Sitting outside in the evening I was consoling a fellow depressionist whose father had just berated her for being unwell. He firmly placed the blame of her illness right back on her. He then proceeded to tell her that he still loves her deeply.

Now I am not one to be giving advice, considering the current circumstances. So I had to think of a way that I could console this person, yet at the same time not bring my own fragile mood down. I tried pointing out that it sounded as though her father was apportioning blame when he should have been offering words of encouragement and love. What the father seemed to missing was a good dose of compassion.

Listening closely to the story, I began to reflect on my parents and how their influence may or may not have impacted on my mental health. All jokes aside.

I was yet to talk directly to either of my parents since checking in. The key reason is that I feel that I am not ready for the burden of receiving a dose of unconditional compassion, love and all those other wonderful things that my mother has at her disposal. I am sure that in whatever way she manages to express her feelings relating to my illness, I dread that she too will apportion blame, to someone else, whilst attempting to reassure me that it’s not me, its circumstance. I haven’t gotten that far yet nor do I see this illness and set of circumstances as the doing of others. I am still trying to unburden myself of the blame I place upon myself for being mentally ill.

I consistently find myself reflecting on what I could have done, should not have done and all that black dog stuff in between. I find myself constantly musing that if I had stuck to a regimented routine that I could have avoided this latest episode. I do feel as though I have made some progress. I do not blame anyone for me being here, I do not blame any one person or set of circumstances for my depression and I certainly have no one to blame for me still being unwell.

Learning to accept and be compassionate towards myself has been something that I have realised in the past few days takes much practice and humility. I have managed to move slightly forward with baby steps of self acceptance.

With acceptance comes understanding, not much to start with but I live in anticipation. I am accepting of the challenge that is my illness. I am not the illness. And with some positive effort through surrounding myself with a support network of both family friends and allied health workers, I am sure that I can heal this illness to some degree, at some stage.


~ by Rob McClintock on October 7, 2010.

One Response to “Compassion”

  1. Rob, You are amzingly a strong person in so many ways. You offered another person comfort whilst knowing you had to not bring yourself down with their problems as well, you write these amzing entries about your illness – sharing the raw emotions with us all, and the strength you show in accepting and treating your illness. You are amazing and I hope each day the baby steps become easier for you. Your in my thoughts. Luc x

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