. . . who’s been dealing with a lot o’ crapola for most of my life. Doesn’t make me an expert on what’s good for anyone other than me.
Yes, I’m opinionated. Yes, I’m stubborn. Yes, I hold grudges. No, I’m not a model for anyone to do anything at all. What I am is someone who’s been tackling the emotional crap for a long, long time. My job as a human as I see it, is to help other humans. If it seems that I might know something you want to know, ask. If I think I know something which might help you, I’ll offer it.
I almost always run from self-proclaimed experts. (Real experts just show you they know what they’re doing usually, no proclamations required.) My Abuser was an expert you see, about everything and everyone and how they saw/affected *me*. Having come away from that experience after decades of work, I am leery, to say the least, when someone tells me they have the answer.
I have issues with people who want to tell me how to live my life, and over the decades, this has happened many times. It usually starts with something like, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you need to know it for your own good. . . .” Which is “code” for “I don’t want to get in trouble by admitting that I’m telling you how to live (I don’t know how to tell you this. . . .). And: If you just would do/feel/be what I say, then I’ll feel better and I’m egocentric enough to think there’s an easy, simple fix to what ails you (you need to know it for your own good).
People have told me: I’m feeling sorry for myself, to give it to God, to grow up, rubbed their fingers together (world’s smallest violin), get over it, just ignore it, you like being miserable, you want attention, yada yada . . . .
There are only a few real “answers” I’ve found: concrete and practical steps towards an answer almost always, for me, are better than large quantities of psychobabble. I have a friend who was very depressed as they’d been out of work for some time. I offered to and did revise their resume. They got a job, eventually. Was it my resume? I doubt it. This person was overqualified for work they were trying to get. Did the resume help? I hope it did, but that isn’t why I offered it.
Where this person was is an absence of hope and belief that things might get better. A new resume was something concrete I could give to counter that. It took me some time, but that’s also what someone needs when they’re this depressed I’ve found. They need to know they’re valuable enough to someone to spend some time helping them. Saying, “I’m sorry you’re not happy,” isn’t very useful. Listening is useful and problem solving or potential problem solving is very useful.
So, my approach to my own and others’ problems is concrete and practical, by design, when I can. It’s something the mental health field seems to ignore almost entirely. But I know how helpful it can be to have someone help. And instead of “feel good” words, I try and give in this way.
If you find this notion of mine helpful — that’s great!