If you have followed this blog (and if not go a few entries back) then you know how I feel about any monetary compensation, at the hands of the poor, for what I call snake oil fixes. Here is the serious point I want to make.
It's NOT how you can help us. It's how we can help you. We need our voices heard. We need you to try and understand and help us understand. You can't learn from us if you do not know us.
We are individuals and wanted to be treated as such. We are not our symptoms. We are hurting but we have the biggest hearts for others in pain. We try not to judge but we are judged every day.
Talk to us. How else will you understand us?
Ok, on to the humor. Now I am going to post an e-mail I sent yesterday. To fully appreciate the humor you need to read the follow up e-mail I will post after.
So yesterday I get a message from someone that says
"I help people heal from emotional wounds. E-mail me if you feel I can be of help."
Ok, so I am on guard immediately. Another snake oil salesman, no doubt. I google the name of the site and I see its a self help site. That's all I needed (See where this is going?)
So I wrote an e-mail only equaled by Tom Cruise's "Mission Statement" in Jerry McGuire. I was so proud of my self. It wasn't angry but it very clearly expressed my opinion. It encapsulated everything I have come to believe. It was worthy of an award.
So I hit send and thought...well he asked lol.
Then it occurred to me. Perhaps I should have gone into his site first. So I did. So read the e-mails and hopefully you will get some humor out of it.
My goal is to help people overcome stigma by just exposing my journey. I am my own worst critic, came up in therapy today. I think that is related to The Narcissistic disorder...I never think of people being "just like me" Frankly, DBT hasn't worked well and I tend to not be its biggest fan. I use some mindfulness exercises but I believe in individualized treatment plans. DBT is often perceived as pass/fail and what a horrible message to send. As an Operations manager, to accept the claimed success rate of "70%" I would question the test group, the pre and post follow up. Personally I think it helps but on its own carries no real merits with me. My Psych has suggested Tai' Chi' but like everything else that has a cost. We are currently both without income after Sept. or insurance currently. KS uses its own interchange and the cutoff for a family of 4 is $768/month. Disgusting.
Here are the problems that I experience with most "professionals" and some may sound narcissistic but before we chalk that up to my illness lets not take away my ability to advocate for myself and others. To summarily dismiss what I have to say..because of my "disorder"...completely takes away my identity, reinforces fear and stigma and is just a bad message to send someone. So I'll list the issues I have. I will also insert a blog link if it applies. This one does
Loss of Empowerment when Diagnosed Mentally Ill
Ok, here goes
1) Anyone trying to make a profit off of the mentally ill is of no interest. While I do understand the need to make a living the people that need the most help are the poorest, especially with Personality Disorders. We currently have $0 Income and No insurance. So asking me for money isn't gonna happen.
2) I believe in individualized treatment plans. I do not believe there is One or Two sure fire fixes. I believe presenting it that way also un- empowers someone, it becomes Pass/Fail and creates yet more stigma, fear and shame.
3) If the goal is to get me to adjust to societal standards I would say, No thank you. I believe our society is evil and so money motivated we have lost complete sight of whats important.
4) While you do not have to be a Christian. if you even rub against my faith, again No thank you. And No I don't think God is the only answer, I do believe he puts all kinds of people in our lives. I don't judge your beliefs and expect the same, even as it relates to recovery.
5) I have blogged almost daily for 13 months, a few breaks aside. I get a tremendous amount of credit for my deep insight. While I do not always effectively communicate that with great insight comes great pain...I do feel like I am a lot better than I was a year ago. I have used (a little) DBT, a lot of Cognitive, some mindfulness and writing and speaking. That particular "recipe" has carried me a long way though I know there is more. Point is...this is why I won't accept DBT as the end all be all and why I advocate for individualized treatment plans. In addition it can't be both ways...I can't have come a long way" but not the "right way." Imagine this. You need 4-5 of 9 symptoms. Each one carries its own "weight" Now we are in the 100 of thousands possible combinations....see where I am going....lets not alienate or provide more hopelessness for those who need it most
I have a great Dad, wife and Kids. An awesome therapist and fantastic Psychiatrist. I have a purpose, several forums a few mediums.
If your interest is solely in "helping me" again, I'll simply say "No thank you."
Real simple reason. All the news and professionals do is talk ABOUT us, not TOO us. We need more of the latter and less of the former.
So yeah, I am narcissistic. I'm also 48 with a lot of education, life experience and direct contact as I worked in Mental Health for 7 years. I am just now starting to spread my wings, to learn what I really believe in. I have a passion burning inside me. Stigma, specifically as it relates to men must be addressed and not just after the fact.
I see your thousands of followers. I would never pretend that you have the time or inclination to read many of my entries (See I am learning!) but that leads to the final obstacle
You don't know me. Even if you have a program that transcends every illness (I'm not dumb, took about a second to google) you don't know me.
If people took the time to get to know us then what you have to offer us would have so much more quality. Don't be mistaken, you don't know us. We are not our diagnosis, I am not a guy with BPD, Depression and Narcissistic Pers. Disorder.
My name is Michael Johnson. I have a lifetime that has led me to this point. My story is unique. I am unique.
So maybe we can help each other. Maybe not
As Rick Perry said in 2012
Follow up e-mail
I should have checked the site. I am pretty impressed. It seems like we agree on a lot actually
I thought it was funny...but lets not lose sight of the message. You can learn from us. We can help you help us. Fear is created by not understanding something.