Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"...get OVER IT, already..."

Timothy's Helpful Hint f the Day: If you find yourself in the presence of someone having a PANIC ATTACK, the last thing you should say is "RELAX." You may get punched in the face. The person having the PANIC ATTACK would "RELAX" if they me.

The same is true of Depression, Anxiety, Addiction...any BEHAVIORAL malady. People who do not suffer from these DISEASES don't have the frame of reference to relate to them because of their own lack of experience.

Take Anxiety/Panic for example. When I feel ANXIETY, it isn't because of any event or thought or dread that makes me ANXIOUS. It's like waking up in a hair suit that happens to be on fire and you can't take it off. Things that should not cause ANXIETY or PANIC do anyway. I find myself crying in public a lot. Just yesterday I sat in the doctor's office waiting for my appointment. As I waited, I noticed that six people in a row came into the waiting room with the assistance of a walker. The last two were elderly women bent in half by osteoperosis, hunch-backed and only able to see the floor as a result. I began to cry uncontrollably. My tears continued for a half-hour as I sat waiting.

Now my EMPATHY is normal, even good. I am able to feel compassion for the difficulties in the lives of others. BUT my emotional response isn't within a range that I can currently control, NOT so good. Had anyone looked at me and said "GET OVER IT" as I wept, I would have tried to explain to them that I would if I could but I can't so I CAN'T. It's not a question of not trying, or choosing an "over the top" reaction. The reaction was the only one possible at the time and hopefully with time, the careful attention of doctors and Therapy I will find my emotions within a range I can manage. Being overwhelmed by emotion makes desirable human interactions difficult. Try crying at work for two hours and tell me how productive you are. It's happened to me.

Even More Helpful Hint: It's IMPOSSIBLE to know or understand the EMOTIONAL REALITY of another person. But as compassionate, empathic human beings, we should try ...

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