Tag Archives: definition of insanity

The Loneliest Place on Earth

The Loneliest Place On Earth BLOG HEADER Striving to be ”Normal”

Unless you’ve experienced … scarily extreme mood swings, crippling anxieties, paranoia & obsessive behaviours to name just a few, had to factor in the senses of fear, isolation, shame & guilt or add in a dolllop of good old fashioned stigma topped off with a nuclear strength cocktail  of prescribed drugs to make you ”feel better”… then you will rarely have come close to understanding what constantly trying to appear  ”normal” is like when you’re battling with Mental Ill Health.

WELCOME TO THE LONELIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!

If like me you’re a sufferer it probably took ages before you admitted there was an issue and if anyone asked ”what’s wrong?” the answer would be ”I’m fine, nothing that a week in the sun won’t fix”!

I suspect the majority of us struggle to keep up the…. ”I’m fine” facade in an attempt to avoid the….albeit well meant…scenario of repeatedly being told to ”pull yourself together”. At best it’s frustrating to hear, at worst reinforces our shame that we seem unable to do just that!

Mental ill health covers an immense variety of ”disorders”….ranging from Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Paranoia, OCD and so on however many sufferers begin their Mental Ill Health journey on the back of a ”rough patch”…feeling low, miserable, unable to snap out of it type scenarios..commonly known as ”situational or reactive” depression.

Whatever your particular diagnosis you should know that each one though different is EXACTLY the same when it comes to feeling isolated, ashamed or stigmatised etc because unless others have firsthand experience of how it feels then in all honesty how can they be expected to understand us or we their reactions.

Eventually something gives and we realise ”this, whatever this is” is much more than just being ”fed up or a bit miserable” and the decision’s made to get help. Usually resulting in the first of (in my case) many visits to the doctor.

”Take one twice daily”

I was just 18 when I first asked for ”help”………. having been ”miserable” for as long as I could recall I plucked up courage and went to see my doctor…Confused, nervous and very scared I felt sure that I would be deemed ”insane”….in reality the doctor wasn’t the least bit interested in why I was so ”miserable” but was quick to write a prescription for ”something to pick you up” and before I knew it I was clutching my first bottle of Valium labelled ”take one twice daily”!

I honestly believe that visit alone was solely responsible for what became my historical mistrust of both medication and the medical profession in general when it came to my psychiatric issues.

Caught between a rock and a hard place

In 1978 Valium (known today as Diazepam) was at the height of it’s ”popularity”. That year in America alone 2 BILLION tablets were prescribed.Today the World Health Organization list it on the Essential Medicines List such is its popularity because of it’s versatility. At the time the fact that it had highly addictive properties wasn’t even considered!! BUT in 1978 as a desperate AND trusting 18 year old I fared poorly as a result of it, as it turned out I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t because ….it did exactly what ”it said on the tin” and indeed I ”picked up” surprisingly quickly…..my problems began in earnest when I was told I was ”better” and the pills were no longer needed!

WRONG!!!

The withdrawal symptoms were horrific to say the least and for a teenager who already thought she was going ”mad” the effect on my psyche was such that it set me back 10 years in my battle to be healthy and in any event sparked a rebellion against ”medication” which was to last to this day.

The previous 30+ years have seen me endure a rollercoaster of stop/start treatments….I would become ill, try to ”work through it”, ask for help, take the meds, feel better, stop taking them (against advice), stay ”well” for a while and…….REPEAT!!

Einstein said ”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result”……..he was correct!

We aren’t the condition, the condition is part of us!

During my adult life it’s taken 4 complete breakdowns, descent into alcoholism and almost dying before I EVEN considered that both prescription meds and the decision to begin self-medicating were in actual fact no more than sticking plasters.

In reality Mental Ill health issues manifest themselves as a direct result of triggers….attachment issues, neglect, abuse, poor self image, in other words the circumstances which caused us to define ourselves by our assigned labels and thus became who thought we were. The trick having identified the root cause is to work out a ”whole person centred care plan” with the aim of allowing us to live happy, positive and balanced lives.

The bigger picture on the road to recovery

When we look at the bigger picture we start to understand that there are other options when it comes to enhancing  both our clinical treatment and the day to day management of our individual situation.

Doubtless medication is the key player but historically it has all too often been seen by both patient and medic as not only the RIGHT but the ONLY treatment option. We lost sight of the fact that Mental Ill Health isn’t a one size fits all scenario and something which works well for me may well be detrimental to you the next sufferer.

We need to be open to the fact that different doesn’t mean bad

I came to realise that much that can be done to aid recovery from the affliction of Mental Health conditions but for these to work we have to be willing to take the responsibilty to find out what they are. There are no rules when it comes to exploring complimentary, healthy, self help options to aid, indeed underpin our clinical interventions BUT when you do decide to try something new please make sure that you choose it because YOU want to and feel comfortable in doing so. Whatever it is? If it makes you feel better on any level….then it’s right for you!

Incidentally when we try anything which serves to decrease our senses of isolation, shame, guilt etc that are the constant bedfellows of Mental Health issues we come a long way towards increasing our senses of self-esteem, self-worth and as such our confidence levels start to soar.

It doesn’t matter what it is….Yoga or Meditation, reading self help articles or taking classes, taking up a hobby or joining a gym or absolutely anything else in between the IMPORTANT thing is in deciding to be proactive in our own care plan we better enable ourselves to take a brave but moreover very necessary step over the boundary between being being trapped in ”The Loneliest Place on Earth” and returning to or even becoming a fully functioning member of society!

