Mentally Ill? Or Just a Weirdo?

August 25th, 2009

Lately, as I have had comments turned off, I have been receiving a lot of truly lovely emails sharing words of encouragement, support, as well as stories from their own lives that relate to what I have been writing about recently. I treasure these letters and I will save them forever. Thank you.

On more than one occasion a person has suggested with a great amount of concern that I might possibly be suffering from a mental illness. I know that these concerns come from a place of care. I am not offended by them and am even open to the idea that I may indeed be fatally and tragically mentally ill. In fact, if it involves a long hospital stay where someone will cook for me three times a day, make up my bed and do my laundry, I am even more open to the idea. Under normal circumstances, I usually don’t consider myself to be any more mentally ill than the average person who spends her days lying on her stomach in a flower bed trying to get a good shot of the Victoria Blue Salvia up against the white clapboard house with the barn in bokeh in the background or spending the afternoon stacking up books in hundreds of different ways and then photographing them from a variety of angles or hastily grabbing a pen while playing Bunko at a neighbor’s house and writing a few notes on the back of her hand because a really great idea for a post just popped into her head.  I think these things are all well within the realm of mental health.  Aren’t they?  Doesn’t everyone do these things?  As to writing a blog where I refer my cats as ‘fake show cats’…I don’t have an explanation for that – but I think we could all use a little breathing room between sanity and insanity.

Over the years I have been diagnosed with the following mental illnesses from readers of my blog…

1. Depression

2. Anxiety

3. ADD

4. Mania

5. Melancholic

6. Pregnancy

7. Homeschooling

8. Bi-polar

9. Seasonal Affective Disorder

10. Bad decorator

The only one I feel comfortable diagnosing myself with is the last one – bad decorator.  I absolutely concur.  I am a bad decorator.  In fact, I think I am actually a non-decorator which is a far more severe and debilitating malady, from which one is far less likely to ever make a full recovery.  It is even more tragic that a woman who loves houses as much as I do, would be so utterly crippled when it comes to decorating, but I am.  If someone can suggest a psychotropic cocktail that will cure my problem I would really appreciate it.  It is crushing to the little bit that remains of my undamaged mind, to wander around a home with with naked windows, disproportionate shelves, and mis-matched pillow shams.

I do however know for a fact, that I do not at all suffer from home-schooling. Occasionally a new reader will wander over here from Pioneer Woman, Miz Booshay or my sister’s blog. (Sometimes I call these three blogs The Holy Trinity of Homeschooling Blogs and sometimes I call them The Bermuda Triangle of Homeschooling Blogs... It just depends on how ‘homeschooly’ I am feeling that particular day.) I love those blogs and the women that write them very much, but since I have never home-schooled a single one of my children for even a nano second, nor do I ever wish to (because not holy enough) I rarely fit the parameters that their readers desire and they usually drift away as soon as they discover the scandal of public education floating like a deadly white shark right off my starboard prow (if there is any such thing as a starboard prow which there probably is not.)  

As to the other illnesses I have been diagnosed with by my readers over time (with the exception of pregnancy which after delivering bouncing boy number 4, I cut off the tributary to that brand of crazy permanently). But the other illnesses are all distinct possibilities with me. After hearing a few of these suggested over the last week more than once, I called a local doctor and had him give me a diagnosis.

Me – Do you think I am depressed?

Country Doctor – Well… when you were so upset about our trip, I thought you might be depressed.

Me – Of course I was depressed! Who wouldn’t be depressed! Weren’t you depressed!

Country Doctor – Yes.. I was…

Me – Do I need to take a pill or something?

Country Doctor – No…

Me – Do you think I have anxiety?

Him – No. Absolutely not. You have zero anxiety. I have never met a less anxious person than you.

Me – What about affective disorder… or maybe bi-polar… or maybe I have mania!

Him – No… I don’t think so.  I think you are just fine.

Me – Are you just saying that? Do you really think I am okay?

Him – Yes, I really think you are okay. Why are you asking?

Me – Well… some of my readers have suggested that maybe I am depressed or anxious… and sometimes they think I’m pregnant.

Him – Why?

Me – I don’t know…. what do you think?

Him – I can’t answer to the pregnancy diagnosis – but as to the depression and the anxiety… I think it might be because you are always talking about laying on the bed watching the ceiling fan.

Me – But I really do lay on the bed and watch the ceiling fan!

Him – Yes… but only on bad days.

Me – No! Actually I only watch the ceiling fan on good days! In fact, those are my best days!

Him – Oh… well you might want to stop mentioning it on the blog.

Me – Why?

Him – Because behaviors like spending the day laying on a bed and watching the ceiling fan is worrisome to lots of people.

Me – Really?

Him – Yes… it makes you sound like you might be suffering from a mental illness.

Me – But I really do lay on the bed and watch the ceiling fan!

Him -  I would prescribe keeping it to yourself.

Me – Do I have a mental illness if I lay on the bed and watch the ceiling fan?

Him – No… but it makes you seem like you do.

