Communicating from my heart and soul about being Bipolar is my passion and goal. Having begun to blog about my illness, and reading others sharing their journey as well, has been liberating for me. I do not feel alone. I believe those of us willing to open up and tell our stories are giving those who are truth seekers a gift of knowledge and understanding of mental illness that professionals can not deliver.
I think there is an art to HEARING that many struggle with. I saved an article that I read years ago that highlights this notion, from a girl who wrote her heart out with a list of questions. I want to share it with you.
“When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me, and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen. All I ask was listen, not talk or do………just hear me.
Advice is cheap: 25 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
So please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk, wait for your turn, and I’ll listen to you.”
I think there is a powerful message here. Not just for people who are mentally ill, or professionals who treat them, but to all who really want to embrace the true meaning of knowing what someone is really saying.