Disclaimer – Trigger warning.
Let’s talk mental about health today.
Before we dive in, let me start by saying that I am not a medically certified professional nor am I a self-acclaimed know-it-all but I am a strong believer in introspection and I have proven to be my best critic.
I realized early in life that I possess a few obsessive-compulsive traits; which by definition means an uncontrollable need do a few things repeatedly. Doing so calms my mind. There was a period in life where I constantly questioned myself when these traits surfaced and as I said, I was my best and might I add my one brutal critic. Fortunately enough, the curiosity bug bit me and I started reading articles and books, looking at documentaries to learn more about these traits, that I badly wanted to get rid off but could not. Only later (much later) in life did I realize that for me these are primarily anxiety-driven or stress-induced and don’t stand true on their own. Let’s take the case of a recent incident that I had a huge laugh about.
When I am done with cooking, I turn off the gas like you would expect anyone to do. I check the gas again one last time before going to sleep in the night, to make sure everything is tight and sealed, assuring myself there are no loose connections I missed. Fair and easy, right? On the flip side, there are also days when I compulsively check the gas knobs on the stove, in a certain sequence. I do this diligently, even if I know that throughout the day I did not step into the kitchen even ones; prior to that very moment. I also understand that there is no other human or non-human entity that could have turned the knobs on.
On that very note, a few days back was having an open heartfelt conversation with a friend and though the discussion did not lead to any out-pours or break downs, that conversation triggered my anxiety. It did not come as a surprise to me, as not-so-long ago I started getting re-acquainted to my emotional side and I prepared myself for the timely ticks. So as you can imagine, the poor stove knobs had to bear the wrath. Even though I knew that I did not turn on that damn stove for a good few days; I diligently followed the routine that I did not have control over.
And that’s OK.
I was OK with that.
I laugh about this incident and many such, even till date. Accepting and laughing about this has made my nerves calm down exponentially. It’s like how the YouTube guru Lilly Singh picked this example in one of her videos.
During travel, you carry a passport with you and guard it with your life. Throughout the trip, you see an absolute need to check if the passport is still with you or not. Just to switch it up a notch, you open the passport to see if it got swapped with someone else’s, maybe out of sheer magic. This check continues, whether you are on a 1hr flight or an 18hr flight. All I can say here is, ‘been there, done that and might just do it all over again.’ You never know, magic could be real. And, that’s OK as well. 🙂
Happy ‘healthy introspecting.’