Me – But I have to be honest! I can’t pretend to be something I’m not!

Him – Well… that is another problem. Lots of people aren’t very comfortable with honest expression… they prefer for everything to be nice and comfortable.

Me – Oh…

Him – So… don’t mention the ceiling fan anymore and stop expressing yourself so honestly.

Me – Uh… I don’t really see that working out for me. If I can’t occasionally lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling fan, and if I can’t write what I really think most of the time, than I may as well slip the straight jacket on right now.

Him – Then you are just going to have to deal with the misdiagnosis from a few of your readers.

Me – Okay… I guess I can handle that.

Important note to readers – I do understand the serious nature of mental illness and do not wish to make fun of the real thing… only the fake thing. I suffer from fake mental illnesses all the time. My best cure for fake mental illness is to lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling fan. Also Agatha Christie movies help. Also wandering aimlessly around Target and buying another plastic clip for my hair helps.  It is not a guaranteed cure, but it does make me feel better.  And chocolate… and a hot beverage made by someone else and delivered to me on a tray (while I am lying on my bed watching the ceiling fan) helps.  That is all.


  • I appreciate your honesty and think that since you have been so honest your blog has become fabulous. I think you were hiding in the comfortable and now this truthfulness can be your therapy.
    Let’s face it, we’re all mentally ill at some time. Embrace the bloody thing. You’re fine:)

  • hh:

    Mentally Ill? or Just a Weirdo?………..Neither. An intelligent woman, interested in many things and ideas, doing the best you can in this crazy world we all live in.

  • Mary:

    LOL – Welcome back to the real world!

  • Just Kris:

    We’re all crazy – Who cares?? Getting true emotions out is healing and is a sign of mental HEALTH, because -hello – you are expressing yourself!!! It’s the crazies who don’t get it out that become ill. When it is bottled up paranoia sets in, etc., etc. Keep it real and honest, you are the picture of health!

  • J:

    We all have moments of craziness. If you were watching the ceiling fan for like a week straight, then I might be concerned about that behavior. There are many times I wish *I* had a ceiling fan to watch for a few hours.

  • Ummm…life with 4 children and a husband is enough to make even superwoman have “crazy” days. I only have 3 children and my crazy days happen often enough….not sure what a 4th would do. Although on certain days my husband is like the 4th child :)

    Enjoy lying on the bed looking at the ceiling fan! I would do it too if I had a ceiling fan ;)

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Oh, when I read the title I thought you were addressing ME.

    I have great news for you – I read in the paper last week that matchy-match decorating is OUT, and comfortable, mix-and-match homey is in. This is fabulous news, for I’m also a non-decorator. Put what you like where you want to see it.

    I’ve taken up the habit of sitting on the back porch and staring at the neighbors cows while I have my morning coffee and afternoon break. I could do it for hours. I may move to ceiling fans in the winter. I believe it’s called relaxing, or clearing your mind – perfectly healthy!

    As for the other suggested maladies (I’m a nurse – I’m objective here) – what you have is called dealing with life, and you seem to be doing a great job. And having a great sense of humor thru it and sharing it is a great gift to everyone. So thanks for being a healthy, normal weirdo like the rest fo us.

  • Michelle:

    Thank you for being honest and I LOVE the picture! Other people’s lives are so much more interesting… I must suffer from???

  • Your honesty means the rest of us can stop worrying that we are crazy too! Why is it so hard to talk about the bad days? It’s not normal for one person to do the job that we women at home with kids do – we used to live in larger family units where the elders watched the youngers and the strong of mind and body (that would be us, work with me here) would be out using our talents. But now we’ve upped the complexity of modern life tremendously, and whittled down the support to one person – Mom. It’s like when a company lets people go and never hires anyone new, the remaining folks take on more, and more…. and more.

    And if you are creative – yes, you are – then the need to create is always simmering while you wash dishes and clothes and schedule 4 people in 4 different locations all in the same time zone. And now there is not enough time for exploring the creative ideas and THAT is where the crazies come from. Women picking up couch cushions for the 8th time that day when the idea for a photo shoot or a blog post or a cure for muffin-top is brewing and can’t be put into action without giving up those precious 4 hours of sleep.

    Not that I know anything about it personally, wink…

  • jamoody:

    We all have our idiosyncrasies….you just post yours for us to see and analyze. Sometimes your posts make me laugh, sometimes I cry, sometimes I worry, but always I am jealous that you are able to express yourself like you do (honestly)…that alone is more therapy than most people can handle. I don’t for fear that I would be locked away!!!

  • Depressed? No. Mental? No. Completely normal and very much a kindred spirit? Absolutely.

  • Keep up the crazy! I love your blog and your honesty. Makes me feel not so bad for not being perfect after all ;) And I also have “show cats”.

  • Well, I for one think you are a great decorator as I recall a long time ago, a post you had that showed the same rug that I have in my house. Therefore, I decare you a fantabulous decorator.

