On My Own I’m So Clumsy

(Free to be Me–Francesca Battistelli)

I have a lot to say…because pretty much when I am falling asleep and when I am driving is when I have all sorts of things I am writing inside my head…and those are not times I can write outside my head and usually don’t remember anymore by the time I am able to write or else I remember the idea but not a way to say it that makes any sense…


This is what my winter hands look like…on a good day…




Sometimes I am thrilled that at least one part of my body looks like I am definitely not a middle schooler…


But other times I am frustrated, because although OCD isn’t the cause behind the current cracks in my hands I am quite convinced that the damage from when the OCD was bad made it so that my hands were less able to handle the cold dry winter weather.


OCD was hard on my hands between fear of germs in lotion leading to only using it a few times a day, and the excessive over-washing. At their worst, my hands were bright red and bleeding up all the way to the wrist so that from a distance it looked like I was wearing bright red gloves…it was not a good time…It is also very hard to heal that because when you have very little skin left there isn’t much for the lotion to soak in to, and a lot of new skin needs to be grown. Additionally, sometimes you want to get the blood off of your hands…and of course you are terrified of germs getting into the openings…and thus wash off more skin and the lotion you worked so hard to put on…


All that to say that I am not washing my hands extra and I am using excessive amounts of lotion and my hands are still dry and especially my right hand is cracking…(I should note that I use the word lotion when I really mean any product that promotes healing of my skin whether it is ointment, cream, lotion, or any other product…)


I say the OCD is totally over, but I feel like maybe OCD has the upper hand now. I had like 5ish days this past semester that the OCD came back. In between I considered myself totally free, as I do now, but in retrospect, ever since the first flare up, I have been living under the reign of OCD. Sure, I am not having obsessions and compulsions but instead I am living in fear that I will have another flare up. It is hard because I love Cru and I love FCA, but it is hard to enjoy them because I know staying up late makes me vulnerable. It is hard because school is really important to me, but caring about school leads to stress which makes me vulnerable. Hope is one of the most dangerous commitments we make in life, but I am working on not living in fear and letting shame keep me from hope. Shame is like carbon monoxide—often undetectable and deadly.


Living life constantly en garde makes it easier for me to sink into painful triggers that wouldn’t otherwise have touched me…like when I saw a bus today when driving to work and remembered being bullied on the bus in 4th grade and was reliving the feelings of fear and entrapment while being pinned against the window on the bus…and then remembering a particular day in 8th grade. That day for a long time has been marked by a caring teacher driving me home when I would otherwise have walked home nine tenths of a mile in the rain. After thinking about the bus, it was reminded to be a day when a kid threw up on the bus on the way back from a field trip and I had to wait in the hallway for the teachers to come back from figuring out that problem. The vomit was orange and disgusting. Speaking of vomit…I know I am not supposed to come back from break before 30 minutes are up, but I had to come back early today because the rehab people that we share a break room with came in and they were all talking about vomiting and diarrhea…umm, not pleasant while I am in a place that I usually use for eating…


Also, a couple weeks ago the words “happy for you” initiated a flashback into my third year when I was being hurt…luckily although I was struggling for a few minutes, I am in a good enough place now that I am home where everyone thinks I am the next best thing since sliced bread, to start to laugh really hard…I wanted to know what the test was like so I downloaded as many apps as I could find with sample questions…including one with a very satisfying vibration every time I got a right answer…and I discovered that this test was very much common sense and/or common knowledge, ’cause I got 99.9%* of the questions correct in each app on the first try…I guess like one of my teacher’s syllabi said, “Common Sense Ain’t Necessarily Common Practice.” That is also what gave me the confidence that if I am still interested after graduating and getting a pharmacy job that I probably could pull off a social work degree if I wanted.

(*percentage calculated based on the fact I got one question wrong…I got through all of middle school without knowing the names of some of the people I had considered my long-term friends…I saw these people and interacted with them everyday, so obviously out of all these old psychologist people I’ve never met with theories and stuff I am bound to forget who one or two of them are…)


I think I saw this on the internet, but it might have been the radio…either way, someone said organized is not the same as tidy. That resonated with me, because I feel like I am a pretty organized person, but I feel a lot of the time like I can’t claim that, because tidy I am not. Umm…the fact that the door of my room won’t open all the way and some items need to be held above my head to fit out the door because of all the stuff on the floor…and the fact that the only usable flat space in my room is the bed and almost like stepping stones from the bed to the door negates any thought that I am tidy…mostly it is just that I hate making decisions so things sit on the floor while I wait to decide where to put them.


I think I might have gotten this from youtube, but it might have been from facebook…someone said If you miss your exit, do you get off at the next exit and turn around, or do you keep driving all the way to Mexico? I have absolutely no idea where I was going with that…but I thought I’d share it anyway, because I thought it was great…and now that I think about it, in terms of grades it is a good reminder not to throw in the towel…yeah, my grades aren’t the greatest…the mark was missed…but on days when I am disappointed and feel lacking in hope, it is good to remember that just ’cause I missed my exit doesn’t mean I need to take a trip to Mexico.


In my email, I have saved an email from Anne Marie Jackson (I think that’s her current name?? It kept changing for a long time). It says “You are not a jar of Nutella…so you can’t please everyone.” I love that. It is a good reminder that even though I am a people pleaser and am happiest when I can make other people happy, that even if it seems like I failed that it doesn’t mean I am not good enough.


I have the bestest friends ever. I am so blessed. From my work friends, one of whom told me that she thought I should be the new manager (which is not going to happen because aside from the fact that I am not yet a pharmacist, even once I do get my degree I would like to do clinical, so taking a management position would be a bit of a detour, because I doubt that I would have time to do both…to my beautiful and gracious friend who is interested in me and my life even though she had a beautiful baby two weeks ago, God has blessed me with some pretty amazing people in my life who more than make up for all the people that don’t treat me with respect.


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