Although first I would like to say thank you to anyone who has continued to visit me here, despite the fact that I haven’t posted anything for a week and a half.
The good news is that the blog is FINALLY UPDATED! And it is so pretty! And clean! And did I mention the prettiness?
The bad news is that after 6 days of editing 550 posts, and then presenting my husband with a list of “back end” tasks which ended up taking him 7 hours last Sunday, neither he nor I could even think about my blog without wanting to punch something.
But happily that time has passed, and I am now able to continue my discussion of People Who Have Obviously Never Experienced Pain So Debilitating That They Have Actively Wished For Death, And Who Therefore Act Like A Dumb Ass Around Those Of Us Who Have.
So last week I was listening to a radio show on the internet where the hosts were discussing strategies we could use to help us follow through on the work of our dreams, once we had figured out what our dreams actually were.
A man called in to the show to discuss how he had successfully written and self-published a book. He said he set a deadline for when he wanted the book to be available for purchase, and then he just worked backward from that point, planning out and then completing each task until the entire thing was finished.
He didn’t say anything I hadn’t heard before, but what irritated me was the tone in which he said it, which was somewhere along the lines of, “Uh, DUH! How can you NOT know this?!”
You know the kind of person I’m talking about.
The kind of person who decides what they want to be when they’re 10 years old, who follow That One Path for their entire life and who can’t, for the life of them, understand why other people have so much trouble figuring out what they want to be when they grow up.
The kind of people who see a problem, see their answer, and then chug merrily along That One Path until they reach their solution. And because they only see one way of doing things, and because that one way worked for them, they treat the rest of the world like we are a group of mentally impaired losers who are stubbornly refusing to see The Rightness of Their One Path. With the damaging, unspoken message here being that whatever problems we “rest of the world” folks are having are our own faults, and that our problems would all magically be solved if we would just admit Our Wrongness, and begin to walk Their One Right Path.
Or as I like to think of them, People Who Clearly Have Never Really Suffered. So they don’t really believe that suffering exists, at least, not any kind of suffering which would actually be an “acceptable” excuse for not just pushing forward and getting things done.
Now normally I just ignore these people, especially if I can find a way to publicly mock them.
But as it happened, at that time I was once again smack dab in the middle of another agonizing flare of my fibromyalgia pain, and so I, personally, was currently experiencing a HUGE, ENORMOUS, GIGANTIC, and, might I add, REAL, example of why the inanity of, “Just do it!” would not work.
Thankfully the hosts of the show do not espouse that man’s world view and, while thanking him for calling, also acknowledged that sometimes, life just doesn’t go exactly the way we planned.
I really appreciated that, and was ready to hear what they had to say next. But this particular radio show is interactive, meaning that there is a live online chat accompanying the radio broadcast. Which means that this particular caller WOULD NOT LET IT REST, ALREADY!, and continued to prattle on about how, even in difficult times, we still had the power to “choose our thoughts”, and so we should choose to think positive thoughts, because that would help carry us through.
Unfortunately I have no idea what the rest of the show was like, because I spent the rest of the hour trying to figure out how I could physically travel through the Internet in order to find this man and then strangle him, for the benefit of all mankind.
It also made me think about the time the bug guy came to spray our house right before Christmas, and how he asked how I was doing, and how I made the mistake of actually telling him. Now, I LOVE our bug guy, because he healed our household of a year-long rat problem, and he is always HAPPY to clear our deck of all wasps, yellow jackets, and other stingy creatures so that we can enjoy our summer cookouts without fear of injury.
Unfortunately, I forgot that this meant that he was going to be very “solution-focused” when I described my health challenges to him. I know his intentions were good, and that he really wanted to help me…but he really didn’t. So what he came up with for me were the following suggestions:
-that we needed to purchase a hot tub and install it in our backyard
-that I should remember that, “Every day I spend being depressed is a day I am not spending on being happy”
-and that I should try a nutritional approach. Actual quote: “Would it help if you ate more bananas?”
What I said in reply, “Well, since this condition involves pain so terrible that at times I have actively wished for death, I’m pretty sure that eating more bananas would just be like spitting in the ocean.”
What I wanted to say (to him, and to Mr. Obnoxious Radio Show Call-In Guest): “Oh my god, Positive thinking! And bananas! I can’t believe I didn’t think of trying that myself! Because you know that I’m just sitting on my ass, not doing a damn thing about this illness, just eating bonbons and waiting for the answer to magically appear on my living room couch. THANK YOU SO MUCH for providing me with these “missing links” of information that I’ve been needing all this time! My saviors!”
