I offended some people I care about with this post from last week. I’m sad because the way they read it was exactly the opposite of how it was intended. This means I wrote it exactly wrong.
This may be a problem with publishing every single day that needs adjustment.
My purpose in writing this post was to show how my mistrust/doubts of my own feelings and experience has been hugely unhelpful to me. On top of avoiding/not paying attention to my feelings, when they’ve gotten too strong to suppress, my next defense was judging/dismissing them.
Then I wrote the following, and the way I wrote it I realize now was careless and hurtful.
This is one of the reasons in the past I’ve been skeptical of some mental illness. Like, is this Depression? How depressed? Depressed enough to miss work? Depressed enough to get medicated? I can see how talk like this can be offensive to sufferers but I’m legitimately baffled.
The voice in these paragraphs is myself in the past, doubting how to measure my own feelings, my own pain. The point of posting this is to share that I’m no longer baffled.
I thought I was making my intentions clear two sentences later—
Two things have helped me begin to get over this (unhelpful) frame…
—but I had already lost some with my prior clumsiness.
I’m someone who has struggled heavily with my own psychology (18 years sober, 20 years in therapy, a library of self-help books, a staff of coaches) but I’ve never been diagnosed with DSM mental illness. I should have left that term out completely. I’m talking about feelings.
When I discover I’ve been wrong about something, I feel this incredible need to share how wrong I was in a way that might have convinced Confused Me earlier. Waking up to the fact that feelings might be important in my mid-thirties has me wanting to shout from rooftops.
But when what I was wrong about implicates a lot more than myself, I better make sure I at least do a proper revision and check it with someone else first.
Thanks for bearing with me.
And MY GOD I have to stop with the all caps stand-in for italics on Twitter. I’m a guy who needs italics, so Twitter friends will just have to tolerate Markdown style italics. Apologies for all the underscores.