Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A much-needed pep talk to...

...Evan. Really, buddy. I think the time has come for you and I to have a monologue, in which I do a great deal of "talking," and you "listen" carefully. Because if you don't, I will pull this lever. *Points to lever.* This will activate the various mechanisms that will inevitably launch 1,000 goats to your precise location. No longer will you be slapped with a solitary goat...you will be bombarded by a massive herd! (Insert maniacal laughter here.)

Let's start with the fact that you're a great guy, okay? No, really. You are! You don't get to create a list of people on your blog with whom you spend quality time, and then state that you're a bad person. Bad people only attract other bad people, and they tend to try to do one another in perpetually. Are the people whom you speak of literally trying to kill you regularly? If "yes," disregard this part of my message. If "no," for the love of G-d, stop beating yourself up!

Honestly, there will be plenty of people along the way throughout your life who will be more than happy to beat you up emotionally. Why, pray tell, would you want to add yourself to that list? Are you too self-confident? Feeling too good about something and feel the need to rein yourself in? I didn't think so. You have enough issues without shoving your soul through an emotional grinder. Others will come along and do that for you, so stop doing it to yourself! (That's pretty much an order, young man!)

Next, allow me to address this need you have to help others. You should stop that, too. You can't save the world. I know because I've tried, and most of the world will not appreciate your efforts, just as they didn't appreciate mine. I once passed a group of people, including a woman carry a baby, that were trying to repair a car in the Arizona heat. I paused and offered to bring them all cups of cold water, to which one of the men replied, "Keep walking, f***er." (Ah, such love in the world...It makes you want to juggle running chainsaws without so much as a moment's worth of practice.)

Those who do appreciate your aid just might take advantage of your kindness. That said, be careful what you offer. Never offer money. Not ever. The one and only time you might consider it is if you were willing to sacrifice your life to that person. Beyond that, don't lend money to a single soul, because the odds of you being paid back are slim to none.

Should you find yourself in possession of certain medications, and you know they would do little harm and a great deal of good, do NOT offer the meds to someone unless you know them VERY well. Before you know it, you will be transformed into "Evan's Pharmacy," or worse...just a drug dealer. We find it easy to hand over a pill or two, despite the warning that it's illegal to do so. In the blink of an eye, you'll find people knocking on your door, asking if you can spare just one more painkiller...or anxiety pill...or, shock of shocks, insulin. (This part of my warning may mean little to you now, but life can take us down unexpected paths.)

Instead of actually trying to be a kind of superhero, you should merely OFFER to be one. You can find just as much reward from making yourself available as you can by actually trying to help. Because just offering to help can be help unto itself. Many people don't think the world cares about them. When you make a sincere effort to put yourself at their disposal, they can often come to the realization that someone DOES care, and that's all they need at that moment.

By attempting to actually help everyone you know, you start getting caught up in a tangled skein of problems that aren't your own. Once you find yourself thoroughly caught up in their woes, you will discover you've been ignoring your own needs. And whether you wish to acknowledge them or not, you do have needs, including that sleep you've been losing because "someone might need help." Until you can present the world with a birth certificate from Krypton, stop trying to do it all.

You idolize me to an extent. I'm ultimately flattered by this. So allow me to give you the basics on how I run my life, and see if you can adopt these concepts to yours.

1: Needs before wants. You can live without a car, cable TV, video games, etc. You MUST have food, clothing, and shelter.
2: Treat others with the same respect you'd want from them. Those people whom I offered the water...? I'd said, "Excuse me. It's hot out here and I have filtered water back at my place. Would you like me to bring some out?" I dunno...Maybe the heat was making them cranky, or perhaps they wouldn't know kindness if it bit them. Whatever the case may be, I was kind and respectful. Do unto others, and all that. =)
3: Try to avoid saying or doing anything in anger. This may frustrate others, but when you start getting enraged, walk away. Go find a quiet corner of the world and cool off. Come back later, once you've calmed down, to address whatever the problem may be. My ex, Robin, used to want to pursue arguments the moment they unfolded, and I would simply walk away. It made her nuts. Still, I would come back later to DISCUSS what happened, and things usually turned out for the best. (Too bad the one-legged woman couldn't have some understanding when I became disabled, eh?)
4: Circumstances permitting, live, laugh, and love! While it's not a need, sitting down to a new DVD is enjoyable. It's even more enjoyable with friends. And it's even MORE enjoyable if it's a terrible movie, and you and your friends can critique the whole thing from start to finish, laughing hysterically the entire way through. =D
5: Take your insulin on time. Ummm...wait. That might just be for me. Ignore this one.
6: Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. This is the current state of my life, so it seems pretty dark advice. Overall, however, it's sound. As an example, Becky and I are about to start saving up to be wed a few years down the road. The plan, as we have it, will allow us to spend around $8,000 come the wedding day. That's in a perfect world. Some of that could be used for whatever arises, such as a sudden need to move, or cover the cost of medications that insurance refuses to handle.

That's all I have at this moment. I have to hobble off to take care of a few medical needs. Do try and take heed of what I've said, as I don't think you'd be such a handsome young man with a face-full of goats. =P

Be well, and DFTBA!

1 comment:

The Scrabbler said...

This... really means a lot to me, even if it took me almost a week to actually get onto my blogger account and find out about it. I know that I'm a good person, but I occasionally forget it. Whenever a major problem rears its head, my depression manages to convince me that I don't actually help people, that I'm not capable of living my own life, and that I'm not actually useful. I know these things aren't true, and my life is usually a fairly happy one, but it doesn't seem like it in the moment.

This latest batch of depression was particularly bad in this regard, as it stemmed from one of my friends telling me that everything has gotten worse since I started trying to help, and saying that I shouldn't even talk to the people who were fighting, because I would make it worse. This really sucked for me, since it was one of the people that I really try to help, and has always brushed off any attempts to talk about problems with. I got better, but she really managed to hit just about every one of my major insecurities.

I know that I can't help everyone, but I figure that I have to at least offer. I need to make the effort to make my friends feel better. I only ever offer to talk with them about things, or to talk to another person, because that's what I'm good at. I've only offered money on one occasion, and that was as a gift, or possibly payment for psychiatric services. And that was you. I don't offer money or medication because I am not the person to go to about such things. I don't have enough money to throw it around, and I disapprove of drug use except as prescribed.

With the sleep loss, it's really not a major thing. It only actually happens when there is one of my closest friends having a major problem that I sincerely believe I could help with. It's only happened a couple of times, and I can function normally on very little sleep.

I do already try to follow all of the tips for how you live your life, except for the bit about the insulin. I always put my vital necessities before anything else (although I haven't really had any trouble with them yet). I occasionally have trouble respecting people who don't respect me, but I work on that. I very rarely get angry, since I'm able to get a lot of that aggression out online. As for the fourth one, I do take time to make sure that I remain a happy person. I'm not afraid to admit that I rather enjoy being happy. I don't care much about my accomplishments, but I still like to have a jolly good time. Hoping for the best comes easily enough, and I'm just pessimistic enough to prepare for the worst.

Again, I really want to thank you for thinking of me and caring about me, and it really touches me that you would go to the trouble of writing up this whole thing to help me.

May you find meaning in your lives.
-Evan