Monday, February 27, 2006

Get a life!

Monday, 6.36pm David is at the computer.

Busy today, new hoover arrived as a present (old one heats up like a radiator and then cuts out) and the builder finally finished my kitchen after almost two months of intermittent visits. There's still a few bits missing as described before, but there will be no more drilling, banging or painting for a long time. And it looks amazing.

The doctor has put me on various tablets for the anxiety which had almost stopped me in my tracks at times. How the body can react to its environment when hostile by shutting down to protect you from it is the sort of design fault you'd expect from an old Bulgarian car. Search me the intelligence that's supposed to design us that so many people actually worship. If I get to heaven I'll worship, while I'm here it's me against the world and sometimes no paddle.

Otherwise all that trouble often made me feel guilty for the things I wasn't doing. So a lot of the time even when I was doing something perfectly productive I felt I should be doing something more active as I knew I couldn't any more. The mind gives you the potential criticisms of others, in their worst forms, in advance, almost as a preparation for the real ones. They come and go, including disbelief, anger, disappointment and judgement, as if a mental illness is one you choose and can choose to overcome, in the words of my friend schadenfreude, if you 'just tried hard enough' (his mother and my grandma's apparent view). So the blind and paralysed could so easily see and walk (including those who were born without the ability) if only they put just a bit more effort into it.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it. Well that's no different for expecting someone to avoid a panic attack or depression. No difference from the other side, just as real as a temperature or a broken leg, and if you don't know, you are so lucky!

There was a second theme that spun of from this one for me I thought I'd add next. People who say 'get a life'. What exactly does that mean? Is it the same for everyone who says it, or has each person who commands you have a different expectation for the intended pupil? Anyway, what exactly is 'a life?'

I have a list of my grandma's opinion (seems pretty typical of such views) of what 'normal' people do, and I will add that up till recently I did many if not all of these.

Go to restaurants
Go on holidays
Go to the cinema
Go to clubs
Work full time

I'll add a few more of what I can think of so I don't miss too many,

Look after yourself
Travel on public transport
Study something
Create something useful or attractive
Do all you can to find a partner


OK, how many people would tick every one (besides the partner if they already have one) ? And does anyone actually care?

I don't. When I was very young I did judge people for not being 'normal' (I was brought up in that sort of environment except for my parents, so hardly a surprise) but soon learnt the error of my ways and only minded my own business. But many people didn't, and little digs or open statements why I don't 'do what everyone else does' are really nobody else's problem. And if I don't want to do these things (mainly as I have done quite enough for now) it's not mine either.

I don't think it's possible not to have a life if you're not in a coma. Each life is unique and changes from moment to moment. If you're not happy, then it's a problem. But people comparing an 'ideal for 2006' model with yours and finding you sadly lacking shows it's them that need therapy, not you. I've already said a 45 year old can't be compared with a 25 year old. You can't cram much into 25 years however hard you try, especially when half that time may be used up by studying in my own case. The only thing I miss out on is company, both around the house and female.
I have done and got more or less everything else (going TV in 4 days and counting down). My health is the only factor that needs to be OK and I will be. Remembering the support of the family environment, with minor illnesses I was still happy enough knowing they were around to look after me (and vice versa when I was old enough). Though I may have to repeat old points for newer readers, when I had a friend who was living alone but didn't work when I still was doing the opposites, I respected her far more for what I considered a full-time position, compared to my relatively easy life, going to work, coming home, and finding a meal on the table and the house clean. Not any more...

But give brownie points for each element in someone's life? Who died and made you in charge? Please! If people allowed everyone to do their thing if it didn't hurt them then the stress in many areas of life would lessen greatly. And believe me, any sod who does score full marks in the 'judgement scale', God help you the day something happens and it all gets washed away like a sandcastle. Who'll be judging you then? As Buddha says, don't build your house on shifting sands. If you base your opinion on something temporary, it won't be reliable, trust me. Whatever you have may only be for now. And don't take too much credit for it either. You didn't really make it and certainly won't be responsible if it gets taken away. It doesn't really work by our choices.


Sharon said...

The only thing that truly matters in the end is if your life makes you happy and satisfied. Basing your life on others expections will only lead to unhappiness. It has taken me a long time to learn that lesson. Speaking from experience there are always going to be people who think that any mental illness can be cured if "you only tried hard enough" or my own personal favorite "you must not want to get better because if you did."

Sharon said...

Forgot to mention..liked the big brother style opening!