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I’m trying to write a post on how mental health, substance abuse/dependence and culpability intersect with one another, which will be interesting if I ever manage to finish it or figure out what my exact opinion is on that messy combination. However, I keep getting horribly sidetracked by interrelated issues while writing, getting too personal with other people’s lives, which I feel is crappy behavior, have to re-draw the line on where my responsibility began and ended in past situations, which I did with my fourth step, but my perceptions have radically changed in the last six plus months.

One of the main problems with writing this is that one of major events in my life was a messy abusive relationship that I kept going back to. It really should have ended a lot sooner than it did, and I started out talking about my own responsibility with it, and ended up getting tied up with my ex-partner’s end of the situation. The man I was with had a number of wonderful qualities (which is another thing, is people don’t really seem to realize how ostensibly “normal/above normal” abusive people can be in certain areas/seem), but also had a number of physical and mental health issues (beyond what should be applicable to a man in his 30s), including paranoid schizophrenia.

At the time, I kept arguing with myself about how responsible he was for his actions, but it would have been better, I guess, to operate from a different viewpoint. Something more along the lines that no matter what the cause is for certain behavior, especially when it’s repeated, combined with the responsible party’s knowledge of the problem and tendency to put fuel on fire rather than attempt to mitigate it well…that’s pretty good grounds for terminating a relationship, really.

But I feel shitty talking about this, because I feel that people with schizophrenia are talked about negatively too much. I’m certainly no expert on it, but I’ve known two other people well enough to know that it was part of their life, and they were both good people, one of them was pretty instrumental to me psychologically surviving a chaotic portion of my life.
*sighs* I guess the point is that the man is an asshole with schizophrenia, not an asshole because of schizophrenia.

Should I be treating this specific disorder differently than any other medical condition? Honestly, I feel like if, for example, he had heart issues, or even depression, and actively disregarded them while doing things to worsen his health,  I’d feel differently/talk about it differently. But maybe it is appropriate to treat this differently.


7 thoughts on “Meta-Post

  1. I like this post. There is definitely a way that those tree categories intersect. I think it could all go back to maybe social class, race, sex? Or a combination of all of those. Oh, and I also happen to know who is schizophrenic and she is definitely not an asshole. She’s one of the sweetest and strongest woman I know.

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  2. I have no idea what your personal experience is truly like, but I welcome the opportunity to share in how you bravely articulate it. It does connect for me in having lived with a violent father, I agree, he was loved, respected, and indeed loveable, but hell as well. Took me decades to deal with my confusion.


  3. Love how you engage with yourself. I’ve done that a lot in my life. Read something the other day that rocked my (set me back on my heels). Let me dig it out … 2 ticks … Can’t find it online. It was on the back cover of a book called The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal, Jon Kabat-Zinn (yeah – cut and pasted). Two more ticks – have to go downstairs to fetch the book … Well bugger me – it’s not on that book! Must have seen it inside when I opened it at random. Anyway, the gist of it is this – when you’re depressed, the worst thing to do is to try to think about it or get to grips with it using logic, because this just makes you more depressed (some fancy phrase like ‘deepens the cycle of depression’ was used). What it advocated instead was just acknowledging those (depressing) thoughts, but then putting them to one side and thinking about something else instead. Sounds simple don’t it, but I tell you – it opened my eyes until they squeaked! I mean – all that time I spent filling journal after journal with my thoughts and justifications and explanations and all of that stuff – all wasted? I thought to myself ‘nah – surely not – I learnt stuff about myself – and learning is always good, right?’ But then I remembered the times I was truly happy, and it was always when I was thinking about something else, engaged in something different – things like enjoying a marvellous sunset, walking by the river, curling up somewhere warm and cosy with a good book, talking with friends about shit and just laughing and laughing and laughing. Makes me wonder why I spent so much time chasing ghost around my own mind. Makes me wonder why I’m here, tapping away on my keyboard. But then I remember you, Joss. This is for you. Hope it means something to you. Something useful.
    Kindness – Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Robert for this comment and the book rec. 🙂 Chasing ghosts is definitely the phrase, I think.
      I keep hearing about this John Kabat-Zinn fellow, I’ve done a little reading in the mindfulness/Buddhist teachings direction but haven’t gotten around to him yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I nicked the comment I made for you and changed it into a post on my blog. I cited you as the inspiration – hope you don’t mind.
        But, yeah – mindfulness is all the rage now. The next big thing after that, though, will be Self Compassion. 🙂
        Glad to have helped.
        Kindness – Robert.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Rocked My World | robertcday

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