Ok, so you have suffered what I don’t look cool in, the continuing saga of my radio journey and some interesting posts about games and voice servers. After suffering all of those, I thought it was time for you to have a treat – a well done reward for enduring those aspects of my life. What is the reward? Well the next amazing installment of my weird life series! No, please don’t applaud, no whistling please, just keep reading – it is all part of my giving nature. What is this next installment covering, well it sounds a bit strange, but it is all about germs, routines and touching. No connection between those? well… just you wait and see.
I never know what to actually share with you in these posts – are there certain things that I should not put out there on the internet because of how personal they are to me? I often wonder whether writing these posts actually causes some people to be very judgmental about my life and the weirdness which abounds there. So far we have covered sleeping and drinking and, although you might have been expecting eating, I have deviated onto my almost OCD nature to give you some insight into that. I completely recognise that I do not have OCD to a great extend, but it is just easier to describe some of my quirks like that in order to put them into context. You might find it hard to believe, I was once very much agoraphobic – an part of my life which I rarely engage with and, to be honest, hardly remember, apart from some rather traumatic events which I would rather forget. I strongly believe that everything which we encounter and endure makes us the person we are today and as a result of those ‘dark’ years – I did learn to love coffee shops – why? well its too long to explain it in this post, however I did write a post about it.. Anyway – back to germs, routines and touching – what do they have in common? – well, they all give me a huge amount of anxiety!
Routines – Being a geeky mathematician/computer/science person, you can quite believe that I enjoy order and logic in my life. For me it seems very sensible that things should be done at a certain time and, if this time is appropriate for this action, then it should stay in that place. This way of thinking leads me to create routines which have been developed over months to be well established within my life. Most people have morning routines – when to go to the bathroom, when to drink your coffee, when to brush your teeth and growing up in a house with five other people, the schedule for the bathroom in the morning was quite strict and if you did not adhere to this and you missed your slot, then that was it, you would be hanging on for ages! My routines extend beyond the normal routine for getting ready for work. They include routines for days off, bank holidays and even the evenings. Work is a section within my day but in any time after work, I fall into my reassuring routines. I say reassuring because if anything happens to alter them then I do quite seriously get very very stressed out about it. The changes that can set this stress levels off can be as small as someone parking in the space where I usually park my car to someone needing to be picked up at a time that I would usually be writing this blog post. Work can change a lot, but generally I am in work doing something from about 8:30 until 18:00. If these change then anxiety creeps in and stress levels start to rise. I get an awful feeling of dread the night before I have to do something different – this might be a simple change like going into a school rather than going to university. There are probably many things everyone would like to change about their lives but I really would like to become more impulsive – but I’m not sure that this is ever going to happen. Even if I plan to be impulsive – if that makes sense – it still causes the anxiety. The only difference is that it lasts for longer before the event! Now, I know that my family don’t actually tell me things so that I can’t get worked up about it – its funny how they know me so well – good title for a song that 🙂
Germs – The world is such a dirty place – have you noticed that? Illness is everywhere and it often appears that we are spending more time recovering from something than actually being free of illness. And what is the cause of most of these illnesses – germs…and they are everywhere!!! I don’t like the idea of germs being everywhere and will actively try to avoid people who are ill. Hospitals are the worse place to visit! Yes they can cure you but in my mind there are just a concentrated area where all the people with ‘germs’ are brought and put together! My stress levels when I have to go into a hospital are off the scale! Most people might suspect that I am some sort of compulsive cleaner and that everywhere I go is kept super clean and tidy. Interestingly enough this is not how my issue with germs manifests itself. In my mind I have safe areas where the only germs are my own which I am happy with. Where I live is one of those areas, so I will, as soon as I arrive home, wash my hands so that I don’t bring any germs in with me. The same as my office at work and places like my car. The rest of the places I visit are germ havens! Of course, I always carry antibacterial hand-wash around with me. If someone touches my pen or my ipad or even my presentation clicker, then this needs to be cleaned – before I will touch it again. Do you remember the saying you used to say if you dropped something on the floor which you were going to eat? We always used to say ‘God kissed it, devil missed it’ and then pop it into our mouths. Well to me, not even god has the power to kill the germs and if I am in any doubt about the cleanliness of food or items, it goes straight into the bin. And if a dog comes near me and there is a chance of licking occurring then I am out of there!
People – Oh dear – this is a strange one. As you might expect from reading the previous section I am not keen on shaking people’s hands at all. One thing I really dread is when I meet someone new and they out stretch their hand to shake mine. The actual shaking doesn’t worry me, its what is then on my hand and what should I do with it – not the germs, my hand. I have learned, or someone told me, that it is not very polite to wash my hand with the aforementioned hand-wash straight after someone has shook it so I am presented with a dilemma. I know it sounds strange or maybe weird, but I can’t actually do much with that hand until I have washed it. Often I just let it hang by my side in a weird gesture. I’ve actually caught people who know about the stress it is causing me, smiling as they see the dilemma I have been faced with. But my stress with people goes much deeper than just hand shaking. I don’t like people getting too close. When I say close, I mean it what I define as my personal space. I feel like they are towering over me threateningly or that they are going to touch me if they get too close. I like to sit on the end of rows or on single tables – public transport is a nightmare for me. And then there is the actual touching. Would you believe that I am getting shivers and stressed just thinking about it and typing it. There are certain things that are….quite frankly…off the list to do. People often show affection by touching or hugging. I once set myself a new year’s resolution, and this is going to sound awful, to actually hug my mum whenever I departed from her presence. I did manage it for some time but now it only occurs, on special occasions, like Christmas when I have prepared myself for it and do it. Now we probably enjoy a virtual hug. Please believe me, its nothing today with my mum, it is just the physical aspect of hugging. And as for touching. I sometimes wonder if I have super sensitive skin or something, but the thought of someone actually touching my skin is very stressful – especially my neck! Luckily I have a very understanding hairdresser who has mastered that art of putting the cover round me when she cuts my hair to avoid touching my neck at all – although sometimes she does say -“if you keep trying to move you will make it worse!”. The actual clippers touching my neck causes me no issues – its just human contact. I can sense some of you smiling reading this thinking that you might be considering approaching me and touching my neck when I am least expecting it. Someone once did that and she suddenly enjoyed the pint of cola I was holding at the time.
I really have no idea what you are thinking about me at the present moment in time – you might not have actually reached this part of the post due to the weirdness of it. With work I am sure that I could probably overcome most of these issues – but at the moment, they do appear to be there for ever. I am reminded of a saying that I once heard and which I like to remind myself of everytime I engage with any aspect of my ‘weirdness’. Be who you are and say what you think, because the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind. After reading this I hope you are still in that second group of people who actually don’t mind and still accept me despite my weirdness. And, if you are and I do have to ever shake your hand, please give me permission to wash it immediately since it will make me more relaxed for the rest of the meeting.
Right I’m off to see if I can park my car in my usual parking place but if you have any comments about this post – apart from OMG!, then please feel free to add your comments below or send them to me via Twitter, Facebook or any of my social media accounts.
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