Yesterday, Monday 19th July was a big day for many of us.
Earmarked to many as freedom day, to others, a day with heightened anxiety.
I marked the occasion with my first ‘back in the room’ session with my Rock choir buddies.
It was amazing to finally, after so many months apart, hear other people’s voices and all the lovely harmonies working so well together. It was truly magical!
For me, my OCD means I always have to think ahead. What do I need to do to make me as comfortable as possible? How can I plan for success? I no longer allow it to stop me living life to the full, but I have learned how to work with it and honour the fact that it is a part of who I am.
Was I apprehensive about the thought of being in a room without my mask, with so many people? Yes you bet ya, however when I got there the chairs were nicely spaced, we had plenty of fresh air and I was amongst friends that I have missed so much!
I had done a quick 30 min Covid test so I knew I was fine to be there. A big part of my OCD is keeping people safe, so a negative result was just what I needed to relax that little bit more.
Looking at this today, I realise that it is actually a huge deal that I managed to be there in person and speaks volumes for how far I have come.
Yes initially when this pandemic hit I was well and truly in my fear zone and just didn’t want to be around people. This in itself was a bit of a challenge as I was working in Pharmacy right on the front-line. I couldn’t bring myself to sleep upstairs with my Hubby Ian in case I accidentally passed anything on to him and I would have to change my clothes and shower the second I got home. I found myself focusing on all the things I’d spent so many years learning not to focus on! Catching what I’m sure was Covid, from a customer who told me they should have been isolating, after coughing all over me, was a definite low point.
Fortunately, I was only in bed for 3 days and spent the rest of my Isolation rearranging my room!
Furlough was the gift I needed and after my initial reluctance (I felt I needed to be there) my gratitude for that time off to spend doing all the things I didn’t previously have time for was immense.
Those seven weeks allowed me regroup physically and mentally and I went back to work renewed and restored.
Life really was never the same. We all had to diversify. I moved from Healthcare to picking and packing for online orders, to filling the shelves, to Photography, to main tills. I also elected to have my hours cut and survived two rounds of redundancies. It has definitely been a journey!
So here we are, ready to emerge and learn to live with Covid always being in the background.
I am choosing to emerge with Confidence. I will continue to wear my mask when required and have my gel at the ready. Not through fear, but a sense of looking after myself and others. Yes my glasses steam up when I laugh, but hey ho it’s really no biggy.
I am starting to socialise again and have just had a lovely lunch with my neighbour Julie. I have enjoyed spending time with my lovely hubby on holiday in Cornwall and hope to go back with friends in September.
My steps will naturally be tentative and cautious anyway, but I am happy to be emerging with confidence.
Last nights choir session was a much needed tonic and even though it was our last for a while as it’s now our summer break, I will be looking forward to seeing even more of our ‘Rock Choir Rockies’ in September.
However you choose to emerge, do it with confidence. We all know what we are doing by now. Do what feels right for you. The world has been through a lot, but lets all support each other to come out the other side. I’m proud of how I’ve handled the last year or so and will push myself forward as a coach and all round supporter of lovely people. I aim to blog much more often and continue to encourage you to be the very best you can be.