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Archive for June 2013

Getting What You Need

I'm almost finished reading my latest literary undertaking.  Usually, I would include the title and link to a book, but in this case it could be harmful.  See, the author of the book wrote about her recovery from mental illness and because everything is Googleable, I don't want anything I say here to compromise her progress should she happen to run across this.

In her memoir, the author speaks about a session she was having when her therapist told her her progress was being stunted by the need for others' validation.  The author was shocked and possibly a little angered by this comment.  But she goes on to detail her recovery which, when it comes down to it, was greatly rooted in public recognition of her talents and abilities.  In short, the author became recognized in the mental health community via her work as an artist (part of her artist's bio included that she was mentally ill).  From there, she began speaking publicly about the elements that aided on her path to wellness.  But in one of the last chapters of the book she says, in so many words, that her feeling of balance stems from people recognizing her as a capable individual who has something to contribute to society. 

So, has the author recovered or has she just found an acceptable way of gaining the validation she craves?? Her fix.  What would happen if her role in the mental health community diminished or disappeared?? Would it throw her back into mental unbalance until she could carve out another means of displaying her value?? 

On a larger scale, what makes the author so different from anyone else??  The need for a feeling of importance or the magnitude of this need?? We all want to feel like our time on earth has meaning.  Validation.  Maybe many of us don't become completely unbalanced when we don't have this, but it's still upsetting and motivates us to work for what we need.  And we do this with what we, as individuals, have available to us.  As a result, it's important to remember, everyones' path will look different. 

I can't judge the author because she found her way to get what she needed.  In fact, I commend her because she worked hard to do so in a positive way.  We should all take a page from her book - figuratively speaking. 

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