    As for being mentally ill, bipolar, etc. Obviously, someone out there is NUTS!! As I mentioned in an email, it took me a while to “get to know you”, but now that I do, I love you bunches!! Keep being YOU!! :)

  • Amy:

    Ahhhh Rechelle, it’s so nice to have you back in lala I mean blog land. You are so not crazy, or weird, you are loved by many. One of the first blog entries I read of yours, you wrote you talked about staring off into space and watching unicorns fly by or something like that, and I was hooked. You are HILARIOUS! I love your conversations with country doc, however I just gotta ask, ARE THEY REAL convos or in your head? Inquiring minds need to know. Regardless, keep up the good work. WE LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE- FAKE ILLNESS AND ALL, hehe!

  • SoCalLynn:

    Even though you don’t homeschool I would never forsake you for that reason! I think you are so clever and witty, and I enjoy your honesty. Most people (ME!) would be terrified to be so honest about their lives, particularly during those rough patches we all go through. Thanks for “keeping it real”, to quote PW!

    I also have “fake show cats.”

  • Your checklist of maladies almost matches mine. I think those are positives, not the other way around. It gives you so many places from which to write, show your poise, show your strength. You are an inspiration to so many.

    By the way, you are one of the reasons I am blogging at all.

    Thanks to you, Rechelle! Great post, as always.

    From the token male on the comment board…..

  • Hallie:

    Yup, you’re crazy alright. Looney. Daft. A bit wobbly from time to time. We keep coming back to read about your adventures because you are totally nuts, just like the rest of us.

    Life is joyful, but it’s also a struggle—that’s where the story is!

    Thank you for your deft expression of the human condition.

    (Please check your clock as it seems to be off by about 12 hours.)

  • You are So all right! The guts that it takes to “lay it all out there” are admirable, not nutso.

    You are a genius writer/blogger and I certainly hope you continue.

    And you are right about chocolate being medicinal.

  • Kait:

    Oh PULEASE I suffer from mental illness every month. You might not have the problem anymore since the dam was blocked up, but still…
    We are women. Women can be moody. Men love us and hate us for it. Few understand it. But hell reading about it written by a talented and incredibly funny woman is great. However, that talented woman, with her writing, can also cause worry when some cannot see beneath the words. And that leads some to rush to judgement. A little knowledge can be a bad thing. :)

    Hey! There is a little tiny smiley face down at the bottom of the page. Did you know that was there?

  • Axelle the french reader:

    Dear Rechelle,
    firts I want to say that I do agree with most of the persons who have left a comment, on this post. It’s VERY VERY normal to live some difficults period and to feel depressed and, and, and … Look, I live on the other side of the ocean and I feel the same as you, sometimes ! It must mean that we are all the same, maybe …
    But most of all, I’m totally surprised by the reactions of those readers who tell you that you’re ill !! I never think that people could judge someone, this way.
    I repeat, you’re normal, miss !! … Or we’re ALL sick … Who knows, maybe we’re ill … ;-)

  • For someone who grew up with puppets in her childhood, you are amazingly mentally healthy. Seriously, is there anything scarier than puppets, clowns, or doll eyes?! Well, maybe the ocean, or bridges, or ebola, or…where is my Xanax?!
    On a more serious note, I think many people read your blog because you are being honest and putting it all out there, and that makes it very relatable. Everyone feels “crazy” once in awhile. We’re just not all brave enough to post it.

  • Erin:

    Diagnosis: Crazy
    Cause: Mother of 4 boys, Married, Homemaker, Blogger.
    Prescription: Lay on bed, watch celling fan
    Continue to Blog it is your saving grace.

  • arlene:

    What else are you going to watch while taking a time out on the bed? And it is much better that the fan be moving or you will see all dust on the fan! No, you are not un-normal at all. At least no more than the rest of us.

    BTW, I love Victoria blue salvia and that is the best photo if it I have ever seen.

  • Oh goodness me! I’ve never met a saner person than you! Well, apart from myself, that is…

    Everyone has bad days.. and I really do believe a bit of craziness goes a long way to helping us bear life.. .well, craziness, a good sense of humour and lots of chocolate!

  • I think that the Fake Mental Illness is what keeps me coming back to this blog.

    Also– knowing that you lie on the bed watching the ceiling fan makes me feel like, “Hey, I’m not such a weirdo!”

  • kate from cincinnati:

    You know, a few years back I was feeling not my usual self and I called my doctors nurse and she asked if I could be pregnant. Of course not I told her- because her boss had given me a tubal ligation at the birth of our 4th child. He’d severed, crushed and burnt those tubes so I knew I wasn’t pregnant. Well, of course I was pregnant and she is the delight of our lives but whoa, it explained alot. Not to say you’re pregnant but well, you never know…

  • Yeah, that didn’t come out right. What I meant was that it makes for a feeling of camaraderie since I’ve been known to do the same thing and feel better for it.

  • Grace:

    You are neither mentally ill or a weirdo! You are a normal woman who has the ability to make me laugh and cry (in a good way) within seconds of each other. Hang in there, sweetie.

