People make assumptions about other people all the time. That’s a fact of life and it is something that is in fact an important aspect of our lives. By making assumptions and acting upon them we build a picture of ourselves and others. However when doing so many mistakes can be made.
Something I find really quite annoying is when people assume that if I get up late it is due to:
- Being lazy
- Staying up late
- Combination of the two.
I wish that were the case. As with many people with mental health issues I have difficulty getting going each day. Some days it is very minor, other days I will be either struggling for hours to get going or indolent almost to a state of non-existence.
I am not exaggerating. Anyone who has experienced Depression will be able to understand that feeling of emptyness that sometimes falls. In that state I function only on the most simple terms. I will go to the toilet but I may not eat or drink, drinking is more likely than eating. I will be awake but I won’t move, other than from the bedroom to the bathroom.
Obviously if people don’t know about my Mental Health issues it isn’t surprising people might make incorrect assumptions. However sometimes it is people I know well, who know about the issue, who make comments. I don’t know if it is due to the difficulty in understanding that others might have different experiences of life. Or just thoughtlessness.
It is though very hard to deal with. I find myself explaining the problem multiple times and sometimes just want to walk away from the situation.
It is commonly when I arrive at work that comments might be made. Not just if I am late either. ‘Pissed the bed?’ is one thoughtless comment made – not that I have that problem. ‘You’ll throw out my whole day by being here this early!’ is another.
It is of course my responsibility to look after myself and how I react to what other people say. It isn’t always easy and I am often still being affected by my ‘morning issue’ at the time I receive these comments.
Thankfully the most common level of the problem is having to repeat actions, not out of any form of OCD though. I have to repeat things because I haven’t done them right. For example the simple task of getting dressed. I have gone up and down the stairs four times because I am not wearing socks. Each time I get upstairs I did something else and forgot the socks again. The worst example of this was being about to leave the house and my son pointed out that, despite wearing a coat, I had no shirt on – I was literally seconds from being out of the house and walking to the bus stop.
Of course this problem can be made worse due to Insomnia; I’ve written recently about that topic.
The only way to cope with anyone who makes comments that upset me regarding this is to repeatedly reinforce with the individual that this is not a way I choose to live. I try to keep my voice in a measured tone and speak directly to the person. Sometimes I make light of the issue, that is a defense mechanism that I’d prefer to suppress but sometimes it is easy to rest behind it. And always I try to be kind to myself, after all I know what is happening. If needed I make an excuse to leave the room and refocus using breathing techniques, a quick nip to the loo is great for this.
You may have other aspects of your life that people make an incorrect assumption about. I hope my experience is helpful to you.
Look after yourself and thanks for reading.