps I was taking in order to feel better/get better.

One of those steps was meeting with my family doctor and going over my mental health concerns. I already see a counselor regularly and take medication, both are helping, just not as much as I want.

My doctor suggested I start seeing a psychiatrist again since it has been a while.

It has been a while because I really didn’t like how my prior psychiatrist appointments turned out. I seen two in the past, and both didn’t do anything to help me with my ocd, and both in my opinion, did not know how to treat ocd properly. Once again, thats my opinion, other patients may have had a  better experience.

Since I have been on my ‘mental re-charge” in the search of getting better, I agreed with my doctor, and went ahead with his referral.

So the day comes, I arrive at my appointment, check in, and wait to be called. After a while a woman opens a door and calls my name. She greets me and then tells me to follow her.

I am led down a maze of hallways, we turned left, went forward, turned right, I think we went left and then forward again, and we may or may not have walked backwards and up and around again. I felt like a lab rat running through a maze looking for my cheese. 🤪🤪 OK, I may have exaggerated that a little 🙂 or possibly alot. The office was a little further than I expected though.

After a bunch of twist and turns, we arrive at our destination. She walks in first. As I enter I look around and am quite surprised, and a little overwhelmed. The office is big, like gigantic! (Another slight exaggeration) I am welcomed and introduced by a man who I am assuming is the “main guy” the psychiatrist. Another man, and a woman are seated around a huge rectangle table.

As I joined them I jokingly made a comment, and asked if I was being interviewed for a job position, because it looked like I was joining a panel of potential employers. Joking was my way of “breaking the ice” and making the situation less formal.

After our moment of laughter, they explained that we were in a temporary office due to there being so many of us and covid restrictions.  He then explained that the other people were there to observe and take notes, apparently they were medical students. After I gave permission for them to observe, we began our session.

I am asked questions and I answer them honestly.  I want to get better so I open up and go over everything that is going on with me. My ocd, the anxiety, and the frightening panic attacks.

A little side note: Over the years I have done an extensive search on ocd.  I have spent countless hours reading and watching videos about this horrible illness. I am definitely not an expert but I do feel like I know what works and what doesn’t as far as ocd treatment is concerned.

After many, many questions, and after much rambling, on and on, openly and honestly letting everything out, I sit and listen to the doctors. They comfort me, let me know I am NOT crazy, and that I’m definitely NOT alone, then they discuss a treatment plan for me. They even asked how I felt about everything that they were suggesting.

So how do I feel? Well I feel hopeful. I am absolutely satisfied with the treatment plan the psychiatrist recommended. I am in agreement because I know from my own research that the therapy he recommended is the type of therapy that has been proven to help treat ocd. I even wrote a post about it last year.

You can read that post here if you want.

I am happy that I decided to take a “mental re-charge” and that I am continuing to take steps towards feeling better. It is a hard road and very difficult at times. Mental Illness is serious and should not be ignored.

Please, if you are having a hard time, talk to someone about it. Speak Up, Reach Out, and Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.

Hope you have a fantastic week and don’t forget to smile.

Weekly Check-In

Every 4th of July I celebrate by decking myself out for the occasion, even though we usually stay home. It’s sorta like my tradition to dress up even though I don’t do anything special. We stay home, sometimes let off a few fireworks and go to bed early. Pretty simple and mellow.

This year I went to my oldest son’s house. I almost backed out last minute because, well, because that’s what I often do. I back out. But my youngest son really wanted to go, and not wanting to disappoint him, off we went.

I am so happy that I went. I had such an awesome time. We had dinner at the table like a family, my granddaughter said grace, and we all enjoyed chowing down our food. The kids were so excited watching the fireworks, and I was excited just watching the smiles on their faces. 

From their backyard we were able to watch the fireworks up in the sky. You could see them coming in all directions. Many people in town seemed to be joining in the celebration. There were so many beautiful fireworks lighting up the sky.

After a fun evening with my kids and grandkids, we went home. Once home, I realized something about my evening. My anxiety wasn’t around, my panic attacks stayed hidden and didn’t make an appearance, and my ocd was bearable! Wowza!!

I don’t get out often and when I do it’s either for a short amount of time or ruined by mental issues. So getting out and enjoying myself was a huge deal for me.

And it doesn’t end there…..

I recently had a complete physical. Due to my age and weight, the doctor also scheduled me for an Ekg (Heart test) for July 5th. Remember I was at my son’s house on July 4th? Remember I had fun with no anxiety issues? I had fun, no anxiety, all while knowing I was having a heart test the next morning. Me, with no anxiety?