  • annmarie:

    I think you are funny and clever and witty and a terrific writer, but not crazy. I take long breaks from reading your blgo, just because I am too lazy to read it everyday, but whenever I come back I always laugh.

  • I think is my favorite post you have written! I am going to print it out and read it every morning for inspiration :) The Holy Trinity of Homeschooling! I have fake homeschool children !

  • hummm my diagnosis is that you are as normal as the day is long. the prognosis is that you are cute, really. and have personality, of which there is a huge void in the modern world. (Is this a run on sentence?) thought so.
    As for your honest expression? Much better. A constant flow of funny is probably more in the fake category of things. So what’s not to understand about fake show cats?
    We all have struggles. Talking about both makes you very real and credible. It also makes your blog much more interesting. Better than chocolate is… some cod liver oil– yeah I know blech gag yuk! But it’ s so good for your nerves.
    I watch my fans sometimes. That’s when I see a potential garden bed up there, you could plant potatoes up there. Is that cat fur hanging from the edges? Yee gawds, it is. bye…must go find the swiffer.

    PS making a home, is much more than decorating. Decorating is not the product of the home. FAMILY is.

  • Well, if you’re mentall ill then I must be batshit insane.

    But, I do wonder if sometimes this “April” person you talk about so much is really just a second personality. Are you sure you don’t have 8 kids and two husbands?

  • POOH!!! You are just a normal person trying to cope with dissapointment. If you got over things too quickly I’d be worried about you. I’m a nurse and have been a depressed person more than I’d like in my day, also,and I’d say you’re pretty normal. You are a sensitive person who uses humor to express her concerns and thoughts in an appropriate situation. I, for one enjoy your zany sense of humor and espressive style!

  • I do not think you are mentally ill or depressed or anxious. I think you are a creative person – an artist who lives in a vivid world of pictures and words. Very creative people can appear to be unstable to mere muggles, but really you’re just looking at everything from a different point of view. And the fact that you share that point of view is the reason I visit your blog every day. Because I think you have interesting observations to share and you do it honestly and with grand humor. Cheers to you!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    Love you and your fake mental illnesses!

    Oh, Queen of Questionable Decorating Taste, is it bad that all my furniture faces the TV? I turn the chairs away, but they scooch back around when I’m not looking. Should I nail them to the floor?

  • I love the opening photo for this post!

  • You’re asking for suggestions on a psychotropic cocktail?

    I think we need to add “alcoholism” to that list!

  • From one weirdo to another….embrace it.

    You are not mentally ill, you are just yourself. I like to watch clouds float by or the rabbits nose twitch, you like to watch ceiling fans go around.

    We all have weird things that make us happy. Keep being honest.

    As for the pregnancy, I sure hope the Country Doctor can diagnose that one. LOL


  • Nanc in Ashland:

    Any man who can use “worrisome” in a sentence is a keeper!

  • Ronda:

    You are not mentally ill. You are married. It’s where I am today. Tomorrow I won’t be here; I will have moved on. Will a lesson be learned? Probably not, but I understand that one of the disadvantages of marrying a member of the opposite sex. It’s a tricky, tricky world in which we live.

  • 1. I have spent lots of time photographing my garden from different angles, times of day and with different camera settings.
    2. I have spent hours rearranging decorating objects in my house in the same way as above to photograph for my blog.
    3. I (and my sister and daughter) have adopted the phrase “totally blogable moment” and take notes for the future.
    4. Alas, I do not have fake show cats but have pretended I’m a princess while writing my blog a few times.
    5. I enjoy laying on my bed, watching the ceiling fan while unclothed after mowing or working in the yard….

    Oh. Dear. Perhaps we suffer from the same malady. ‘Course you haven’t admitted to being unclothed…..

  • we’re all a little nuts….you’re just more honest about it

  • Kris:

    Sometimes we just need to explode and some explosions are messier than others. We just mop it up and go on.

  • Jennifer:

    “I cut off the tributary to that brand of crazy permanently”


  • Jennifer:

    To be clear, I love the turn of phrase that you used! That’s what I meant by “awesome”. Thought it was a great line.

    I don’t mean I think it’s awesome that you can’t get preggers any longer. I don’t want you to think I’M crazy!

  • Kathy:

    I defintely have fake mental illness – known officially as FMI (as of now). I have always enjoyed extended sessions of ceiling fan watching (CFW) and I tend to change the rules of the world to suit my own needs. Not in any criminal manner, but I have a husband, 3 children, a dog, 2 cats, a guinea pig, and a full-time job, and if I cannot make up ways to amuse myself, then I am not going to get amused. I like your style, and I get much amusement from reading your blog, and enjoying your like-minded philosophies.

  • Conny W.:

    Agree with the comments (above) and couldn’t really add more. I really enjoy reading your blog – you’re a very creative writer. Three cheers for you!! ~ Conny

  • Joni:

    i agree you are not mentally ill. i wonder if “married with children” is considered a mental illness sometimes? humm… i wonder?

