Don’t you forget about me

Three weeks in and in our Twitterific age our family health crisis is now consigned to history, for everyone but us living it. shaft

Bills are still overdue, clients are still demanding and distressing and everyone has assumed that it’s back to normal.

And it kinda is.

Of course at home we’re still muddling through trying to make sense of recent events and all that lead up to them. I have been fortunate so far in my life in that I’ve not experienced first-hand a death in the family, but I wonder a little if this is what it’s like for people when they are thrust into grief.

No matter how hurt they are they have to get up and do the grocery shopping, and find work and make the bed and exercise and, most of all, keep on trying. Breathing is helpful. I’ve found all sorts of crap things happen when you stop that. Someone wise and knowledgeable about psychology and physical illness and the relationship between the two would see deep meaning in my asthma playing up.

They say there are stages in grief – shock, denial, anger, acceptance – but no one has ever explained that they may not happen in order. Have you experienced that? I’ve found that some days I can feel all of these emotions in one day  but more often than not now, thankfully, I feel one for a longer stretch of time. Maybe that’s the recovery?

I’m on an acceptable keel right now. Keen to move on and get through. So when I received a beautiful care package from my talented bloggy friend Meghan from  Wellington I felt so loved and encouraged. It came at just the right time. The picture cards are gorgeous – look at ’em! Stunning talent.

photos

She’s so talented! And the brownies were … nom nom nom.

People often remark how much more acceptable it is in our society to have depression and whilst I agree and have experienced it myself here on the blog, it is sad that other mental health issues aren’t as easily accepted.

We’ve had every reaction from the diabolically flippant, stiff upper-lipped embarrassment to the downright rude. I suspect one of my Englishman’s clients who has behaved appallingly insensitively throughout has done so simply because he can’t see anything wrong.

The shame and blame attitude is still rife too.  I’ve been shocked by some people’s reaction that stems no doubt from their own sense of embarrassment or something. (‘Send him back to the UK’ they said.) As if he was a defective teddy bear that needed to be returned to the teddy bear factory.

Where does that attitude come from? Is it embarrassment because there’s a part inside all of us that’s in danger of becoming seriously unglued? Is it a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ kind of insecurity? The kind that created Bedlam and other historical monstrosities purporting to be care facilities?

I don’t know but what I do know is this: Aren’t we as a society a little too old (collectively speaking) and wise to be spell bound by tales of witchery and boogie monsters in the closet or inside other people’s psyches?

When are we going to be able to view a breakdown,  bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and all the other ‘uncomfortable’ mental illnesses with the same compassion as depression?

Hopefully sometime in my lifetime. I wonder about these intangible things as I race around getting the girls back to school for their last term of the year, pay the bills and spring clean the cottage for the dreaded rental house inspection.

About this time last year I was in Surfer’s Paradise at the Problogger Conference and amongst all the amazing stuff I learnt this one phrase from Trey Ratcliff has really resonated with me over the past few weeks –

“Got haters? Fight back with awesome.”

Yeah. That is all.

How do you fight back with awesome?


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'Don’t you forget about me' has 5 comments

  1. October 19, 2014 @ 7:21 pm Steve

    The truth is some people on this planet are just not developed enough in the soul department to suffer from or understand mental illness. For about 50% of those people life will teach them a hard lesson before they get to the end of it. For the other 50% there is nothing to be done and you are better of turning your back on them and walking away if it is at all possible. As for how to be awesome…? To be honest carrying on with the grocery and the chores when you are grieving is about as awesome as it is possible to be.

    Reply

    • October 19, 2014 @ 8:58 pm vegemitevix

      Thank you Steve! You’re right some people won’t ever get it and I’m silly to waste my energy trying to help them to get it. Thank you for saying I’m doing my best at being awesome right now, I really appreciate it. xx

      Reply

  2. October 19, 2014 @ 7:45 pm MidlifeSinglemum

    I was surprised to read narcissistic personality disorder in among the list of mental health issues needing compassion. When I think about it, it is a disorder so it is an illness, However, it’s a dangerous and scary one – my reaction to such people is to keep as far from them as possible. All the other illness on your list I agree deserve more compassion. As for other people’s reactions – people say the most stupid things sometimes.

    Reply

    • October 19, 2014 @ 9:00 pm vegemitevix

      They really do don’t they! If I’m honest all of these mental illnesses are scary, to me at least. The hardest thing of all is trying to understand a)where your loved one has gone, b)what’s illness and what’s their personality? c) when will we see their old self again? That’s the hard bit. xx

      Reply

  3. October 20, 2014 @ 6:44 am Bright Side of Life

    People are tricky creatures! I come across something of the same ~ the reactions I get due to having a special needs teen can be mind boggling. As I get older I am learning to not let it get to me. Not easy for you when you have so many other things to worry about as well. We both know that in all reality life is not bright a lot of the time. If it was, then it wouldn’t be real life! xx

    Reply


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