Old Oak Tree

20 May

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This week is ‪#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

My own mental health is something that I have only considered in the last few years.

I never felt that diabetes impacted me in that way. I never felt burned out, I just kept going.

Only months into the treatment of my first foot ulcer did I start to feel burnout. The ongoing and increasing treatment. The ongoing and increasing severity and bad news.

Then it really hit home when the second foot ulcer came along. There were days when I could not face sitting down, preparing and taking yet another dose of IV antibiotics and I will admit that, once or twice, I did omit a daily dose. Irresponsible? Risky? Stupid? No. Just me doing the best I could on that day given the place my mental health was at that time.

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, mental health was not considered. In fact it was pretty much a dirty word…..

Weak people got stressed. “mental institutions”, “mental asylums” were terms used for the places that people needing help were “sent”. Terms such as “nutter”, “psycho” and “mental” were used as school were used to ridicule and at time bully people.

The only time mental health was in the news was if a criminal’s profile described them as a “paranoid schizophrenic”, or “mentally unstable”.

Mental health was always negatively depicted, and the stigma was huge. Even then, #LanguageMatters. It always has. It always will. Poor language doesn’t just allow stigma, it teaches it.

Fortunately, things have changed a lot and I have learned.

I have learned that however I feel I don’t need anyone to fix this for me. I just need them to listen and offer no solutions. I am truly thankful for the person that know me so well that they can do that for me.

I have learned that for this to happen, I need to be honest with them, but the hardest part is that I need to learn to be honest with my biggest critic. The only person on this planet that I will allow to judge me. That person is the one I see in the mirror every day. Me….

Back in my youth you were told to be strong. To man up. Men don’t shed a tear. Like some strong old oak tree standing storm in the storm.

Well, oak trees move. They bend and sway. They even shed a branch or two. Because if they don’t, they fall.

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Live long and bolus.

Grumps.

2 Responses to “Old Oak Tree”

  1. Rick Phillips May 21, 2020 at 1:21 am #

    Grumps, I wish I knew how to make foot issues not be foot issues. What I have learned is that regardless of how it may seem it is not your fault. Never accept that burden. First it is not true and second even if it were (its not), i have done worse and gotten better. Proving that its as much luck as skill.

    • grumpypumper May 21, 2020 at 6:23 am #

      I always say that complications are a hazard of what we have, not failing at what we do.

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