Don’t tell me what to do

English: A soapbox at Occupy Boston

Warning: This is more of a soapbox post. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet today.

I’m having an issue at the moment with someone giving me explicit direction on actions to take in treating my PTSD. Doing this is a surefire way to get on my bad Mexican side. I’m never sure what to do with such unsolicited advice. It is my belief that PTSD impacts all of us in different ways. We all have different triggers, and I believe that the treatment can be potentially different for many of us.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with saying to me, “You think you might want to call your therapist/psychiatrist, etc?” Or, “Wouldn’t it be better if you got out of the house, or ate something healthy?” I see these things as helpful suggestions, not as directives. Lord knows we need these suggestions when we get in the dark place. At least I do.

To me, directives are “You should do xyz treatment.” If a person is not part of my clinical team then they should please frame such things as suggestions, and not as directives. Good Lord!

What works for me may or may not work for others. I may make suggestions, but I will never direct. If I ever do, please call me on it.

Perhaps I’m in a mood because I heard from a friend of mine and learned that she tried to take her life back in April. We’re both suffering, but I recognize that her triggers are different from mine. Also, very few medications have shown any success with her. She’s trying, and tripping up and trying again. God knows she doesn’t want to suffer anymore. I can’t stand the suggestion from others that she just needs to change her attitude and she will be better.

We don’t want to suffer. We want to have families and be loved just like the rest of the populace. We want to do more than hold down jobs. We want to succeed at our careers, and we want to be able to do things like get out of bed in the morning without the daily fight just to get our asses out of bed. We’re tired of gaining weight from psych meds that mess with our metabolism. We want our goals to be more than “shower, eat, don’t die.” But sometimes just doing those three things is success for us in a day. Sometimes that is where we are. We keep going even though we know that, for many of us, are lives are half lives because of the struggles that keep us from doing all that we want to do in this life. But still we keep going. We keep going because we have the hope that some day our lives will improve if we keep up the fight.

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