Well it’s been a while hasn’t it? A LOT has happened since my last post, and I’m kinda disappointed that I haven’t been on my blog much lately – especially as this is my sounding board, a place where I can get things off my chest. So where to begin?
I got a shop!! Yep, I have been working my backside off to finally get a total dream come true. My little empire, Sissy & One in an actual bricks and mortar shop.
The online shop will still be running and I am getting to grips with getting my handmade stock uploaded online whilst balancing it alongside the actual shop. Still feels weird saying that….. ‘an actual shop’.
I’ll do a later blog post about the shop and take you for a look around, but for now I wanna talk about what it is like to run a business with OCD.
Hard. To put it bluntly. I’m not saying it will be like this for everyone with OCD and running a business but for me it’s hard. Some aspects are really helpful and useful such as I don’t have anyone to answer to when I need to carry out a compulsion. I can’t even begin to describe the relief it feels to know that at work it is me and my OCD, nobody can question my compulsions, nobody can laugh at them, misunderstand them and so on. I guess it is a process of getting used to being in an actual shop with my business now as opposed to being at home. I can’t deny there’s days I’m late because I’ve been stuck in a ritual at home, but that fear of being late and what a manager will say when I explain it’s my own mind making me do so is no longer there. The only person I have to answer to now is myself and that is such a bonus.
I thought it would be really hard opening the shop doors and allowing people to come in and pick things up, maybe put them down in the wrong place and move bits. Though, if I’m totally honest that hasn’t really bothered me as much as I thought it would – so that is good!
The things I find hard are things that thankfully are just to do with myself. I sometimes wonder when I open and close if anyone will wonder why the main lights are going on and off several times because there is no hiding it. I can’t even avoid it like I do at home when I walk into a room in the dark because it is too stressful turning a light on, how can I do that in a shop? I can’t. I know full well that if anyone asked I’d make up some excuse like I always do, I haven’t seemed to get out of that habit yet, y’know the habit of making excuses up to cover your compulsions?
I’m all for talking about our mental health struggles, it’s important to help reduce the stigma in the world surrounding it. Yet at the same time I hate to admit the fact that one day in particular my mental health got the better of me and I had to ring the mental health team because I was struggling a lot. This was at the end of August, so not that long ago and I was in the shop on my own, feeling very overwhelmed, intrusive thoughts occurring and OCD was there waiting at the front of the queue rubbing its hands together in an evil way ready to pounce. I’d been told by A&E that morning that I had ruptured a tendon in my ankle and was in a lot of pain walking and such, so I wasn’t feeling my best anyway. So I rang the mental health team, explained what was going on and such and I had a bit of a fight on my hands trying to get one of them to come out and see me. Long story short I was starting to get upset on the phone, a customer walks in and I’m beside myself with everything. I pleaded with this nurse on the phone that I really needed to see someone. Tears flowing. The customer left. Whether she left because she’d had a look around and that was it or whether she left because I was in a state – I don’t blame her. I don’t know who she was but it’s not left my mind since, and if she did leave because I was in a state then I am truly sorry to her about that. I am SO good at hiding my emotions and feelings, I’ve hid my OCD for roughly 16 years from people. So this one time when I let myself slip has really played on my mind.
Sometimes I have to think to myself that I need to accept that so much has happened suddenly in my life, things have changed rapidly and the little OCD goblin is also facing these changes and I can tell you – it doesn’t like it! Good things are happening, I feel incredibly blessed and as cliché as it sounds I am living my dream. OCD doesn’t like the thought of me doing well. In fact it hates it. I know it’s going to do anything to try pull me down a peg or two because it will feel like I’m abandoning it for better things in life. Truth is, I want to. I don’t know what life is like without OCD, it is always there. Sometimes I wish people could see it in reality, a little goblin latched onto me – bullying me. I think that would be far easier to explain what it is like.
That being said, I love my little shop – I’ve worked hard to get to this point. Not only that but it helps me, it drives me to work harder, it makes me happy. I ain’t going to let OCD try and cause destructions.
I’ll write more on my journey with running a business and having OCD because I feel it is important to share this, and if it helps reduce stigma surrounding mental health then it is worth it.
This is a whole new chapter for me, and I am learning along the way of how to manage having a mental health disorder alongside working in my shop. It’s hard, it’s a lengthy process but I’ve got a good bunch of people around me and supporting me. Including my new business friends on the street. I couldn’t be more grateful for that!
I do have a ‘talking table’ in my shop for those who may be struggling with their own problems – they can come in, get things off their chest and hopefully feel happier when they leave. My shop is a shop, but anyone is welcome to come and get some supportive chat from me (for free obviously!) without the need to buy anything.
We all need that little bit of extra kindness in our lives. ❤️