My partner told me a few weeks back that she had had taken a look at my blog and read it with interest. She commented that it was a very ‘glossy’ representation of my mental health, so I thought it would be constructive to wipe off that glossy sheen a little bit.

I’m well aware that I’m an extremely frustrating person to live with, work with, be friends with (the list goes on). I struggle to see the world outside of my ‘bubble’ and to understand things from other people’s perspectives. I don’t think of the practicalities of things first, I think of myself and the impact that something will have on me. Consequently, if things don’t go the way I expect them to, I come crashing back down to earth with a depressive, frustrated and confused thud.

I also strive for perfection in everything I do, this is the crux of my OCD and can become overwhelming to the point that this often has a detrimental effect on my mental state and how I interact and react to those around me. When all this melts together and I’m at a low point, I take it out on people around me; becoming confrontational with them rather than confronting my thoughts and feelings.

However, I am getting better at managing my mental health, in the sense that I am much more aware of my triggers and limits. One of the things that historically I’ve struggled with is not working within my limits/taking on too much; such as going into work hours early and focussing on inconsequential tasks that seem logical to me, like alphabetising folders on my computer when I could be marking or planning lessons! This is much less of an issue now than in the past.

My partner agrees that birding is a positive activity for me to be involved with; it gets me outside exercising in the fresh air, I’ve made some great new friends and she often states that I should ‘get out and do some birding’ when I’m not in a good frame of mind. She does question the role of the list, as this can fuel my OCD, especially when I have multiple notebooks and spreadsheets on the go and I get too focussed on ‘listing’. Anyone who has read past blog posts will know that when this happens, I detach myself from it and allow the roots of birding and being outdoors to cultivate themselves again.

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