  • I would just like to ask that you continue to public school your kids. I stand behind your choice 100 percent. For some reason, many of the blogs I read are written by homeschooling moms. While I am in great admiration (and I admit I am jealous) of their abilities, I just do not feel I have it in me to do it myself. Because I read so many homeschooling bloggers, my husband feels that I should want to homeschool our children. My defense is that Rechelle, a DOCTOR’S WIFE, does not homeschool her children. If public school is good enough for a Doctor and his wife, than it is good enough for a landscaper/farmer and his wife, right?

    On a serious note, thanks for writing a fun blog. My most favorite part of all this crazy technology is finding out that women across the country are going through the exact same thing as me. And on days when I’ve just about had it, I can log on and read the horror stories of someone else and suddenly, my day isn’t as bad as I once thought.

  • Debra Cripps:

    I’ve been lurking around your blog for a little while now and I have to say you have a great sense of humour! We all feel down now and then ( I certainly do!) but you just have to laugh. You are definitely one of the saner people I am thinking!
    Hugs from Canada.

  • Kellye:

    I am glad you decided to go with honesty for yourself and mis-diagnosis by a few. I appreciate you giving a “voice” to how I have felt on so many occasions. When you wrote “I Wish I Had a Wife” I read it to my husband and we had a good talk. I could tell he was thinking about some things he had never thought of. Thanks for helping us feel normal. Also, I perfectly understand “fake show cats.” I call our dog, “The Wonder Dog,” but really she just sleeps and eats and is cute.

  • Lunamarysol:

    Rechelle, is it possible that you have a 40 yr old Puerto Rican sister that your mom never told you about?? I wanted to write you after your “I Want a Wife” post because I felt the things you said on so many levels. I thought I was the only person who took an expensive dream vacation to Paris and had a horrible time there. I am so glad you decided to show the reality of your lives in your blog. You are courageous.

    Please keep watching the ceiling fan and writing honestly and dissing homeschooling and doing all the wonderful things you do. You are hysterical and I send you a big hug from Florida (where it is repulsively hot and sticky today).

  • JJ:

    This post is the best – I really like it!
    I think it’s really sad that people can’t be sad – or down in the dumps, angry, frustrated or a little fixated ( Like on ceiling fans- people don’t knock it till you try it – its zen like! When my kids were babies a trip to Home Depot’s ceiling fan aisle calmed them right down!) without being pegged as having something WRONG with them. I have noticed a trend where people use the word depressed for any sad feeling – my teen daughter uses it constantly – EVERYTHING is “depressing’ and when people hear that word they automatically think – “there is a pill for that” I have been trying to help her learn to recognize, describe and explain her feelings more so that she can learn how to deal and cope with those feelings. ( (LIke Melancholy – love that word! Hope I spelled it right! )
    I know medication is needed at times; it has helped many people I know – but I have also seen people pop a pill just because they are unhappy. Too many people want an automatic fix and sometimes it is just not that simple. As I tell my daughter – People do NOT walk around with silly , slap happy grins on their faces 24/7. (unless there is something REALLY wrong with them! ;) ) People also need to feel free to talk about things and i love that you feel that freedom to do so – I have a lot of respect for the relationship that you and your husband have! What a gift to pass on to your kids. Thank you for sharing with us!
    And beautiful picture – it brightened my day just by looking at it – how can you NOT be sane after looking at that! Okay I’ll be quiet now!

  • Catherine:

    hilarious. Thank you for recovering from fake mental illness and for sharing your suggested remedies. I too enjoy watching the ceiling fan until the lover comes in and demands to know what I’m doing and why I’m not washing dishes. There is a lovely sense of the world and the ceiling cloud’s shadows when the fan spins and blows gently down upon me. I suspect you understand.


  • Pam:

    o dearest one,

    depressed? i think not.

    sane? who really know what that means? and who cares?

    chocolate, ceiling fan, and personal maid service are all really key to good mental health.

    your friend and bonified psych nurse (for real),

  • Christy Miller:

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned the mental illness called “keepin’ it real”. I am SURE you have it….possibly you have that mental illness called “life”, too? You get it from living life. A real life with ups and downs. I am SURE you have that one, too.
    Keepin’ it real and living life,

  • I love this blog. Makes me feel normal.

  • Carole:

    I’ve always said that if I have to be crazy, I want to be all the way crazy, you know, sitting at a bus stop talking to myself, or even yelling at myself. Bluetooth has taken away some of the enjoyment for me, now people are always talking to themselves. I also always say, I hope my mind goes before my bladder. Think about it.

    I too love this blog and it expresses some of my feelings too.

  • Late to the party…but hey. Better late than never.

    I think your nuts. To even consider getting pregnant 4 times. But that could be the back ache, swollen legs, and kid kicking my bladder/ribs/stomach/diaphragm talking.

    I also lay about and take photos of flowers from weird angles. Drives my hubby batty.

    We’re normal. It’s everyone else that’s nuts.

