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So what would you rather hear?


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Maybe we can think of the things that aren't offensive. That show compassion, empathy. I can see it on other people's faces and sometimes i just want to reach out to them. instead, i try to say something short and simple or just look them in the eye, nod and smile.

Possibilities:

I feel ya.

I've been there too. (or is that too presumptous?)

Time heals all wounds. (i really hate cliches)

You are beautiful inside and out.

Your heart calls to me.

Things will get better. (don't know about this one.)

I don't mind when people tell me to smile. it brings me back down to earth. it can jumpstart change because i realize how i am portraying myself. doesn't always last, but its a good start.

i guess this is mostly about strangers. family is more personal. for most, i really think they are trying to help. others, its just plain ignorant or selfish.

maybe we can come up with a new dialogue and teach them?

i will keep thinking!

have a beautiful day! like the iridescent blue wings of a butterfly.

kathryn

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I feel ya.

I've been there too. (or is that too presumptous?)

Time heals all wounds. (i really hate cliches)

You are beautiful inside and out.

Your heart calls to me.

Things will get better. (don't know about this one.)

um. I'm not bipolar, so shoot me if you'd like for posting here, but... um. I don't like any of those. "I've been there too" could possibly work for someone who really actually has, but unless they've got a hell of a problem I'm just going to turn my nose up at them and tell them to piss off. my dad's constantly telling me about how he gets my depression/anxiety because he got stressed out in college and had to go on paxil for a year. I don't see how he gets that he went off the fucking meds and me (and most of us) are going to be on them for the rest of our fucking lives. god, I've been on meds since middle school. I say fuck you to people who just pretend to get it.

sorry, raw spot. the rest of those just sort of feel... fake to me. I guess if it was someone who could really pull off the companionship-but-not-sympathy thing, it could possibly work, but someone like that wouldn't really need shit phrases like that.

...I've gotten all riled up over this so I'm going to calm down and actually reply to your post. I prefer when people will just sort of listen, appreciate that life sucks for some people worse than others, and move on. I'd really rather people didn't riddle us with cliches or phrases or fake words. a nod and a listening ear is more than enough for me, and if they really have to say something, well... something supportive would be nice. I guess maybe my take on this is that anyone who's going to have anything worth saying at all, isn't going to need to say anything. does that make sense? I've found that people help me, and I help others, best by just listening. sometimes a hug is appropriate. or a nice email. or, god, just a real "how are you" makes my day. I don't flaunt my mental illness and while sometimes it is very obvious, I'd rather people just go on about their day than stop and fuck with me. if they really care they aren't going to need to say anything.

absolutely just my take. if I sound like a pretentious bitch I'm sorry. I'd much rather people listen than talk, unless they have something to say.

also, kathryn, I love your name. <3 that's my name too, and I've never actually met anyone who spells it that way. you rock. (or, rather, your parents rock...?)

sorry for the rude words and strong opinion.

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hello kathryn!

no problem. i would much rather hear the bad and good. i learn from it.

i guess i am thinking aout someone who you see at a store or on the subway.

nodding actually says alot. was just trying to find something you could say if the moment strikes you.

kathryn

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>>>I feel ya.

OK if you really know.

>>>I've been there too. (or is that too presumptous?)

How about-I've been there too and it really stinks. Or something that shows you really know how bad it is.

>>>Time heals all wounds. (i really hate cliches)

Not always.

>>>You are beautiful inside and out.

That's kind of creepy. ;)

>>>Your heart calls to me.

That doesn't really mean anything to me.

>>>Things will get better. (don't know about this one.)

They can get worse too. As they have for me for quite some time. This can be discouraging to hear and then get worse for a long time. I think, what's wrong with me that things always seem to get better for others but not for me?

As a Christian, the best thing I can hear is, "I'm praying for you." I pray for others too. Otherwise if I'm going through something temporary like prescription drug withdrawal, encouragement that I will come out the other side.

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The most lovely, supportive thing that anyone has said to me about the craziness is "The only reason it's bad, to me, is because it hurts you" (or words to that effect - can't remember the exact phrasing). I was deeply touched by that: it made me feel accepted and loved and whole. ;)

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from strangers who can see i'm upset, "are you ok?" is just plain stupid, since they can plainly see i am not ok. just that soul-searching, penetrating look that doesn't shift away, sometimes we can recognize and they recognize in us the same struggles. it is like meeting another crazy i guess. i think that only people who have been to the heights and lows of human experience can really look us in the eye and match their hearts to ours.

from family- what angelwhore said, about what hurts me hurts them, that's about as sweet as it gets from myh family, various friends, and various lovers.

loon

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Maybe we can think of the things that aren't offensive. That show compassion, empathy.

