Dave Edmunds – I hear you knocking
Today while perusing fb I came upon a post in a group I follow. It was about one of those self help things you see on fb daily if you tap in to MI groups like I do.
The group member posted:
“I really hate shit like this. Have I eaten today? No. Go eat something, you say? Oh! Wow! That hadn’t occurred to me! You’re a genius! If I’m not dressed or still in PJs I should put on clean clothes? Wow! Mind-blowing! How does shit like this get published and popular? Do people really misunderstand us this much?
“Oh, you’re telling me you have trouble doing all these things for yourself? Well, have you tried just doing them?”
It made me think of the years I’ve gotten angry about paternalistic and dumbed down “help” and “advice” I’ve gotten that was thoughtless and useless. The years that people would treat me (and still do,) like I’m retarded or being bullheaded. It still happens often. Oh and yes I mean retarded.
I saw a Nutritionist this past Monday. I cut my responses down to few. I’ve noticed when I go to professionals that if I try to convey what I know the professional becomes irritated. Instead of correcting me if I’m wrong or pointing out when I’m right they tend to snap at me and treat me as if I’m willfully stupid or trying to insult them. I don’t know if it’s the tone of my voice or if it’s the way I phrase things that make them tend to get snotty with me but it happens all to often. I really have to condition myself before I go into an ER or a doctor’s appointment to say as little as possible. On Thursday I saw my GP and even though I told her my chest hurts like an iron maiden is gripping it when I cough she repeated “I heard nothing when I listened to you breathing.” It makes me wonder: is the fact that my body is morbidly obese masking my lungs’ operations? And has she taken this into consideration? The Nutritionist commented on my sleeping habits (I go to bed mostly around 5 am and sleep until 9 to noon in the morning,) “Oh well you’ll just have to change them.”
I replied, “I told you I’m bipolar right?” No reply from her. I guess I should get out my magic wand from my @ss and wave it. That seems to be the general attitude from others when it comes to my symptoms. Change them. Are people really that stupid? Yes.
And it’s ironic because it’s a general idea that people with mental illnesses are mentally handicapped. It’s something I spoke to school aged kids back when I worked with NAMI. I think “normal” people are just lazy. They don’t want to try to understand something that is feared, misunderstood and stigmatized. It’s easier to treat people like me with dismissiveness and denial. Lay blame on me, that way they don’t have to do anything and I’m left looking like I’m being uncooperative. Psychiatrists, therapists and social workers love that game too. It’s not a big mystery why I’m stressed out and don’t trust the people who are professionals in this section of health. I’ll readily lie to any of the people who are charged with my care. For them it’s a paycheck; for me it’s my life.
Here’s an interesting site for people experiencing symptoms so bad they need guided questions to help them get through taking care of themselves:
This is meant to be an interactive flow chart for people who struggle with self care, executive dysfunction, and/or who have trouble reading internal signals. It’s designed to take as much of the weight off of you as possible, so each decision is very easy and doesn’t require much judgment.
Set aside some time–maybe an hour total- to allow yourself to work through each step. Don’t rush or skip ahead–just follow the directions. Self care is important, and you deserve to devote some time to it.
You may want to go through this routine as soon as you wake up, as a preventative measure.
By the way I posted the video above only because I am amazed at the changes from 1970 to now. Look at the “kids” then and compare them to the ones you see on television now.