Now normally I would be a nervous wreck and my evening would be ruined. Normally just the thought of going to the doctor’s office would make my anxiety go crazy.  Most of you know how I get so I won’t explain it in this post.

I like to write about days like this because it helps me remember that not all days are bad. I do have some pretty awesome days as well.

I also want to add that my ekg was fine. Yay!!!!

Does this mean my anxiety is gone? Heck NO it doesn’t. It’s actually with me right now. But, at least I know that there will be times I will be able to handle it differently, and for now that’s good enough for me.

Have a wonderful Sunday, and don’t forget to smile

Until next time,


What Is OCD?

This is a re-post. I wrote it when I first started this blog. Since I mainly write about life with ocd, I figured I should explain it in better detail. This post is meant to educate and spread awareness.

First off, I am not a medical professional.  What you are reading is what I have either personally researched or have personally gone through.

I decided to write about this because I recently relized that not many people know what OCD is.  Also, I have heard the phrase “I’m so OCD” about a thousand times.  Usually by someone that doesn’t quite know the meaning.

As most of you already know,  I am a longtime OCD sufferer.  So in my opinion, who better to get a finer understanding of the illness then from someone who lives with it?

Some people think OCD is when a person has to have things done or placed a certain way.  They think people with OCD have a hard time when things aren’t perfect and are out of place.  They also think people with ocd wash their hands a couple more times than others do.  Even though this may be correct,  I’m here to tell you it is also much much worse than that. 

I’m going to try and explain it in my own words, plain and simple without all the medical terminology.  Once again, I am NOT a medical professional.

Ocd stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, or urges.  Compulsions are the things we (someone with ocd) do to get rid of the thoughts.  These thoughts are usually accompanied by extreme fear, doubt, and guilt causing us to do things in a repetitive behavior.

To give a better understanding or an example,  an OCD sufferer may have a “thought” that something terrible will happen to themselves, or a loved one, if they don’t “tap” an object a certain number of times. That thought is so strong and so intense, they will continue to touch or tap until the feeling lessens or until it “feels right”. They can continue with this behavior from 2 to 100 times……or in some cases, more.  Others may make their bed a number of times.  Some may need to wash their hair or hands repeatedly in order to feel clean. 

Giving in and doing these things is usually referred to as “rituals“.  Another great example of ocd behaviors are the mental compulsions.  Someone will repeat a “good” thought, a single word, even picture an image, over and over in order to get rid of the bad thoughts. 

Some OCD sufferers like me for instance , engage in these behaviors throughout the day.  The more I “give in” the harder it is for me to resist it the next time.

Anyone can get OCD, it does not matter your age, sex, or race.

Keep in mind that those are just a few examples.

OCD Sub-Types

There are many more varieties of OCD.  From what I have learned through my own research and experience is there are different categories with OCD.  Some experience contamination issues, some struggle with health related OCD, there’s also religious, and even harm OCD.  Some of us have “good” and “bad” numbers. There are many more sub-types.  One may struggle with one form, and others may struggle with all.

I know you might be wondering why can’t we just do things one time, or why can’t we just ignore the thought.  It’s just not that easy.  The thought is so powerful and extremely strong and very very irritating. 

Deep down we know everything will be ok,  we know doing something repeatedly doesn’t make sense and its not going to change anything, but the OCD tells us otherwise, and that makes us unsure.  OCD sufferers can’t handle unsure or uncertainty.

Some people spend a few hours, and some will spend all day giving into the OCD or the “rituals”. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety in someone’s life. It can be extremely exhausting and in some cases even debilitating. 

In my case, my OCD is there all day. Meaning, all day I’m doing rituals. All day I repeat, repeat, and repeat, leaving me very tired and sometimes irritable.


In my opinion, the best way to treat OCD is with medication and therapy.  The most effective type of therapy is called Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). More specifically, the best type of CBT is called Exposure and Response Prevention.  (ERP). 

ERP is usually done with a licensed mental health professional although some people like myself have tried it on their own, which I don’t really recommend unless you think you don’t need a professional.

There is so much more to know and learn. I just gave a small definition. If you or someone you know has OCD, or if you want more information, I highly recommend checking out the International Ocd Foundation (IOCDF) website. as well as speaking to your medical provider.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help. Nobody should go through it alone.