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NEATFREAK SPOTLIGHT

What's your OBSESSION, and how have you turned it into an INNOVATION?  

Your Story

is important

to us

Share your story at: info@NeatFreakApparel.org

We are here to encourage you to focus the energy of your Obsession towards Creation and Innovation,

for healthy and rewarding side-effects!

Share your story to have an opportunity to be featured in our online monthly NEATFREAK SPOTLIGHT, and for an opportunity to share your story in the Television Docu-Series “MANAGING MY OCD.”

 

 

~Brad D.

 New Haven, CT

     I'm a 29 year old male, and I grew up in a nice neighborhood in New Haven, CT.  I always felt different from the rest of the kids.  It wasn't until I was in my mid-teens I found out I had a form of OCD.  I always felt nervous around people and would get really high anxiety in crowds. I became obsessed with devising plans of isolation,

or always making up excuses to not go to school, or be among large groups of people.  Taking medication would seem to help the anxiety some, but then also seemed to create new problems because I wasn't learning how to deal with the problem directly.  It has been a long road but now I'm able to talk freely about it and with my head up. With the support of a Behavioral Therapist and my family, I am now able to face this personal issue head on and not be ashamed or embarrassed.  It has been a lot of work on my part, but I've turned my Obsession with isolation and fear of large groups into I nnovation  by challenging myself to attend Social Networking Groups once

a week, meeting new people & challenging myself to hold conversations with complete strangers for (at least) five minutes at a time.  I know I may look or sound nervous to people, and out of place, but most of the time I do pretty well.  I have met a lot of interesting people and they even act like they are happy to see me when I return the following week.  Ironically, I am actually starting to become pretty popular at these social gatherings, and everybody calls me by name and shakes my hand when they see me; something I never thought would happen in a million years!  Each week can still be a test and a little nerve racking.  I catch myself starting to reach for an excuse not to go, but then I remember how far I have come and all the people I know now, that I would have never met if I didn't take these very difficult (but rewarding) steps.  I still go to therapy to learn how to be more comfortable in public & crowds, but turning my Obsession into Innovation, I think has been the best form of medicine for me!

 

~Cyndi H.

 New York, NY

     I grew up near Central Park in New York, with my mom, my dad and my two sisters; me being the oldest, and now in my 40's.  Together my parents always took us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Museum then we’d have a picnic in Central Park.  This was a normal thing that we did often as a family.  My mom used to notice that I never enjoyed sitting on the big rocks or playing with my sister in the water, I would just sit on the blanket near them instead.  I never took off my shoes and never felt the blades of grass between my toes.  I wasn't ever interested in playing in the sand box or being around the play equipment like my other siblings.  AND... the mere mention of going CAMPING to get out of the city made me shutter inside, "OMG, I HATE CAMPING!"   So on a hunch my mom took me to a doctor who told her I might have a phobia related disorder, and that I should see a behavioral specialist.  At a young age I didn't know what any of that meant, but I knew it didn't sound good, and actually a little frightening.  As I got older my symptoms got worse, being afraid of anything that wasn't under my control; if I couldn't clean it, wash it, or wipe it down I had nothing to do with it.  So obviously I was never in good terms with nature or outdoor activities (i.e.: dirt, grass, trees, leaves, rocks, nature walks, etc.)... No Thank You!  I currently see a Cognitive Behavioral Specialist and slowly do my best to face and conquer my fears and phobias.  To most people my condition seems very silly, and for some reason others always feel the need to make fun of me and call me names; but it's very serious to people like me with this type of OCD.   It's been extremely difficult to have relationships, because for a majority of people they cannot understand this kind of disorder, or how to deal with it. Sadly, to an extent this disorder does cause a degree of isolation, which in turn causes other struggles.  It has taken me a very long time to accept the skin I'm in, but once I [finally] learned how, I started finding acceptable routines that wouldn't trigger so many of the compulsions I couldn't control.  I turned my Obsession(s) into Innovation by using a lot of my alone time to keeping my home very clean and organized (which makes me happy).  Additionally, I pour myself into my intense passion for writing.  Writing allows me to be mentally and emotionally productive, while not having to engage in other [out door related] activities that would make me otherwise very uncomfortable.  Because I cannot go to a gym for exercise, I take long city walks and think primarily what I'm going to write about, and how I am going to get my work(s) published and make a full-time career out of it.  I look forward to purchasing and wearing some NEATFREAK  apparel  & merchandise; it's the exact thing I need to be able to EXPRESS myself without always trying to EXPLAIN myself!

     My name is Anthony, I'm 47 and single... for a reason!  I've had a form of OCD ever since I could remember; actually more along the lines of a hoarding disorder.  I know there have been TV shows spotlighting the issue and I guess that's good to a certain extent, but you'll never known the pain of having this disorder ruin your life unless you see it and live it, first-hand.  If you really never feel it, touch it or smell it, it's just something that other people have.  This condition affected my whole family and has torn us apart.  I blame myself and take it as a personal insult of me as a person, and as a human being more importantly.   More recently, I've been able to take full responsibility of my actions with the help of a therapist, and the understanding of this disorder and where it came from (which has been instrumental in my recovery).  So for me, just admitting I have issues and laying it out there is huge for me.  I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I would.  Honestly, I don't even know where to start in the process of turning this Obsession into Innovation, because I have lived with the disorder so long and I never thought I'd be cured (maybe other reader would have some ideas?).  But now it does kind of get me to thinking, which I think is another step in this process.  Obviously it will be baby steps for me, but maybe one day I can catch the NEATFREAK bug, and know what it is like to "Wash, Scrub, Clean, Repeat..." and be "Organized, Categorized, Colorized, Stylized and Label-ized" (in a good way).  Thank you NEATFREAK APPAREL for bringing this to my attention- you have me thinking about it, and for now that's a big accomplishment for me.

