Keeping the gremlins at bay.

Like so many of us at the moment I have found my OCD and general mental well-being challenged to the max.
There isn’t a day that goes by without a change, a challenge and an expectation of some sort of dilemma.

I’ve had to dig deep and metaphorically put my big girl pants on so many times over this last year I have started to feel I daren’t start the day without them.

Every thing has changed, turned on its head and it’s as if something picked up the world and shook it just in case there was some loose change.

As many of you know Ive had OCD for many years. It’s now as much a part of me as the mole on my cheek or grey in my hair. Which of course I do my best to hide (the grey, not the beauty spot as my Mum used to call it!) My biggest concern has always been keeping people including myself safe. I’ve learned to use this constructively by working within a healthcare environment where this quality is vital.

I used to really suffer with it. I spent so many days engulfed in it’s vice like grip and truly felt like a spectator.
Days spent focused on cleaning, trying not to become contaminated and trying desperately not to contaminate anyone else. Sound familiar?

Weeks spent indoors watching the world go by, feeling stuck and afraid of something you cant see. For years I couldn’t quite explain how it felt and then here we are and you’ve all had to join in!

On the most part I’m doing OK.

But then some smart Alek decides to come into the place I work (pharmacy retail) with a cough or temperature when they should be isolating. Or someone flouts the wearing of a mask because they somehow didn’t get the memo and have been living under a rock for the last year.
One woman actually said they didn’t need to wear one as they only live around the corner! I ask you. Honestly, when they were giving out common sense they were clearly no where near the queue never mind at the end of it!

As someone who has to wear a standard issue mask daily, its really not to much to ask. Its like wearing I sign saying ‘I care about you, I respect you and I am happy to do my part.’

That small act has the potential to make someone’s day by helping them feel safe around you. Or ruin it completely if you refuse to wear one. At best it could mean they don’t have to spend hours overthinking how much time they spent in your company. Or at worst you’ve just potentially passed on their worst nightmare!

If you really can’t for medical reason, no worries. Pop your lanyard on and go out of your way to keep your distance. But please don’t get offended if you are asked if you have a face covering with you. We all have a right to protect ourselves and our loved ones at home. Some of whom are sheilding and have barely been outside since March.

It’s the blase ones that really get to me. The ones with their mask on their chin, whilst they conduct a loud phone conversation, or the ones who say they are exempt when they clearly just don’t want to mess up their make up. They are sending a very clear message out into the universe that says loud and clear ‘I don’t care about you, or anyone else for that matter. I only care about me.’

Caring is one of my biggest values, no wonder this is so important to me!

I just have to remind myself to keep my distance, serve them quickly and let them go. They are unfortunately not worth my time or my fabulousness!

I am doing my best to approach things from a different perspective.

If someone is wearing one properly, I thank them for wearing it. If someone has innocently forgotten and by asking them politely if they have one, I remind them to put it on, I thank them. Whilst metaphorically sending them love and serving them with my full attention and care as if they were my own family.

I have pushed myself so much out of my comfort zone this past year, yet I’ve of course spent a huge amount of time living within confines put on me by others. The world has, this last year, become united in its struggles. Even our closest friends have become people we must hold at more than arms length. Yet, emotionally I feel I have allowed myself to become even closer to people by being me, warts an all. I’ve also embraced new ways to communicate virtually and surrounded myself with even more wonderful people.
Although it could have been so easy to let my OCD and gremlins overwhelm me, I have managed to spot them and divert my attention. I have taken on so many new challenges and have grown so much.

Yes Its been tough out there, but by an large these big girl pants are working.

So what do I recommend when something challenges you; think about what it is that’s getting under your skin. Is it reasonable, solvable? Is there someone you can talk to about it? How can you react differently, calmly? How can you take control and give it some positive energy? We can’t control what happens to us but we can decide how we react to it. Decide to focus on what you can change and let go of what you can’t.

So lets look after ourselves, each other, and together lets make this world a kinder more positive place.
Stay sassy
lots of love
Jane xx

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