  • Beth:

    I know exactly what your problem is! You are a southerner at heart, and are living in the wrong place. You live in the heartland of our great country, with all the sensible, sincere people. You really should be living here in the Deep South. We’re all nuts, and we all realize that everyone else is too! We embrace the eccentrics among us. You really should move here–be my neighbor!

  • Jen:

    I love your blog. You make me feel better, because I see that you go through the same feelings, experiences, and worries as me… Thank you for being so honest and awesome! :)

  • This post is absolutely brilliant. Just wanted to let you know.

  • I’m a homeschooling mom who also has a kid in an actual brick-and-mortar school… what does that make ME?? Wait… don’t answer that. I love the honesty that is found here, as well as the bokeh barn. I also love that you are a non-decorator. I suffer from that particular malady myself. Thanks for blogging, and keep it up!

  • georgie:

    A friend keeps saying “you know you aren’t normal”. My reply is “Yes of course, and that is why we are friends, neither one of us are normal”. Then we laugh and tell one another the latest funny thing that has happened.
    No human children here, but I’m trying to homeschool the dogs and cat. You’ve seen photos of the dogs-cute but very stubborn.
    All women get depressed, feel unappreciated or ignored and get stressed out. Thankfully these are not permanent states. You are a terrific person and your blog pals care and appreciate you!

  • I must be mental too because I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say! Having four boys also, I can sympathize with much of what you say! Those pee choreganizers…nail on the head Rechelle! (If you want to feel normal, just watch a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle!)
    Keep up the good work!

  • I suppose the way many people (or those most visible in the press) operate, honesty must look a little insane. How sad is that? Oh crap. Now I’m hearing Jack Nicholson yelling in my ear, “The truth? You can’t HANDLE the truth!” I just hate it when he does that. Of all the voices, Jack Nicholson’s is one of the most annoying.

    I’ve got a diagnosis for those offering diagnoses. They’re suffering from the delusion that they are actual psychiatrists rather than the armchair variety. They mean well, but I prescribe less episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, House, and Mental–especially less Grey’s Anatomy, not because it’s about psychiatry (I don’t think it is) but because it, like Jack Nicholson, is annoying. Wait a sec. I think I just inadvertantly included myself, as one offering a diagnosis, in the group that deserves this particular diagnosis. Gotta go now. The crazy appears to be contagious.

  • I also have a show cat only one, its not ok to make fun of the real mentally ill people,on the other hand the real show cat people are wide open in my book.

  • Lois:

    Rachelle, you sweet thang, you were channeling half the nation today with your breathtaking honesty. I’m approaching 59, been a writer since I was 27 and have insane amounts of stuff in print. And I’m crazy. Can’t keep a straight face at serious meetings. Make awkward comments that seem perfectly normal if you back track over the 9,315 synapses that just fired to get there. Have high highs and low lows and some days would rather stick my head in the toilet than face another day of marriage to my wonderful husband of 38 years. HERE’S TO THE WEIRD ONES—GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE!

  • New reader, who is also “mentally ill”, and laughing through your whole post! Love it!

  • Southern Gal:

    I believe your I.Q. must be way up yonder somewhere.

  • Weirdo. I should know, I’m totally a weirdo.

    Most creative people are weirdos. call yourself an artist and people will back off. Especially if you roll your eyes and laugh really low.

    I love that part. :)

    Long live the weirdos!

  • I didn’t take the time to read the comments. Yet. Because it is late, late, late. But I will later. (tomorrow) I will tell you one thing that no matter how bad I feel makes me feel better. A very cold with lots of ice Coke. or even Pepsi. Every time! and candy. And sometimes when it’s beautiful outside and I am too. Sitting on the swing. But not as good as cold pop. :D That’s all.

  • Married (with 4 children). They forgot that diagnosis. Or Human. That would be another one. Good to know there are so many of us out in this world.

  • Tracy:

    I think your diagnosis is “landlocked” – having to live in the middle of the country would make anyone crazy. You need to move to be near a coast. East or West, it doesn’t matter.

  • cb:

    Your post made me laugh, very funny. I think your diagnosis is “charming”, actually.

  • Ticia:

    Um well my first thoughts were ” those comments must have been from men” It seems to me that whenever a woman is feeling low or upset, there is a man around telling her she is overreacting, or being crazy. Maybe it’s just me, but men always seem to be throwing the disorders around to make women think they are being irrational. So yeah I’m sticking with ” it must have been a man.” You always sound totally normal to me!

  • I just think you’re a weirdo. I like weirdos. I feel very at home amongst weirdos.


  • Naomi B.:

    The first thing I thought of while reading this is “Baby Steps down the hall… Baby steps on the bus…” from “What About Bob?”
    Because if you have fake mental illness, then you know you don’t have real mental illness.
    I appreciate your honesty and your love of houses and books. And I love your sense of humor. And I have a lot of friends who I love to death who homeschool their children while I send mine to public school.
    And “Crazy Days and Mondays always get me down” just popped into my head. Tragically, I have no ceiling fans.

