Mental health is a very serious matter but humor is one of my tools to cope with hard days.
Writing is another tool I have in my mental health toolkit. Combined they make up this blog.
Hope you enjoy it!
My writer-self and my work-self
Do you ever feel like you are two people in one? Do you ever feel you can’t be your ‘writer-self’ at work? Like you have your writer personality and your work personality?
At least I feel like that.
When I write I am honest, shameless, and open. When I am at work, I am polite, politically correct, and apologetic whenever I feel a slight glimpse of someone feeling a bit uncomfortable or tense or stressed or anything that is considered “bad”.
The truth is that I know that if someone at work found my short novel “Is feminism a bad word?” I would probably lose a few clients. I work independently so every client counts.
The interesting thing is that sometimes I want them to find out so I can ‘get rid” of anyone who feels feminism is something wrong.
However, I have a team. A team I am responsible for, and I can’t let them down. I have to protect their jobs. They have supported my start-up in order for it to become a true small business. And, most importantly, because I love them.
People depend on me and sometimes I want to scream “This is my true self! If you don’t like it, I don’t care”. But then I remember my team are people, they depend on me, they need to pay rent, they are making plans to buy houses, they are paying off their cars, and they have children to take care of.
I wonder if anyone else feels the same. If anyone who has an artistic side feels conflicted about letting their artistic self out into the world.
I wonder, do I hide behind my writing? Behind not putting a picture of me on social media? Behind having an artistic name?
Or am I trying to protect those whom I love so deeply from getting splashed from the chaos that would result if I showed my ’work world’ who my artistic self is truly like?
Him, me and my OCD: The tale of a first date
He lived in a different city, so the plan was to get to know each other while I showed him my city. Let’s rewind a bit.
His name was Matt and we met through an app. However, it wasn’t the typical “app situation” because we didn’t spend days and days talking. We talked the first day and went straight to WhatsApp. There was something about him...
On the second day, we spent the whole afternoon talking on the phone. He was so interesting! He had lived 10 years with tribes in India! The stories he told me fascinated me. My OCD was making me believe love was in the air, because who else can exaggerate everything and take this out of proportion: my OCD.
“Ok, let’s calm down,” I said to OCD, he is just a guy.
“But what if he is the one?” she said (because my OCD is a she).
“I will find out when I meet him, shut up for now and let me concentrate on the conversation” He didn’t notice my inner conversation, or maybe he did because for a while I actually stopped listening in order to have that conversation with OCD.
It was Saturday—the day of the date. I was getting ready and minding my own business when OCD came and said “What if he is a serial killer? You might get killed today”
“Caaaaalm the hell down. He is not a serial killer”
“Yes, he is”
“Ok! I will send all the info I have of him to all my friends and my mum too, happy?”
“Better, good girl.”
“I hate you.”
I did send all the info to my friends and my mum, just in case OCD was right. I knew I didn’t have to pay attention to her, but oh well I wanted to get ready and she was bothering me.
Jeans, a nice T-shirt, and my converse. Casual, cute look. I was ready but I couldn’t leave alone: “OCD are you ready?”
“Not yet, let’s check the door with our system of five-five and two, and then open it again to check if we haven’t forgotten any window of the whole house open, then check the door again.”
“But I am going to be late”
“But what if..”
“Ok shut up, let’s do this fast!”
I was finally out of the house! I had to walk two blocks, obviously on the right side because OCD decided to come with me!
“There he is, he is so cute!”
“Pay attention to see if he has a gun or something”
“Shut up, I hope he likes me!”
I met him. He was such a lovely man. We sat in the park we had met and had a coffee sitting on the grass, chatting as if we had known each other for years... I was having a lovely time.
“You are sitting on the ground. This was a bad idea. When you stand up your whole ass will be covered in mud”
“Mud, mud, mud, mud”
“Do you want to walk around?” I said to him.
“Clean your ass”
“How am I going to do that without him noticing, I can't,” I said to OCD.
“Do it, come on”
“Ok” I slapped my ass, laughed, and said “I thought I had an ant or something tickling me”
I had gotten so good at lying lately.
We walked around... It started raining, we continued walking and talking as if it was sunny. We were so into the conversation, having such a lovely time.
“Your makeup is running, you probably look really bad”
That one was easy! “Hey Matt, can I borrow your cap? My makeup is running” and I smiled. He lent it to me and we continued walking in the rain. How romantic!
Suddenly we stopped in front of a famous building, he looked into my eyes, I looked into his… And he kissed me.
“Shhhh let me enjoy this, please! I like him!”
While kissing he touched my face and then held my hand... How romantic!
“Do you know if he washed his hands after going to the bathroom? You should offer him some hand sanitizer before he continues holding your hand. Bacterias dude, do you want to get sick? Come on!”
Kiss over, pleasure and suffering over as well, I thought, but OCD was right awake.
“Are you hungry? Want to go for dinner?” He said smiling.
“Yes, let’s go!” I said excited yet nervous.
“Table for two please,” he said.
“Table for four,” said OCD.
“Four? Who else is coming?”
“Social anxiety feels like having dinner with us”
“Oh isn’t this great”
I ate as quickly as I could, I wanted it to be over. He was lovely but this party of four was not my cup of tea.
Suddenly, he looked at me: “Are you ok?“
“Ok, I am going to be honest, I am not. My OCD and social anxiety are kicking in, I am so sorry…”
“Do you want us to leave?” He said.
“Do you mind?” I said with a sad face.
“No, not at all. I want you to feel comfortable and not be suffering. Let me get the waiter.”
And we left. OCD and Social Anxiety stayed at the restaurant. They are like vampires, when they see the light, they disappear. By me saying it out loud I managed to shut them up.
We went home and chatted all night.