Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm the expert

I was sitting here feeling rather blue because it's been a week since I fell, I'm in pain and very, very, tired and watching piles get higher and higher in the house. The laundry is piling up too. It dawned on me that it is as if I expect "Them" to arrive. You know "Them" - the 'Others' out there who would make judgements about me based on some assumed rules of proper standards and conduct of living ?

Then I realized how down I am and that made me recall all the comments I've heard Them say over the years that are meant to prod you out of this state. "Stop whining." "Stop feeling sorry for yourself." "Don't think about the bad things." "Suck it up!" Of course these generally aren't said to the person who's feeling that way now, but rather in converstations when talking about someone else that reveal what They really think.

And there are piles of articles out there about how being blue is a bad thing, something that requires counseling or pills or something because we all should always be in a state of perpetual happiness, or that's how it seems sometimes. I've heard and watched many fellow pwdds (people with dumb diseases, as we call these) put on fake smiles because they're tired of being told that they're only depressed, not sick, so they dare not let one when they're blue. In addition Everyone knows that whining is a terrible thing to do, you have to keep a stiff upper lip and show bravado. We have a real problem with weakness in our society. Is it any wonder that there would be such negative reaction to an illness that screams "you're so weak!" ?

Why is it that Everyone is an expert? Do you really know everything from reading a book? A book that someone else wrote based on what they heard or read that someone else said? Ya, I've been contemplating this whole 'expert' thing lately. Seems somehow we've come to view alphabets listed behind names as 'all knowing ones'. I don't begrudge acknowledging that someone may have sat through a few more lectures or read a few more books or even sat and pondered or wrote a few more papers, but I have come to realize that that doesn't necessarily mean anything much. Having an illness/s that little is known about or understood has a way of causing you to observe that there are many other things in life that are equally not really understood, yet we see doctors and researchers, hear friends and family and talk show hosts all talking as if they know more than we do.

Today I'm declaring I'M the EXPERT !

No one knows my body better than me. No one knows what's in my head or how it works better than I do. Know one knows what I need. No one knows exactly how much sleep I need, what foods I need, what lifts me up or brings me down. I AM the expert on me! And you know, I am unique! (and proud of it!).

Mind you I appreciate it when my husband makes his best guess about what I want, and when a friend attempts to hit the bullseye for something that will sooth me. I'm sure not saying we shouldn't try to understand one another, far from it. What I am saying is that I think it is high time that we all realize that there is no standard mold that we all popped out of nor is there really as great of need to be Bobsie Twins as we've been lead to believe (and coerced to become). While it is desireable to have expected standards of behavior when interacting with one another, within family and community so that we don't have chaos and lawlessness, somehow we've gotten it all mixed it up. God's commandments are absolutes, right versus wrong, yet those we shrug off and call gray areas. Meanwhile things that are not detramental we treat as if they are absolute rules we must abide by. For instance we must all be up in the morning and go to bed by such and such an hour at night. Funny how that is, huh?

I'm the expert on Me. There is only One other who is more expert than I, and I consult with Him regularly. That helps because He actually knows me between than I do and He's also the expert on you - and sometimes clues me in about things I have only best guesses about. The rest of the so-called experts out there.... well... I'll weigh their opinion against my own observations. Sometimes I might glean a few things, most of it I toss out with the trash.

On the news last night I did hear about some "expert's" study that did coincide with my expert observations. They were just slow in discovering what I've known for years (ok, I admit I started paying attention to this due to a comment my Uncle made to me years ago). The report was about the connection between injured immune systems and white-glove cleanliness re: anti-septic homes. It seems that all this cleanliness has lead to weakened immune systems, particularly in children. See? Not only isn't it necessary to be pile-less but it may actually healthier to have a few dishes in that sink overnight!

I knew it !

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