Thursday, September 25, 2014


"It takes something to just say 'fuck it! this is reality. And I'm going to deal with it.'" ~ Angel Haze.

"In my experience, life makes us pay for our mistakes. What you are experiencing now is that payment." ~ Gordon Livingston [paraphrased]

This has been a hard post to write, I'm not sure when I started it, but I've lost track of it 3 or 4 times and deleted it each time back up to the above quotes.

Today though another way occurred to me to open this post, as I had an actual epiphany. There are actions I am taking now, that are drastically reducing, or preventing, my daughter from becoming an addict, attempting suicide, developing an eating disorder, self harming etc....

It's hard to even construct a hypothetical bad situation for my hypothetical future daughter (or child) to be in, because I know enough people who have been through enough shit for all of the shortlistings to resemble somebody I know.

It's a big call I guess, to say my child will be happy and secure, when so many in this world are not. But that's the most positive way I could put legacy issues. I make this call because I have had the means and the opportunity to actually deal with my shit. And I've been dealing with it.

You have the means and the opportunity to deal with your shit, whatever it is.

I am an advocate of mental health. But I have one slight reservation about it, I do believe that healing begins with compassion towards the self, and often mental health professionals do a lot of work to get us to accept ourselves as we are.

That to me though is the starting point of healing, due to the fact that I am a patient, and not a mental health professional, my experience of mental health is only limited to my own. But I have much experience with people.

The advice that is common enough for you to maybe have heard: 'You can't change other people you can only change yourself' is good advice, but tricky. In my experience, wishing your environment would change to render your issues irrelevant is neither realistic nor empowering. At the same time accepting that you cannot rely on others to change, and specifically to change for you, does not mean people are off the hook responsibility wise.

In fact if anything, the advice is pointing out that you, whoever is reading it, have an obligation to change yourself because you are the only one that can.

In finding compassion for the self (and rejecting the notion you are inherently flawed) doesn't mean you can say 'well I just need to drink to console myself, that's the only thing that numbs the pain.' and here is why:

1. It's a fallacy, consolation is not a necessity, nor is drinking to console a necessity.
2. After numbing the pain, you will sober up, and in sobriety the pain will return because you treated the symptom but did nothing to change your circumstances.
3. And most crucially, your not dealing with your shit puts the cost of your shit onto other people.

That's how legacy issues arise.

Because whatever variety your shit is, that you don't deal with, It almost certainly renders one egocentric. You have another need that needs addressing that other people don't. It butts into your heirarchy and diminishes your capacity to see to others needs.

While you are drinking away the painful thoughts and feelings, memories experienced by the body, you are spending time on yourself and thus not on people who look to you.

And those who look to you feel hurt and rejected themselves. All they model from you is how to self soothe the pain of their own childhood and this shit gets passed down as a legacy.

Sooner or later somebody on the family tree has to say 'stop, enough is enough' and they do that by actually dealing with the pain, whatever it is rather than suppressing it however they do. Most importantly they learn to stop perpetuating it.

There is no point in your life where dealing with your shit will not create the greatest and most dramatic improvement in your quality of life and those that care about you.

So deal with it.

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