Monday, April 15, 2013

The Last Judgement?

Googled "judgement" and got this
image. The Devil has belly flab.
If you have a mental illness and someone else attempts to point it out to you, you may not be willing to entertain the possibility, even though you are harmful to others in your life when you are actively suffering from it. If you do accept it and look to get better you might be able to arrest it but you will always have to watch for relapses. (hey, just like weight loss and weight gain!) You can have a chronic case that never truly gets better. I am writing about a mental illness that does not have a diagnostic code: Judgemental Illness.

 There are times when I exhibit all the signs of Judgmental Illness, either  having it or suffering from active Judgemental illness attitudes inflicted on me by others.

Symptoms of having it (for me) include intolerance for little things that bug me, hostility towards people who show they are less than perfect, rage against people who seem (to me) to act as though they are perfect and projecting my values on the lives of others without empathy, compassion or written invitation, then expecting that my opinion is valued; because you will, of course, want to change whatever I critique in your life to improve my judgement of you because I am so special. 

Symptoms of others hurting me with their disease include being belittled, being corrected without compassion, empathy or invitation, awareness that they are seeking out things that they feel are wrong with me then volunteering what they know I should do to correct me (and then judging me if I do not follow up on their edicts).

This is a beautiful idea
In practicing healthy behavior, I don't read the gossip pages or get my kicks out of the misfortunes of others. I won't sit around with friends knocking the girls or guys outside my circle. I genuinely seek to accept people as they are. Sometimes I falter.  If my judgemental illness awakens from its fitful slumber and becomes active, it usually means I am hiding from fighting against something in my life - food, hormones, physical ailments, loss, pain, fear . . . . and when that happens I have been known to jump on the Judgemental wagon and paint the town.

I recognized this illness (some would say character defect) when I wrote a few biting and hostile blog posts last year and then felt that shame of not wanting to be the person who wrote those posts. I know now that I was in the throes of mental, physical and spiritual agony at that time and denying it to everyone, including myself. Less than 10 days later I finally fessed up to my mentor and came clean about the food issues I was struggling to hide. Looking back, the shame helped me to break down my own barriers and get healthy again. As it says on the image: close your eyes and see from the heart because the heart can see beauty and love more than the eyes can ever wonder.

When I am of a healthy mind I don't need to point out what I think is wrong with you - to you or to others.  This is a barometer for me of whether or not I am actively sick. It is an early warning. In the past I did not recognize the symptoms as anything wrong within my life until I reach the point where I became ashamed of my verbal, written or physical actions - the point when I hurt others.

That awareness helps me get in touch and identify what I am thinking, doing, saying - in a healthier manner. I have stopped encouraging my inner bitch. I am not seeing her as an asset anymore.  After a year of listening more than talking and pausing before responding, I feel good about myself. I appreciate the difference.

Anyone else like the idea of giving up judgemental illness and practicing 'seeing things from the heart?'



Karen said...

Great post. I'm in and took some steps yesterday to calm my inner- b*itch.

Thank you for your post. Onward!

Karen said...

Great post, Jane. I took some steps yesterday to calm my *inner b*tch.

I needed to read this, and yes, it is my own barometer. Thanks again for your thought provoking posts. Karen P

Cathy Yonek said...

I found myself leaving a really mean comment on a blog (directed at a different blogger) awhile back. I only did it that once, but regret it. For me, sarcastic humor is a way to feel "smart" but really it was dumb beyond belief. Who am I to criticize another blogger?