don’t patronise me….

I didn’t sleep last night. I’ve been in a fair bit of pain & my stomach hasn’t been behaving. My mood hasn’t really been behaving either. It took a dive earlier in the week for unspecified reasons. Perhaps feeling so sick has had an impact or maybe it’s just my head being a dick. Who can say?

On account of the above I slept late. Dragging myself out of bed was a struggle, but I did it. Mainly because I am currently dog sitting & no matter how shit I feel, not walking a dog is cruel. So, up I got, flung on whatever clothes were lying on the bedroom floor, brushed my teeth & took that pup for the longest walk I could manage. I did these not because they would lift my mood. Nor did I do them as part of an ‘action plan’. I didn’t derive any sense of achievement. They needed to be done, so I did them.

Later, my stomach had calmed down. I hadn’t eaten all day & was hungry. My fridge contained half an aubergine that had to be used today or it would only be fit for the bin. These factors combined led to me make some vegetable moussaka. I didn’t cook because it would make me feel that I was worth taking care of. I simply used the ingredients available to feed myself because otherwise, I would not eat.

I tell you these things not because they are interesting. I certainly don’t mention them because I want applause. I merely draw your attention to these mundane activities as they are the reality of day to day life.

THEY ARE NOT SELF CARE.

Mental health organisations & patronising individuals are constantly spouting the merits of self-care. I am so tired of hearing this bullshit. Everything I do does not have a therapeutic purpose. Mental illness (or for that matter physical) does not define me. I am a single woman living alone. There are always tasks that need taken care of. I take each day as it comes & do as much as I can manage. That’s just survival. In that respect I am no different from anyone else.

Obviously my illness can make simple jobs difficult. Things the average person may take for granted come harder to me. That doesn’t change the nature of life. I either keep living to best of my ability or I lie down and die.
To label each chore or treat self-care is to rob me of my basic humanity. I am no longer a person, but a collection of diagnoses. Mental illness becomes my defining feature. I strenuously reject that characterisation. To measure my wellbeing by how many dishes are in my sink is insulting. Similarly, to minimise serious conditions by suggesting a nice dinner will make it all better is also offensive.

I live my life as fully as possibly. I enjoy whatever I can and try my best to endure the rest. Doesn’t that sum up most people’s experience? I don’t hear anyone congratulating ‘non-mentals’ for continuing to exist, so why are they patronising me?

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2 Responses to “don’t patronise me….”

  1. Hi,

    Couldn’t agree more with this post.

    As you say; life happens whether we are ill or not and that means living life has to be done. It is not “self care” to almost function for some of a day while the rest has been lost in a fog of blah/pain/etc.

    Really appreciate seeing someone else saying what we often feel, so thank you for that.

    thinking of you,

    xxx

    • doyourememberthattime Says:

      thanks for taking the time to comment. I think there are a lot of folk out there who feel the same. we just aren’t listened to. I really appreciate your support. take care.xx

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