  • Linda Joan:

    Hwllo Rechelle,


    Checking this out with a doctor doesn’t count if the doctor is your husband.

  • Dee from Tennessee:

    Great post and great and insightful comments (except for maybe one that I didn’t really understand ..or maybe they didn’t understand ~ grin ~ ..anyway). Esp. liked what Crunchy Chicken said…ditto for me. (And I don’t think I had fully realized the extent of this home school/public school…..sheesh! I tend to think each family evalutes their situation and does what’s best and feasible for their kids.)

    Movin’ on baby…GREAT photo…love it. One of your best…a new fav of mine. Again, great comments.

  • Kim:

    I thought about your post all day yesterday. One of my girlfriends once commented that everyone she knew was on some sort of antidepressant. Everyone except me. I too have a wide range of emotions and can flip from one to the other in a heartbeat. I would never want to not experience that. These women/people that are on all these different kinds of medication to provide emotional stability are zombies. My friend rarely cracks a smile and she just sort of navigates life in a daze. I do realize for some, medication is the answer, but I think for most it is not. We are an over medicated society and it is now extending to our children. I think it is a shame. We should be concerned with teaching coping mechanisms for everyone, because life is tough. I love life and all that it has to offer including stress and hardship.
    Anyway, I love your website because it is so real and you are really experiencing life with your family in this crazy world! Love the blog!

  • Anonymous:

    I was so not buying the mental illness thing … until you mentioned Agatha Christie movies. I have tried, I swear I have tried to stay awake through Agatha movies, but lack the will power. Maybe that is what cures your fake mental illness…a timely nap, right in the midst of (like 5 minutes into) a Christie movie. If, however, you are actually able to remain awake through the entire mind-numbing experience; well, you probably do suffer from some fake mental illness—chronic boringness!

    • I do fall asleep sometimes. But I love them also. I love the old houses, the clothes, the way they talk, the sort of dated look to the films, They calm me down. And yes… sometimes they put me to sleep.

  • Anonymous:

    After reading Kim’s post, I thought I’d add something my father once said to me: I had gotten my hair cut really short and when I went to school the next day, all the kids teased me in the most horrible manner possible (this was in the mid 70s when boys weren’t allowed to have short hair). I came home crying. My father saw me and asked, “What’s the matter?” I told him what had happened. He tried to console me and couldn’t. Finally he looked at me and said, “What do you give a [f-bleepin'-bomb] what they think of you?”

    I don’t know if that is exactly according to parenting protocol and what not, but I do suspect that advice saved me, later in life, from the need for mood-altering pills. My point, besides the one atop my head, is that Kim is right (on some level) that we are an over-medicated society and that, perhaps, what we need to focus on is coping skills. The problem is that, no offense to the Country Doctor, pharmaceutical corporations need to make profits (all worship capitalism gone wild) so they spend billions of dollars convincing physicians and our society that they hold the magic cure to what real or fake ism that just happens to be bothering us.

    Doctors like the situation, because they get to make money making the diagnosis and the pharmaceutical corporations love it, because they get to sell purple pills to men who probably only need to quit smoking and start exercising in order to make “Lil Willy” work again. Feelin’ bad for awhile? Take pill X. Cholesterol too high? Don’t go through the work and bother of getting out and walking or running or avoiding junkie industrial-raised, fatty, corn-fed meat…take a pill! It is a shame, really!

    It is a shame, because in the midst of this pill-popping madness are people who really are mentally ill, who really do need pills to help them live a life of dignity and emotional serenity. Their illness is perverted and cheapened by this greed-driven need to prescribe a pill for every little thing when, in reality, the only thing many of those people need is for someone to ask them, “What do you give a [f-bleepin'-bomb] what they (co-workers, etc.) think of you?”

  • Wow Anonymous! That was a great comment.

  • Sheryl:

    Crazy? Nope Weirdo? Ummm, maybe a little. Intelligent? Whole bunch. Funny? You’d better believe it.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, including staring at the ceiling fan, if it will enable you to continue sharing your life with those of us who adore you!

  • siltedrepose:

    My husband has depression. He’s also been known to see things that aren’t there. The current recommended treatment for depression is a combination of medication and cognitive therapy. Usually they start out with the meds pretty high and wean them off. I’m not an expert in cognitive therapy. I’ve read a bit about it. As I understand it, it’s training yourself to think in certain ways, to prevent your mind from exaggerating the truth to itself, sort of. If you think negative thoughts in your head, it will make you feel bad, and a positive thought will make you feel good.

    I think that everyone could benefit from a little cognitive therapy, even normal people.

    I also have to say that I’m irritated by the stigma with mental illness. We figure that because it’s not a physical sickness it’s not real. It’s an impression we pick up in this society that Suzy just needs to stop moping and get over it. You know, people don’t really enjoy being unhappy for extended periods of time. Suzy can’t just stop moping and get over it or she would have done it already. Sometimes a person needs help to get back on their feet, and by help I’m not talking about advice from people with no training. I can’t make my husband feel better. I’ve tried. I’ve used all the stuff that works on myself when I’m feeling down. It didn’t work. He really needed the help he got from the psychologist, and I suspect the pills helped too.

