Despite my very specific statement to, "not leave messages of sympathy, pity or advice" in my last post, a few people still insisted on giving me advice – precisely the kind "advice" that had me holding back from writing the post in the first place.
Advice given from a position of non-understanding.
I understand why the advice is given. I understand it is given with the best of intentions. But when I’ve heard the same, or similar misplaced advice given from a position of non-understanding a thousand times before, I just want to bash my head against a brick wall.
Sometimes a little empathy is a dangerous thing.
For some, just because they have been drunk a few times, they think they understand the alcoholic.
For some, just because they once ate an entire box of chocolates, they think they understand eating disorders.
For some, just because they have been randy, they think they understand the sex addict.
For some, just because they smoked a few joints in their youth, they think they understand the drug addict.
For some, just because they have panicked once or twice, they think they understand people with severe anxiety disorders
For some, just because they have been back to check they locked the door a few times, they think they understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
For some, just because they have been tired a few times, they think they understand Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
And of course, for some, just because they have been depressed a few times, they think they understand Depression.
Compulsions, Addictions and Mental Health Disorders are NOT the same as momentary or temporary moods or conditions.
They are not a choice
They are not an indulgence
They are not easily dealt with
They are certainly not cured by will power alone, or by someone trying to GUILT them out of it.
In fact, overwhelming feelings of guilt are very often at the heart of many different disorders, and making someone feel guilt about their condition, in some misplaced notion of “tough love” only serves to make the condition WORSE, not better.
And if you think you know better – I ask, have you suffered directly from these disorders yourself over a period of years? If not, please keep your opinions and advice to yourself and do not feel you can inflict it on me from a position of superiority, however well intentioned. I do not accept that you know better how to treat my conditions.
I do not want your sympathy
I do not want your pity
I do not want your advice
And if I sound like a tetchy, grumpy bastard, that’s because I am at the moment.
Now, cures and coping mechanisms are possible for most disorders - but they require patience, understanding, planning, and developing and implementing strategies over a sustained period of time.
Thank you to all those who left comments of support in the last post. And thanks especially to Dan, Soulaima and Mary who made me guffaw and chuckle.
However, for this post, I’m turning off the comments.
Normal (ha ha) service will resume shortly…