“Oh, so I just need to think positively/eat more bananas/whatever other dumb-ass things people have told me I should be doing in order to not have this pain? Really? OK, well, then let’s go out to my driveway, and you go and lie down, and I’ll just run over you with my car, and then you think a happy thought/EAT A FUCKING BANANA, and show me how those help you to not feel pain. Because obviously, I’M DOING SOMETHING WRONG!”
This. Is. Awesome.
You rock. Seriously. Thank you for saying it. It so desperately needs to be said.
I’m always so tempted to smile sweetly, reply with honey obviously dripping from my tongue, “If I wanted your opinion/ help/ advice don’t you think I would have asked for it? No, you asked me how I was doing, so I told you. I DID NOT SAY I NEEDED YOU TO TELL ME HOW TO FIX IT. Do you think I’m such an idiot that I can’t work out when I need your help and when I don’t or are you just such an interfering busy body with no problems of your own that you couldn’t resist sticking your nose in where it wasn’t invited?”
Generally I imagine progressing from the sickly sarcasm into a tower of rage that leaves the other person quivering in the corner and me laughing like a deranged mad woman.
Then I remember they’re doing it from the nicest, if a little ignorant, part of themselves and I go to nodding, saying “uh huh,” and thinking “TWAT.”
Bugger, I hate being able to see more than one side to every situation – totally blocks my inner deranged mad woman bent on terrorising the idiots of the world.
Thank you 🙂 I know, sometimes I really hate having been raised to be polite-sometimes people just need to know when they’re being an idiot, so they can STOP it!
Joely Black says
Oh my God. This is brilliant.
Especially the bit about “one less day being happy.” Because all people with depression have just forgotten about that and would totally cheer up if they knew that.
Adyashanti, one of the teachers I follow, says personal development broadly breaks down into two categories:
1. The path is total enlightenment and awareness. You must do this (i.e. you’re a moron as you are.)
2. The path is total material achievement (i.e. you’re a moron because you don’t have that.)
Both groups feel that you’re also a moron if you can’t see they’re right. Never occurs to anybody that you might be totally OK as you are, no matter how screwed up you might be feeling.
I like his breakdown-SO TRUE!
Yes, we ARE ok as we are 🙂
The blog looks fab!
And REALLY? Every day that I’m not doing well is a day I COULD be doing well? WELL THERE YOU GO! Easy peasy!
Thanks-I’m really happy with how it looks.
And, I know! How could we have missed such an easy solution-“Just BE all right.”? Yeah, I’ll be getting right on that :P
Sweet Treat says
Jenny you are a brilliant writer, how can a small piece of blog be so captivating??? Why? BECAUSE its contents are HUGE! You really should write more often!
Oh, thank you so much!
Square-Peg Karen says
honey, you must be eating your bananas – because you are turning lemons into lemonade here!!
I cannot WAIT for you to gather enough of these “Wake up Dumbass” essays together to make a book!!! this is fantastic..tho…i wish you weren’t having the pain!
Lynne Morrell says
Hey Jenny~ Glad that you liked the show 😉 Christine and I are still getting used to how to deal with folks that say stupid shit like that…oops. What I meant was, Christine and I are still getting used to how to deal with folks that stupid shit like that…drats! Guess that is what I really mean!!!!
As for the bananas…what is that anyway? My dad used to say that to me. I would be in terrible pain, make the BIG mistake of telling him and he would tell me I needed to eat more bananas. Oh! Thanks! I will go get some right now!!!!!
You blog looks beautiful!
How do I put a snazzy picture up here?
Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that picture thing out myself. As soon as I (meaning “Trey”) do, I’ll let ya know.
Angry Katie says
I can’t believe I somehow missed this among your many posts. Bananas? BANANAS?? From now on, every time a friend tells me they have a health issue, I’m going to prescribe bananas. For example, Friend: “Ow, I’ve got an awful backache!” Me: “You need to eat a bunch of bananas. They’ll fix it right up!” Got a sinus infection that won’t go away? JAM A BANANA UP IN YOUR SINUS CAVITY! Swish it around really good. Fuck saline and antibiotics, bananas are the way to go.
I know the relationship you have with the bug guy but I’m beginning to think that insecticide fumes have destroyed one too many of his brain cells.