Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Me, Myself and I

Here I am again, with one of my pre- dawn posts after being up all night. It's either that I can't sleep or my mind is just so active I don't want to sleep. Tonight it was the latter- I was dusting my room at 2:30am.

A lot has been happening the past few days. I went to my church counsellors on Saturday, where they prayed specifically for forgiving and for my faith. A lot of messed up stuff has been coming up. But that's another post. I've had a certain topic on my mind for the past few days and I would like to get it off my chest. Please know that this is only my opinion and you have the right to disagree with it. But if you suffer from serious depression, it's something that you may want to consider.

The thing that bothers me about this disease and, indeed even it's treatment, is how focused you become on yourself. When you are in the midst of the awful haze of a bad day you can be forgiven on nothing else but getting out of bed, having a shower, eating all the while having to deal with the bone crushing heaviness. But on other "brighter" days. The focus is still on SELF.

Even with treatment. ME for example- I visit a psychiatrist to discuss MY meds and how I'M feeling. Then off to the psychologist where I talk about ME, MY past, MY present, MY future. And we discuss ME in very minute analytical detail. I will spend two hours a week with the church counsellors where they spend 80% of that time listening to ME talk about, well ME. Anybody supporting ME right now is focused on ME

As for ME I am constantly having to monitor how MY meds are affecting ME and how I feel like today and then ME and ME and I, I, I, MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Now, I'm not an idiot I know that to get well, focusing on myself...quite a bit is required. And I don't want to offend those people who have to find a great deal of courage to do this.


Isn't it possible it could go the other way?.That we could focus on ourselves a little to much and lose touch with reality that way because all we can see is ourselves?

The reason why I am bringing it up is because of all the amazing inspiring people that I have met over the years who are in recovery, I have come into contact with a select few, who- and I don't mean any disrespect- are so self- absorbed that they can't tell their ass from their elbow.

I don't want to downplay that they have had hard times. But they are mostly past the trauma stage and stable and have found that they kinda like this part of therapy 'coz of the attention. Seriously, you'll meet these people and time slows. They'll tell you their story...but then they will tell it to you again and each time time the story gets longer and then they start analysing it in minute detail. During a conversation they'll just wait for someone to take a breath so they start talking about themselves. Again. It's no use trying to change the subject because they immediately start to get that "faraway look" as they retreat back into Planet- I. You'll get more response from a tree.

I'm being mean. But I guess I feel I can make jokes because I WAS that person. I'll humble myself and say that I still am in some ways, but I am making the effort to change- not just because I think it is vital for my recovery but for the poor souls that had to put up with my PMS - Poor Me Syndrome.

It is not healthy to focus on yourself all the time. It isn't good if all your thoughts are YOU- based and you should not be allowed to talk about yourself all the time- unless you are paying them

That's why I firmly believe in SUPPORT groups, it's a double positive- you get to share your experiences but you are also forced to shut your trap for a while and listen to somebody else. And in that way you will learn and gain more knowledge.

I also believe that- once a person is stable and if they are able to- volunteering is a great idea. That way the focus is taken off yourself for a bit, while you do something for somebody else. Volunteering with a local mental health organisation could be the most amazing and inspirational learning experience. I speak from experience when I say sometimes the best thing to do when you have a problem is to help someone else- it is good for the soul.

As for family and friends, I have decided that no matter how bad I feel- I will take an interest in how they are doing and LISTEN to them when they talk.


  1. Hi Stephi. Me again. Just wanted to say that you're a really great writer, and it's a great topic. I don't think people suffering with depression are the only ones that are susceptible to being self focused. We all need to hear this message!