Of Course It is

My blog has been an titled incorrectly–it should have been 3 months in my life!!!!.  Thank you to all the cartoonists who have filled this space with their witty psychological insights.

 When you go to the movies in 2008, you get  some fascinating things.  You get commercials, more commercials and then you get coming attractions.  Here at “A week in the life” we are going to give you some coming attractions without all the commercials.

 Here are some posts you can look forward to:

LIFE’S TOO SHORT–dedicated to all those folks that I see that are in  ambivalent relationships .

 NO IT’S NOT-Dedicated to all the people in denial of certain things and a certain building owner’s favorite phrase.

 SURVIVING VS. LIVING– Dedicated to all the survivors of some type of trauma.

STARRING AS THEMSELVES— a personal favorite of mine in which people need to examine the interpersonal relationships that they are in and make some important decisions about their own craziness.

And now our feature presentation———————

I am blessed by the stories I get to hear day in and day out.  Some are more painful than others.   Some are more tragic than others.  In the course of these discussions people end up saying some interesting things such as “he was a bad alcoholic”, “he had really bad bipolar”, she had really bad panic attacks” etc. in which the person is describing the obvious.  I have said “I’ve never seen a good alcoholic” to illustrate the issue with that person’s alcoholism.

I have spoken to professionals who have described the person as –she drinks daily, lies about her drinking, her family covers up her drinking, she has personality changes etc.  of course the person acts this way, they’re supposed to!!!!  is my unspoken thought.

We get into situations on a regular basis where we  comment on the other person’s behavior.  “I can’t stand it when he gets so OCD about everything” Of course they do, the person has OCD.

 “Her mood swings and irrational behavior drive me crazy”  Of course they do, the person has a mood disorder

It seems to me, we get upset over the obvious.  Instead of taking 2 steps back–the Alanon concept of “detach with love”and saying ‘yes living with a person with OCD or a mood disorder can be pretty upsetting, they do and say some hurtful and confusing things, but it’s their illlness or disease that’s causing the behavior”, we get upset, angry, hurt or  frustrated  over this behavior.

We then amplify these feelings, perhaps letting them develop into resentment or acting in unhealthy ways, using the person’s “OCD or mood disorder” as a rationalization for the behavior.  The unhealthy behavior then grows a life of its own.   It adds more and more layers to what starts  out as a difficult, frustrating, and hurtful situation. Over time, we have the difficult sitution + the unhealthy behavior + our good “friends” guilt shame remorse and self loathing= me being 1 big mess!!!!!

If we recognize that the person has to do the behavior that they are diagnosed with, accept that diagnosis, detach with love, and take a deep breath, life with them will be a lot easier and I can and will be a lot healthier.

In Amador and Rosen’s book, When someone you love is depressed they speak quite clearly about this approach.  It includes education about the illness, self care, support and/or counseling.  Their approach can be “transposed” for all illnesses or problems. 

If we can use Amador and Rosen’s suggestions for health, and  recognize: OF COURSE THE PERSON IS DOING THIS-they couldn’t be doing any thing else,  then we can live a healthier and happier life.

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