Pity me, patronise me? Never, you just amuse me

Inevitably when you have a mental health problem, big or small, some people will always treat you differently. I’ve often found that the people who claim to have mental health problems are the worst. I’ve lost count of the people who claim to have depressive episodes when the reality is that they have the ups and downs that normal life throws at us and I’ve also lost count of the people who claim indulgent self-pity is depression. Neither are depression and experience of either of these things do not give an insight into what goes on in my head.

The people who are the most irritating are those who underestimate my abilities. They praise me on one hand and pat me on the head with the other whilst presuming that I have no idea what they’re doing.

I have a really great brain and I’m a natural problem solver. It’s a talent that helps in all areas of my life (even with my own problems though I sometimes need that confirming – self doubt eh?) and I’m seen as a very sharp tool in the box. I enjoy reading books, learning complicated things and generally being clever. I sometimes forget the things I learn or find them extra hard because of the memory problems I have but I keep on keeping on all the same.

My talents are varied and often creative. Some people ask me if I’m good at everything and I’m quick to point out that I’m not but what I am good at is learning from where I’ve went wrong and whether it’s worth pursuing things that I’m not going to get any better at. I don’t mind giving up even if I do have to persuade myself sometimes that it’s the right thing to do.

I get angry when people try to patronise me especially when I’m being patted on the head in a “well done you” manner for something that I have years of expertise and experience in. I talk about the good in my life as much as I talk about the bad, likewise I try to talk about the solutions to problems as well as the problems themselves. This does not make me an object of pity nor is it an excuse to attempt to patronise me.

Please not I used the word attempt because the person who can patronise me has not yet been born. I’m not an insecure little woman with an insurmountable health problem, I’m a fighter and, even though I fall short of coping well in terms of self-care, I’m not stupid, I’m not deaf, I’m not blind and I’m certainly not to be pitied.

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