I think with this blog I am trying to get real with myself and I am trying not to be so comparative. The following is my narrative to explain how one, me in this case, can look at their own illness as less important than another person's. I know that there are worse illnesses/conditions out there. That is why there is triage in hospitals, intake for mental health groups, etc. These assessments should let people know and understand that their condition is real, and they will be cared for with respect. This is everyone's wish I believe. To be seen, heard, and understood.
Through my life I have been blessed to travel in 3rd world countries. Here we learned a different way of life all together. One thing I learned was to never finish your food or drink. Only eat or drink about 1/2 and give the rest to the many children that have gathered around you. Always travel with pencils and pens, crayons ( maybe not 6 degrees from the equator :) ) bouncy balls, small light wind-up toys. These are to give away for trade or to the children that come around. Even shoe laces, razors, etc. are great.
In Liberia in 1987 I went to a fully self-sufficient Leprosy colony. They farmed, fished, crafted, health cared, and cared for each person that lived there. It was one of the most up living places I have been to in all my travels. I hope it is still there and most are as well as they can be with Ebola going around. These people compared to us have little to nothing and are some of the happiest people I have ever met. To them this is their life. Although I was shocked and sad, I never felt the need to show it or reach out to them in that way. I loved their crafts and bought many. I visited with the residents of the village for quite some time and enjoyed myself immensely. After 27 years I think about that place with a happy lilt in my heart. It is all perspective. They most definitely needed help. That was real. But they knew they could wait. Help may come.
In the developing country of Belize an old lady came into the KFC. She looked sun worn and disheveled. I felt so bad for her situation. The management kicked her out, but I would have been more than happy to give her part of my meal.
Here in a 1st world country, on the corner of Randolph and the off-ramp of 35E there are plenty of homeless vets, people, travelers etc. daily. I don't have cash on me every day. I wish I did.
I often hear my son who is 12, complain about ALL THE HOMEWORK he has. Where as my daughter has an AP lit class and other classes and is up all hours. In our home we have taught perspective. To him he is overwhelmed because he is 12 and has a 12 year old mentality so his nervousness is REAL to him. She is a senior and has senior concerns, i.e: no fighting about who has it harder.
Back to Getting Real. So when I see people talk about health, illnesses, conditions, experiences, etc. and they try to categorize them and put whose got it worse, it fries my cakes. But here's the funny part of that. I will judge my own illness day and night. Even when I have been suicidal, I have tried to blow it off as it will pass, or there should be no reason I should feel this way. After all, look at that person and what they have been through, or that person's pain, or him, or her and on and on. It's not just the "other people" who don't see my/your life as a real purposeful life. It could be you, yourself. But why am I doing it too? I am taking a more respectful stance in my mental health care and 4 days into the new year I already have a few, albeit baby steps, plans. k~