It’s funny. This morning I woke up feeling guilty for yesterday’s stinkfest I put in writing. I felt I shouldn’t have helped to focus on the negative and instead shared something uplifting, encouraging, emancipating. I felt I should have added a post that leaves a reader feeling encouraged and uplifted. I should have done the amicable thing. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. But I haven’t. I could have also chosen to not post at all and simply link to Michele’s Facebook post thus acknowledging her well-intended approach of sharing her own recovery and excitement from the accomplishements she was able to make for herself while doing her best to help others who are still on the way. With this being said, I hope I was able to demonstrate that I do acknowledge and appreciate her overall approach.
But something still triggered my anger – and the first probably coming from having experienced trainloads of frustration along the way – and the latter exactly at the moment of getting better! And the frustration in turn seems to be a result of experiencing societal reprimand over and over and then some. I think, I was and am coming from a place of needing to realize that all this positive attitude and being committed to one’s journey of recovery is all fair and fine – until you hit the real world (again). In the real world some set-in-stone standards apply, one being e.g. that you’re expected to be strong and self-efficient, organized – and an easy-going happy camper on top of that. There is no room for sadness unless it’s from an obvious loss, like e.g. a family member dying or you contracted a terminal illness or something along those lines. And even then – it appears to me as if our societies aren’t too well equipped – or interested – in dealing with the matter at hand. We shut away our terminally ill and dying in secluded hospital rooms or hospices, we programmatically avoid anything grave or serious, we never talk about death and dying and we sure as hell don’t know how to address “mental” illnesses. (B.t.w. and I will say this until I’m blue in the face: In my understanding, which comes from fairly hefty research over the past years, [C-]PTSD is not a mental illness. To me it’s more akin to Parkinson’s disease than an emotional disorder. The manifested symptoms are physical in nature – and the bulk of limitations resulting from the symptoms as well. So much for “mental”.)
I think, a part of my ongoing anger results from frustration with the above described “standards” in place – and this coming from lifelong experience, not just speculation. Whenever I open up about the challenges I am confronted with on top of the mundane challenges of trying to stay afloat and managing the condition and this going on for reasons and events I didn’t choose – grouchy nod towards the New Agers and their dogma of free choice no matter what – the response typically is: More shunning, the other one becoming defensive, irritated, impatient and basically signalling: “Spare me!” Even in therapeutic settings, particularly so with the CBT/DBT “faction” of therapists – I had to experience an inherent “supremacy of the healthy”. Compassion – is a rare gem in this world. Luckily, I didn’t go completely without it and here and there found a companion and/or therapist/doctor who’d listen first (as of late and coming from an increased trust in my own judgement I’d routinely “scan” for this trait in a person and got better luck with scouting medical personnel who seem better suited to help me deal with the outcomes of horrific events early on). Society at large – and by “society” I mean the mainstream of people, who were lucky not to come from a history of trauma, abuse and added-insult-to-injury – seems to dictate the accepted norm. And that norm still revolves largely around quantifying personal productivity: “My car, my house, my yacht. What’ve you got, sucker?” And when I notice that attitude, I feel the urge to grab a neck, bring my mouth right in front of their nose and sharply hiss into their nostrils: “Well, dude, while you were sailing carefree on your family’s heir, building a life of careless and carefree consumption, I’ve been making an effort every single day to not give in to the demons of the past, which hang around my neck like a pestilence and sneak up on me, when I least expect them, only to sabotage whatever fleeting moment of temporary peace, let alone happiness, I am able to create for myself out of an air of emotional pollution to the n-th degree. Try that first and then we’ll talk!”
In short: Whatever issue we deal with, society doesn’t seem to cut us some slack. At the very least – I haven’t experienced that. While you can at least hope to get recognized in some beneficial way for your (material) accomplishments – or at the very least silently enjoy them-, successfully dealing with and keeping the monsters of the past in check is no reason get applauded for. That’s o.k., though, I’ve never expected that. But getting it made extra-hard by “fellow” humans by way of them exploiting those vulnerabilities I can only do so much about – that should definitely not happen. Not for my sake – for the sake of humanity at large. Until “we” – actually “them” – can’t find the place in our/their hearts where we commonly understand that noone can be a winner all the time – unless winning at the expense of someone else’s loss -, IMHO we will continue to produce emotional injuries and eventually individual incapacity. And lo and behold: Maybe that fits in nicely with the observed agendae in place – which brings us back to monetary “values” and numbers and figures and quantity rather than quality of life. How so? Well, by way of developing and selling yet another pill to mask the symptoms and create the illusion of healing. Gah!
So, in wrapping up my stinkfest: I’ll share in the excitement when I see some “the meak will inherit the earth”-phenomenon actually happen. Last time I checked, there was no sign of any of that. So bear with my being grouchy for the time being, if so inclined.