How about a sincere, "I don't know what more anyone can do, but let me know if you need to talk

or just want to hang out."

Hm. A bit much to ask of strangers though.

Here's one!

"How about I tell the other employees to just leave you alone until you ASK for help?"

or

"One of THOSE days, huh?"

*mumblegrumble*

"Oh. One of those YEARS... right. Well, I hope things get better anyway. We could ALL use some of

THAT action."

On the occasions I am dressed from head to toe in black:

"Oh, color-coordinated. Special occasion, or did you just do laundry recently?"

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i would rather be ignored outright. or be told to get the fuck out. when i am down i don't give a shit if others 'know' how i feel.

your ideas might be perfectly alright for some. i'm not saying they aren't. but simply not for all.

me, when i'm feeling like shit, i'd rather be shot.

grousemouse.

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Unfortunately, maybe, I'm kind of with grouse...when I'm really down, I want to be left alone.

I want people to just act as if...just go about your thing...no show here...move along...

There's only one person in my life, my best friend, and he can say pretty much whatever, he can say Are you doing alright? or Let's go get some coffee, or Uh, oh, what's with the Nirvana CD? or Ah, you look like hell...I don't care what he says because he knows me, he loves me no matter what shape I'm in and it's all good.

Everyone else...bleh.

When I'm manic or nervous or crawling out of my skin...well, a simple, One of those days, huh? can be okay or a genuine, Can I help out somehow? from someone who actually CAN help...ah, that can be a godsend.

Just, um, don't say, Are you okay? with that funny tone of voice...I'm not down with that anymore.

Trying to be nice,

~Cat

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i think it all depends on how you look at it. i feel that if someone says "i understand", "i feel ya", i don't think they are trying to tell you they know what is causing your pain. i think they can honestly see it in your face, your posture, your clothes. they know what thats like and are letting you know that they have been down that road before whatever the circumstances.

if someone says "been there" it doesn't mean they have been in your exact position. just that they understand what its like to be in that emotional state.

i understand its harder when you are deeply depressed. but shouldn't these things help a little? that they are empathetic?

i believe that anything that causes a total meltdown of your soul should be a starting point in being able to reach out to others. i think there is a purpose to all suffering. saying "open your eyes, there is pain everywhere and people just want to be understood."

there is a whole post of what not say. is there anything that one can say?

can anyone say anything that would be sincere enough to not offend?

or would you rather walk through life unnoticed and left alone?

the people who do say positive things are courageous enough to say anything at all. they probably have been through the worst and generally care about what troubles you.

i was at a dubconcious concert and a man walked by, tapped me on the shoulder and in a jovial way told me to smile. it kinda brought me down to earth. it made it easier for me to make changes because a complete stranger saw the misery i portrayed outwardly and i wasn't happy with it.

i think in this society we are taught to keep our emotions to ourselves and taught not to reach out to others. but that one comment. one word, that smile or that nod gives you a connection that is so often not out there.

thanks for listening!

Kathryn

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when i'm feeling like shit, i'd rather be shot.
grouse, stealing this for a future sig line.

Getting there: I get your intentions, and I think it just depends. The best thing I've read here is what I've heard myself, "I don't understand how you feel, but seeing you hurting, makes me hurt, and if there is anything I can do to help carry your burden I will. Would you like me to come over right now and do your dishes?"

In other words, don't say, "call me if you need help." As if...

Not that your list suggested that, I guess that blurb belongs on the other list... ;)

Noble effort, however, your list that is. I appreciate your attempts, but truly the bottom line is "actions speak louder than words." Bring me an anonymous cookie back from your lunch hour. Cuz I'm to broke and/or agoraphobic to leave my cubicle. Or not so anonymous...if their cookies! Pop in and tell me a dirty joke, don't be discouraged if I don't laugh. This is just me.

Anyhoo, nice try, we depressive lot can be a tough room to work.

Hugs,

S9

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It looks like everyone wants something a little different when they are not doing well. The only thing is, unless you are wearing a sign that specifically spells out what you want, how is anyone to know?

