Maybe it was because my friends, family and uni lecturers feared I’d be sensitive and take something the wrong way, but for whatever reason, last year anything mental related was strictly avoided in everyday conversations. So now at work, with people that don’t know about my past wobbles, I am caught off guard the way mental health speak is flippantly flung. Just within this past week…

I was being briefed on a new project north of London and at the end commented that I couldn’t get over how much the map of Epping Forest District reminded me of a taxidermied West Highland terrier’s head mounted on a wall.  The response? “Goodness what would a psychiatrist make of that?”

It heartens me to be fairly certain that a psychiatrist wouldn’t care less one way or another if it reminded me of a flying rat’s ass!

I know I’m not a fan of cold (or even luke warm) tea. So I was a bit grossed out when I’d offered to make fresh tea and then see my boss gulp down the last bit of his tea, which had been sitting around for at least quite a while, to give me his empty mug. Another colleague commented, “God you’d think you had a phobia of drinking tea, the way you recoiled with horror watching him!”

I may shiver at something, and can’t see why someone would want to drink something so disgusting when I’d just offered to make some fresh tea, but really, if they think that was a phobic reaction, I’d like to see what they’d make of someone’s real panic attack!

I was trying to explain a piece of work, but as I didn’t understand the work myself and knew she would have a better grip of it herself, I was having a hard time explaining and my words were all in a jumble (normal thing. I remember a uni tutor explaining she could mark any essay because ultimately if it makes sense, we clearly understood the subject and therefore she could trust that what we wrote was good, regardless of whether the topic was in her research area. Annoying that essentially it was our grasp of the English language that would affect our geography grade, but actually there is a grain of truth in her argument).

Anyway, another person overheard me and suggested I ‘might like to take time off for stress’. Haha very funny. I don’t think he knew that the previous time that had been suggested, they’d been dead serious.

By the way, try arguing that Epping Forest District doesn’t look like a highland terrier! (Or that the next time you see a westie in profile view, that it doesn’t look like Epping Forest District!):

Epping the Westie. Maybe with a touch of Schnauzer thrown in too.

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