~Tony T.

Boulder, CO

 

~Daniel H.

 Indianapolis, IN

      My name is Daniel, I’m 39 from Indiana.  I never really knew I had OCD until after high school.  I loved cars all my life; my dad got me hooked on them when I was in grade school.  Actually, I guess you could say I became obsessed with them!  I knew everything about cars, how to fix them, how to paint them and everything in between.  But when I got to high school working in the student auto shop I realize I had a severe issue with working around them (physically)- all the dirt, grit, grime and oil that goes into having to be around cars drove me crazy, which then created a deterrent for me.  It was very frustrating and confusing for me, and I was grappling with the idea of how to follow a passion and desire that I loved, but couldn't stand to be around.  In the classroom I aced everything when it came to cars, but I couldn't do any of the hands-on assignments because I just couldn't get myself to go into the shop, touch the grease rags, handle the equipment, or touch and work with the tools, much less stand the smells that come along with it all.  During class we would break up into groups to build an engine from scratch.  Sadly, I knew everything from a textbook standpoint, but I just couldn't do any of the physical labor.  Being far too ashamed of my condition I could not tell anyone, not even the instructors, for fear it would result in a lot of criticisms and judgement, which I knew would turn into ridicule and bullying.  Needless to say, although my intense passion/obsession for cars and automobiles never died, after high school I could never work around cars and any of the local garages even though I knew almost everything there was to know about any vehicle with a motor.  So I figured I had only two choices, either walk away from what I love, or figure out how to deal with what's keeping me from what I love.  My OCD diagnosis came relatively quickly from a psychologist, and I have been through a tremendous amount of Exposure Therapy to help me get through a lot that was preventing me from fulfilling my passion in life.  I’ve turned my Obsession into Innovation by creating an environment where some of my clients are the biggest and brightest stars on the race car circuit.  My brand is in high demand among car enthusiast, dealerships, and Industry people.  None of this would have ever happened without the support of my family, and  a selected few in the mental health industry that have guided me through the process and been a real support system.   There is no denying it does take work, and it takes dedication, but for me there's no denying it was worth it!

~Marta A.

 Newport Beach, CA

      Raising a family is never easy, and raising a family with four kids certainly comes with its challenges, but… raising a family with four kids and having OCD is almost close to impossible!  Kids are always getting into everything, notoriously dirty, always sick with one thing or another – the list goes on and on.  That kind of stuff never crossed my mind or bothered me until I had my first child and everything seemed to magnify itself 100 fold.  Apparently what was some kind of a postpartum OCD seemed to morph itself when I noticed that the obsession with the dirty parts of being a mom was subsiding, but I gradually acquired a strange obsession with my children's Sippy-cups!  I would seriously obsess over buying them, keeping them, stockpiling them.  I'd obsess over the color, the size, the height, the width, the style, the design, even the texture.  At this point three out of my four kids were already passed the stage of sippy cups so my last child had already inherited his older siblings sippy cups, (about 40 of them collectively- to be exact).  But I kept buying them, THERE WAS NEVER ENOUGH SIPPY-CUPS!  My husband shrugged it off and said "at least it's not jewelry!"  But honestly, deep down, in my heart I knew I had a real problem and it didn't seem like I was ever going to stop buying them.  I couldn't believe it, my greatest fear had finally been realized - I was actually hoarding these things and I couldn't stop myself!  At that point my husband intervened and took inventory, noticing that a majority of the sippy cups had never been opened or hadn’t had their seals broken; they were as brand new as the day I bought them.  At this point my last child had already been weaned off of sippy cups for more than 4 years.  I had kept all the receipts (which is also a very serious OCD issue I have- I NEVER throw away a receipt and have a receipt for EVERYthing I've ever bought for the past 10 years).  So whatever we could return we tried, but a lot of the cups I'd bought when we were on vacation, driving through a different town, etc... so we couldn't easily return them.  Now with my husband's full support I am now getting the help I need to overcome a big portion of this condition.  To people on the outside this may seem like a small problem, but it's a big issue to us.  I am well aware that my issue on the scale of everything is relatively small, I mean it could be designer shoes, handbags (we won't go there), clothes, or even cars!?   My OCD may never go away, and I am certain that I won't even be able to "control" it anytime near soon.  However, with a lot of understanding and education from my clinical psychologist, I am learning how to "Manage My OCD," which for me is a win-win proposition.  The long of the short of it, is now we have a pantry field with brand new gifts for friends, or people in the neighborhood who become new parents -  and in my opinion that's "Turning Obsession into Innovation!"

 

 

 

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YOUR STORY HERE!

 

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YOUR STORY HERE!

 

~Your Name

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                                   YOUR STORY HERE!

 

~Your Name

 Your City, Here

 

 

                                   YOUR STORY HERE!

 

~Your Name

 Your City, Here

 

 

                                   YOUR STORY HERE!

 

~Your Name

 Your City, Here

 

 

                                   YOUR STORY HERE!

 

~Your Name

 Your City, Here

Thank you to all our NEATFREAK Contributors!