Do The Opposite. For Your Self.

Condomaniac

Image by VideogameVisionary.com via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #121 – Do the opposite, do the “un,” and go where you don’t want to go.  Be a friend to yourself.

Frank, accomplished in chess, employed in a 3 digit salary job, married with children, and he heard that things were going well.  From other people.  In his opinion, Frank believed the inside life-details were more destructive than the redemption of the apparent details.  Frank listed himself off to me like a confession, but he got little relief from the exercise.  It didn’t change that he was still addicted to sex, ashamed and the addiction was changing his ability to function in the other areas of his life.  He was taking more risks and realized that if he didn’t get clean, he’d lose “everything” but the addiction.  Not wanting the addiction didn’t make it go away.

How many of us wrinkle our nose at the Frank’s out there!  How we avert.  Either side is not really good or bad.  It just is.  Frank is addicted.  And we are ignorant.  Sex addiction is in the recesses and communes of where any of us live.  And, “we” are no better than they or worse.  It just is that way.  The qualifiers are the stink that kill our connections.  The qualifiers are rotten.

One thing I love about Jesus’ earth-story is that He was always un-everything.  He was Un-segregation, un-rules, un-prejudice, un-divided, and many people thought he was un-qualified.  Wherever these things were, He went there.  I love seeing people who use Him to draw lines between their spaces.  To say, “This is because Jesus wouldn’t…”  Hmm.  Jesus wasn’t scared of mucking up in the chaos of people’s lives.  Jesus not being scared is actually the wrong way to say it.  Let’s say rather, Jesus honed in straight to the muck and chaos, drawn there because He couldn’t and didn’t want to stay away.  We are not so loving as that but who cares about motives?  I also say with confidence that Jesus/God understood biology much better than we did then, now or will.

When we can look at each other objectively, when we don’t personalize what isn’t about us, we can let go of some of what separates us.  It goes both ways.  We are afraid of Frank and what he does.  Frank is afraid of what he does and of us.  But it’s not the fear so much as it is the qualifiers that ruin us.  Bad, good, Clang!  Down go the dividers.

None of this is meant to minimize the pain that these things bring on, such as addiction.  Rather, taking away whatever is dividing us helps us be more present with the pain, with each other, and often leads to healing.  It is another opposite, another “Un,” another Jesus-move.  Doing just the opposite of what we think should be done.  Got to love that Man!

Why would any of “us” want to be connected to the addict, or to whomever is doing something hurtful, scary, negative whatever it may be?  Why?  For your self of course.  Our life is better if we are.  That is a motive I think is worth pursuing.

Question:  How has your life gotten better when you did the opposite of what you felt like doing?  Please tell me your story.

Free to Be Accountable

dosomething.org

Self-Care Tip #97 – Protect your privilege to be accountable and your freedom of choice.  Be a friend to yourself.

Number Four on Bella’s List:

“The day has been ruined!” Bella said.  Her eyes sparkled and flashed as she spoke of her injury.  Bella was not so pleased with her labor’s reward.  She was not so satisfied with being accountable for her children‘s behaviors.

Are parents accountable for their children’s behaviors?  That can be a question at the level of the law and a question of cultural moral values.  From a psychiatrists stand-point, is there a medical interplay?

A subspecialty in psychiatry is called consultation liaison, which is psychiatry for the medically ill and usually hospital based.  In this setting we often get asked is a patient has decision-making capacity.  I spoke about it briefly in the post, “Choose, Gladly, Using Resources.”  This is difference from competency, which is determined by the court. Decision-making capacity is a medical assessment of the patients ability to:

1.  understand:

  • their illness,
  • it’s consequences,
  • it’s relationship to their values

2.  manipulate their options,

 

3.  and communicate their decisions.

Can kids do that?  Medically it depends on their developmental level.  The court however has its own forum on that – I won’t try to go there as psychiatry isn’t law.

Another area in psychiatry where we decide that someone does not have the freedom to choose and we hold someone else accountable for them (called a “5150“) is when they are:

  • not able to provide for themselves food, shelter, clothing
  • a danger to themselves
  • danger to others

Are kids able to do these things?  From a medical perspective, it depends on their developmental level.  Deciding what we want for ourselves and for our children is a privilege for those who are able.  It is also a privilege for us who want it.  Freedom is not free, as they say.

Please watch City Councilman Joel Burns tell us about bullying and how we need to be accountable to each other: “It Gets Better.”  Completely amazing testimony and speech.  Cuts out all the b.s.

Question:  What do you think about our accountability to our children and to our community?