If someone is actually concerned (not just being an annoying jerk, but being genuine), and reaches out to you, and gets slapped down. Well, they are not going to think "Gee this person is really having a difficult time. I guess I chose the wrong way to interact with them." They are going to think "Gee, what a fucking asshole!". And then a person with a good heart who really does care withdraws...and a potential resource is lost.

(That cave in the mountains is looking better every day......)

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It looks like everyone wants something a little different when they are not doing well. The only thing is, unless you are wearing a sign that specifically spells out what you want, how is anyone to know?
we want to feel better, like living, like just getting out of the bed is not a herculean EFFORT every day, WZ. And no one, not even professionals, can seem to give that to us. It does tend to make us me a bit pissed off. S9
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I think I gave the wrong impression, everyone.

I was saying what I feel...when I'm really down. I never, ever tell anyone who reaches out to me and says something nice to me, Hey, you know, drop dead...or whatever. I smile back, make nice, say, Okay, I will try to feel better, or whatever nice girl thing that I think they want to hear.

I ALWAYS do that. Always always always.

I never--even when I am dropping dead depressed--want other people to feel bad at my expense. In fact, when I am depressed, I feel like other people are burdened by me and my depression and that just makes me feel more like crap. I think that's why I find it hard to take the:

Hey, give me a smile there, girl!

or

I know how you feel.

or

It's going to get better.

or

Hang in there.

Because I feel this responsibility to them then to get better already, to smile, to have this shared experience with them, to relate, or to whatever, for crying out loud, and I'm just empty right then. Sigh. I don't want to smile, I don't want to share or relate or whatever. And that just makes me feel more sad and more of a failure.

I don't know if that made any sense. I'm sorry if I jacked the thread or made it crappy. I'm really sorry. I think S9 said it well for me. I'm a tough room to work. I'm sorry.

~Cat

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I had typed up this unbelievably intellegent response (as far as you know) and then the boards went down. Oh well, let me try again...

First...Not pointing fingers at anyone here with my last post. Just relating my past experience. I guess you could say I am giving the other side to this. No intention by my post to stiffle dialogue.

I am just glad this topic is here. This is obviously a tough subject.

And Cheshire gave a good example of what I mentioned before...someone not being genuine and just wanting you to interact with them for THEIR seflish reasons.

I like Waterfall's suggestion.

And S9...I can't blame you for being pissed off. There are people (not you..honest) who are mad because of the way they feel (and rightly so) but take it out on the first convenient target they find. I have played target before. Not fun. Plus, the "professionals" are sometimes more messed up than the "patients". Scary.

My other post was MUCH more brialliant than this one. Really ;)

I just wanted to chime in and say I am glad this topic is being discussed so openly.

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I don't know if that made any sense. I'm sorry if I jacked the thread or made it crappy. I'm really sorry. I think S9 said it well for me. I'm a tough room to work. I'm sorry.

~Cat

I have thought about this for hours. WZ, you have contributed so much to me, to CB, the you post here, "the cave is looking better and better ever day..." I was offended truth: hurt, by your comments, knowing you have said yourself you are a "normie" and don't know how painful this scourge can be, regardless of the flavor.

I'm not FLAMING. Simply stating that hurt my feelings, because a lot of times, especially despressives, tend to be more withdrawn and more likely to rebuke a "how are you" with a <shrug> than with a "fuck you asshole, mind your own business."

This is a VERY isolating disease, our inability to know what we want is irrelevant to the disease. The disease itself renders ME incapable of understanding anything, much less exploring the realms of "what I want from you, or Olga, or Stasis (actually I DO know what I want from him ;) )

All with an open mind and heart, and respect to you normies who support us nutters.

<shrug>

S9

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I was afraid you felt that way. That is why I made that brilliant, intellegent response that cyberspace ate. SInce I am only capable of being that intellegent once a day, I will have to muddle through :)

I guess I wasn't very clear...I wasn't trying to suggest that people were SAYING "fuck you", but trying to say that that is what it can FEEL like to someone who tries to be helpful and is rebuked. (And honestly...I HAVE gotten a fuck you or two before. Not from anyone on this thread though.)

And yeah.. I know you aren't flaming. I just wasn't making myself very clear. I SO did not want you to take it as anything directed at you personally.

This is a VERY touchy subject. But even having you say the illness makes it impossible for you to say what you want or need helps. Really. You rock.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.

And that cave in the mountains...my family will drive me there long before anyone here does ;)

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