The journey along the road that is Mental Ill Health can be long and difficult but NEVER FORGET you don’t have to walk it alone

ASKING FOR HELP IS BRAVE – DO SOMETHING AMAZING BE BRAVE TODAY

NAMASTE my friends – Sue.x

 

 

 

 

Mistake or Opportunity?

Mistake or POST

‘’ No matter how many times you stumble or fall, the greatest lesson is loving yourself through it all ‘’
Barbara Streisand

Mistakes! We’ve all made them right?

We all of us make mistakes some tiny, some huge & a small percentage of which could potentially be disastrous. In times of stress or emotional overload the propensity to make mistakes increases and because we are human so does our need to apportion blame. That blame could be leveled at us or by us towards ourselves as well as others and dependent upon our interpretation of the gravity of it so the level of blame and by association guilt increases in line.

Rarely does a mistake happen without an accompanying negative reaction in response and very often it is the reaction as opposed to the action (mistake) which is the cause of most stress for those concerned. Alongside that runs the at times almost overwhelming need to right perceived wrongs, justify how/why the mistake was made (to be fair sometimes by trying to absolve ourselves of any blame) and moreover apologise profusely & repeatedly as if insistent repetition of sorrow will right any adverse effects of the said mistake.

However the single biggest error of judgement we any of us make in the above scenario is that we quite simply forget that we are indeed human and as a result of which we have the option of choice and it is this factor alone when making decisions which is responsible for mistakes being made!

We all make mistakesThink about it there surely can’t be anyone who falls into the category of having made a mistake, taking that as give, the only thing that makes each of us unique in this area is our reaction. What is it that can determine such variety & extremities of emotion in situations which are perceived as being wrong in that a mistake has occurred? It has to be purely a matter of mind-set. There are those of us who go through life apparently oblivious to the results of their actions & to be truthful probably wouldn’t care less if they did. In stark contrast there are those who rather than cause upset, inconvenience or harm albeit unintentionally would go to the ends of the earth to avoid doing so.

Speaking for myself I accept that as a human I can & do (frequently) make mistakes and to be honest as each and every one occurs my reaction is dictated purely by the circumstances surrounding it as opposed to the actual ‘’error’’. For instance my reaction is more likely to be highly emotional if any mistake I may have made should impact negatively on another. Whereas if I poured milk on a desert instead of cream I would simply laugh at my own ‘’stupidity’’. In both scenarios though I would these days definitely adopt the sentiment that ‘’a mistake is only ever a mistake if we fail to learn from it’’.

It wasn’t always the case; as a person it took me a very long time to understand that making a mistake, any mistake is not only ok it’s actually acceptable because generally speaking it’s simply an error of judgement which at the outset wasn’t meant to intentionally cause harm. That said I could, would & still do even now on occasion fret, worry & obsess that something I had done or said maybe could have caused someone else at best an inconvenience, at worst a massive issue as a result. At times when an apology and/or reparation were rightly made (& accepted) even then I would work myself into a near frenzy as I allowed myself to become convinced of the fact that the only reason my apology had been accepted was nothing more than good manners on the part of the ‘’injured’’ party and that despite their acceptance they didn’t mean it because (in my mind) I was an idiot at the very least!

This statement alone says so much more about the frailty of the human psyche than anything else I think. The fact that even having been absolved of blame I (anyone) could & did refuse to accept that whatever the transgression, in the bigger picture of things it really didn’t matter and in many instances hadn’t even registered for anyone else.

Ere go what is important to one person is often not even a consideration for the next.

So to the matter in hand;

Think About ItA mistake is nothing more, nothing less than an error of judgement which was never meant to harm, distress or ridicule any person, thing or situation.

As such it is a waste of time and effort to pay more than the minimum amount of attention to it in order ‘’to put things right’’.

Any expenditure of effort should be limited to;
• acknowledging that a mistake has been made
• taking responsibility for it (where it was your mistake to begin with)
• defining what went wrong & why
• ensuring that you have taken the opportunity to learn from the experience and avoid repeating it in future

BECAUSE as Einstein once very rightly said;

‘’The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again yet expecting a different result’’

The need to punish ourselves or indeed others for the mistakes we/they make has become almost second nature for us a species. We are all too ready & willing to jump on the universal bandwagon of negativity because truthfully it is often the easier and more popular option.

This journey through life can at times be difficult enough without inflicting negative self-talk upon ourselves when there really is no need. As with anything that is worthwhile it takes time & effort to be mindful of the fact that we’re all of us doing the best we can day to day and whilst we may not live up to the expectations of ourselves let alone anyone else then it really, really is alright because there is not one of us on this planet who is perfect.

Whilst being kind to & taking care of ourselves be it physically or mentally should always be our priority it needs to begin with accepting that although perfectionism is a wonderful ideal, realistically it sets us up for failure & at times emotional distress especially if we look upon any mistakes we make as falling short in some way, failing if you will instead of what they really are which is nothing more than:

Opportunities to learn & grow which by definition means we are succeeding

As we go through this life of ours then, we should all of us strive to remember that when on occasion we stumble and make errors of judgement that we are human & we were not designed to be perfect. Making mistakes is part of the tapestry of life, they are little more than pointers enabling us to increase our understanding. We need to be secure in the knowledge that regardless of anything it does not mean that by making mistakes we are lacking in any way rather the opposite in fact and that is simply;

We are ENOUGH just the way we are!