    And in case anyone was wondering I didn’t send any emails to CDW, and it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do so. I very much enjoy reading her posts and admire the way she has fun with life.

  • Anonymous:

    Regarding the ceiling fan staring thing, the rule is this: keep staring at the ceiling fan until it starts staring back at you! If/when it appears to be staring back at you, call the Country Doctor and DEMAND a pill or eight. Until then, the ceiling fan staring thing is, perhaps, mildly odd, but not, ya know, caused by mental illness;)

  • Understanding that I’m not a doctor – but I do sometimes play one on the internet – my best diagnosis for you (and the rest of us who have been there/done that) of late is this:

    broken hearted

    Does it bring on depression? Yep, sure can.

    Does it make you think you’re crazy? Sure can.

    I think you’re fine. Just fine. And I’d like some pointers on figuring out how to lay on your belly and getting photos quite like that one… only at my house, since I’ve got free ranging chickens – there’s lots of chicken poop – so… maybe not!

  • Rebecca D.:

    Sorry…I had self diagnosed you as normal…after reading that fan thing I’m not sure. (Kidding) I like to sit and watch the pool jets for long periods of time. Not be in the pool mind you…just watching the un-natural blue currents. (In case this sounds glamarous…keep in mind we got said pool at the wal-mart…not so glamarous sounding now huh??)
    Also, is homeschooling a mental illness??? Is there a cure…a pill? My oldest is a senior and I have had it for a long time now. Do I need shock treatment? (spa day??)

    • Dear Rebecca – I can’t really speak to whether or not homeschooling is a mental illness – all I can say is that it is CRAZY and I would be absolutely bonkers if I ever tried to do it. But you go girl.

  • Gonna have to disagree with you on the bad decorator thing, your house is gorgeous and the paint colors you selected are perfect.

  • Courtney KS soon to be NY:

    Dude, seriously, I think you’re the fake show cats meow. :) If you’re crazy, then I’m crazy, and that’s okay by me! To borrow a phrase from that other blogger lady from whose blog I found you long ago… Thank you for keepin’ it real!

  • Courtney KS soon to be NY:

    PS – it is pretty sweet though that so many people wrote you with concern and attempts to help identify what you were experiencing. Sometimes a label or identification helps people get through whatever it is. Kind of like acknowledgment in my book… if I’ve been going around acting like a dingaling about something and not even realize it, I think acknowledging it when it’s recognized goes a long ways. Hope that makes sense. I gotta get some sleep. Or go stare at the ceiling fan.

  • When I first read your blog I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find you. I realized that someone out there was speaking to me. I love your humor, you have a great way of writting and I have never laughed and smiled so much. I love your pictures and word of the week. I have learned so much. Thanks for being there for all of us.

  • Lauren:

    A certain level of mental illness is mandatory… Welcome to the world… Normal is boring…You, NOT BORING.
    So…do you just lie there and watch the fan or do you try to focus on one blade going round and round. That “game” can be more addicting than any on the computer for me….hahaha

  • I love you just the way you are :o)

  • Like Annmarie, I too think you are funny and clever and witty and a terrific writer. And I think you’ve always been honest and real. And I’m so glad you’re continuing your blog because I would seriously miss your humour and your stories and the things you share, and so would A LOT of other people as you know. But hey, no pressure ha ha!

  • Well I’m a homeschool Mom who wandered over and I’m sticking around. My best girlfriend is so not a homeschooler and we get along fine.
    Honesty and humor keep bringing me back. You remind me of myself except I’m a ‘nice little Mennonite lady’ who has all my non-Mennonite friends fooled into thinking I’m meek and mild. Ha.
    You are the best.

  • Michelle S:

    There is nothing wrong with you!!! I KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU: You are allergic to your boys, husband & fake show cats, I also have all of these allergies(even the fake show cats). The repellant is simple, tell them that you need help with something and watch them all disappear right before your very eyes! It works for me.

  • Kathy:

    It’s called a sense of humor. And everybody gets mad if their husband is being an ass. Just sayin…

  • Hi Rechelle,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, perhaps a year or so? And I love your post on I WANT A WIFE. I loved it so much that I put a link to it on my bog post about marriage. Marriage is hard, and men CAN drive you crazy. Honest to goodness, sometimes I think we ARE from different planets. Some of the things my husband thinks or does is enough to drive anyone crazy.

    It’s not you.

    Trust me.

    You are doing the best that you can with what you have, and that’s all that any of us can do.

    And being honest about it helps the rest of us understand and cope and not fee alone.


  • I prefer Peter Ustinov as Poirot, but David Suchet is outstanding as well. If I’m really in the dumps, Murder By Death,
    is a mood lifter.
    You might try the William Powell, Myrna Loy, Thin Man movies for a lighthearted murder or two as well.

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