On Mental Health · On Writing

How to promote empowerment- a tricky chapter to write

I’m at a bit of an awkward stage with my book right now, in that I am trying to put together two chapters which need to advance a “message,” and therefore need to be really compelling.

This message needs to be one of empowerment and self belief; and I want to get it just right.

I want to write two chapters which encourage a reader to feel better about themselves, and better about their situation and their condition. However, this is a fairly tall order.

A friend pointed out to me that most people suffering severe mental illness will have likely been knocked to floor with it, socked a few times in the gut and then left to bleed out, probably on their own and with small hope of any kind of relief.

Encouraging pride and self belief in a person who has been so thoroughly bludgeoned is hardly likely to be easy. I’m not an idiot, I don’t assume to be able to magically create a sense of self belief in a person who perhaps hasn’t had too much of it previously; but I do believe in the possibility of planting seeds.

If I could work out how to make the right kind of suggestion; explore the right areas in such as way that the person reading finishes thinking, well maybe.. maybe what she’s saying makes some sense.. that would be enough for me. Just to plant a kernal of pride in a person who’d maybe never considered that they deserved to feel it before- that would make me happy.

I adamantly believe that anybody diagnosed with these serious conditions, who continues to try and get better, or simply just keeps getting out of bed in the morning, deserves a flipping medal, and deserves to feel dam good about themselves.

You have to fight, when you have these illnesses; you have to fight every single day in a multitude of different ways, and very rarely does anybody see the extent of this fight, or pat you on the back for it.

The majority of the fight is internal; getting to work can be a herculean undertaking; showing up for a friends birthday party can be an exercise akin to scaling K2.

But nobody realises that.

So when you show up at that party a little bit late, and perhaps looking a little bit anxious people just nod and pass you by. It can be crushing, and so very disheartening, feeling like you may as well be on another planet from the majority of the people around you.

Very rarely will anyone realise enough of what is going on to say to you “nice one for getting here,” and say it in a way which suggests that they get it.

So this is where I am with the book, this is what I am stuck on; it is slowly getting written, and I know it is just going to take a bit of time and a bit of reflection.

It’s not like I only have these two chapters to impress these ideas; the whole book is about empowerment, self belief and developing pride. I’ve just got myself into a bit of a mind rut.. and so have taken a bit of a break and written about ten WordPress articles in the last three days.

It’ll get done; I’ll keep going back to it and eventually my thoughts will be in the right arrangement for me to be able get the right words out. I guess I’ve been doing quite a lot of thinking over the last few days, about what empowerment is all about, and what enables a person to feel a sense of pride over the things which have happened to them.

I think it is important to start with ideas which people cannot deny, and then develop an argument and a positive line of thinking from there. So I have been focusing on the ideas of being a fighter, and being a survivor.

Most people who have suffered this illness will probably acknowledge that they could identify with these positive “labels,” and so I will then elaborate; if they can feel a sense of ownership over these concepts, they could logically extend that feeling to a sense of accomplishment and success at overcoming odds and still be fighting the disease.

I’m not completely there yet; I’ll probably elaborate and explore the idea more as I’m writing, but I hope I can get something out which suggests to a reader still suffering, that their very suffering itself is a reason to feel pride, and a reason to have self belief.

If you can survive pain and adversity you are so very strong, whatever anybody else tries to convince you. I really want to get this idea across in my book.

 

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7 thoughts on “How to promote empowerment- a tricky chapter to write

  1. Well done for this reflection on your thoughts.

    You say,

    So when you show up at that party a little bit late, and perhaps looking a little bit anxious people just nod and pass you by. It can be crushing, and so very disheartening, feeling like you may as well be on another planet from the majority of the people around you.

    The fact is that you are on another planet. You just haven’t realized it yet.

    When it comes to understanding depth psychology, you have a lot of work to do, and years and years of disappointment after disappointment. Just to bring you into the real world, how many people do you know who have struggled against their illness in the way you did? Now I have to be careful here, because it’s all too easy to listen to someone say they do, and act like they do… only for them to turn away from their challenges at some point. I will guarantee you this: most of those people you spoke to in hospital who said they were ready will still be there, still saying they’re ready and still backing off when the time arrives to move.

    I told you straight: my experience is that people like you are as rare as hen’s teeth. They do exist, they are more than worth meeting, they aren’t very common. That’s all. Now: if you do discover the magic formula for getting through to people, please let me know. Because all I’ve really achieved so far is to upset most of the people I ever meet…

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    1. The fact is that you are on another planet. You just haven’t realized it yet.
      When it comes to understanding depth psychology, you have a lot of work to do, and years and years of disappointment after disappointment. Explain please! What is depth psychology..? And thanks again, I know that to recover you have to make a commitment, and you have to work bloody hard. A lot of pe[ople may struggle with these truths.. but I still believe that some people just need to be convinced that they’re worth it, and they deserve to get better. That is what I am trying to get people to realise!

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      1. Officially ‘Tiefenpsychologie’ (depth psychology) is rather different from the way I use the term, which is to wrestle with the confusing and paradoxical elements of the subconscious.

        Now I appreciate your energy and your commitment to the healing process. You are a very rare being, even amongst my friends, because not only do you understand what’s going on, you realize and are actively engaged in it.

        I would challenge your saying “they deserve to get better” – because that is their challenge. If they don’t meet it, it’s up to them. I don’t need to tell you how easy this all is, and just how unrewarding it can be in the first stages. Then as the horrors unfold, anybody foolish enough to have tried will be utterly repelled.

        Believe me, it’s heart breaking at times.

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    1. Ah thank you for this comment, it is really appreciated. I hope my story can give others hope, I know that sounds a bit contrite, but I really do. I just need to bloomin get it out in the right way. Thanks again, I am non-judgemental because I honestly don’t get how people can judge so easily.. how do you have a clue what somebody else’s experience of something is.. you haven’t experienced it from their point of view! It absolutely baffles me.

      Liked by 1 person

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