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When is A Lot Too Much?


Sometimes it feels like the wrong questions are getting asked. Or that the questions asked aren’t the helpful questions that will lead to answers.

Sometimes we want to say “why don’t you ask this: _____________?”  But it’s hard to say that for lots of reasons.  And that’s another ten essays.

So for now, the focus is on that questioner. Will that questioner probe enough to reach an answer?  Will that questioner engage in a non-confrontational, but sufficiently exploratory process that allows for the type of back-and-forth that excavates answers? Because answers often are trapped under layers of sloppy definitions, old diagnoses, and outdated methods of discovery or analysis.  But not every questioner will probe. Not every expert will probe. For lots of reasons. That’s another ten essays.

So it is better for you to become your own expert. Your own investigator.

You can conduct your own exploratory process. Initiate your own investigation. You can start with a basic generic probe regarding your own behavior and actions.

Am I doing something to excess? Am I doing something more often than is good for me?

Am I doing something to a point where it disrupts work/play or love/like or family/friends or sleeping/eating or walking/running or living life in general?

Or, on the flip side, am I not doing something I need or want to be doing? Or not doing something I really should be doing because it is good for me? As in “it is obviously better than the alternatives?”

Am I not doing it a lot? Like is it noticeable?  Is it causing a disruption, slow down or dead stop to living part or all of my life?

Maybe you need to find out what the deal is (i.e., what’s going on) by researching your actions and behavior. Then find a clinic, program or professional specializing in that type or behavior or activity and utilize their resources to find out more.  And if it turns out that the level of behavior or activity presents an issue that needs to be addressed, you can learn about the options for making some changes or pursuing some course of treatment or mediation, depending on your goal.

OR, maybe you’ll find out that what you’re doing or not doing is A-OK! Who knows?

A friend reminded me tonight of that most amazing scene from Parenthood where Keanu Reeves’ character counsels the young adorable Joaquin Phoenix.  Parenthood takes place back in the ’80s before ‘slappin’ the salami’ was plastered all over the internet and disgusting songs were written about it. Keanu Reeves soothes the worried mind of Cutie Joaquin, assuring him  — “That’s what little dudes do. We’ve all done it.”

And it’s such a great scene for so many reasons. But the lesson here that I’m taking away is that sometimes you just need to hear that whatever you’re doing or experiencing is par for the course. It’s whatever other people are doing. It’s normal, even though everyone says don’t use that word. But I’m saying it. Some of what you do is normal.

There, I said it. Sometimes you do things that are normal.

And that’s especially helpful to know at EVERY EFFING AGE!  So that you can enjoy life and enjoy what you are doing without having to keep thinking something is wrong with you.

So anyway, my friend and I talked about this scene we both love. And we both thought that scene really showed why people feel so alone and isolated.

Because there are things they cannot stop thinking about and obsessing about, urges they cannot stop acting on – which may be normal –  but they think are not normal. They engage in behavior they think they need to hide. They become ashamed or embarrassed.
So they don’t tell anybody. Except that telling somebody is quite possibly something that would make things better. Talking would provide some relief. A different kind of relief.
Telling somebody might help ease the anxiety and wonder and feelings of being alone and feelings of abandonment that follow from being alone. And they need to get some sort of relief. Because mental stress, emotional stress, neurological stress, physical stress…. will all come out one way or another. 
And there are even more positives. Telling somebody might create a bond between the two people. And both people need that bond. Each person is helping the other. The help goes both ways.
But we forget how easily we can help someone else by sharing that bond with them and letting them help us – by just listening even – because we don’t think about the value we bring to others when we think we are the only person in the world who can’t stop obsessing about the thing we can’t stop thinking about and we feel all alone so we isolate.

If  you understood that last sentence, you need to start talking to more people than yourself and me.

Because everyone has something. Everyone does something. Everyone doesn’t do something.

There’s no reason to isolate when you’re just doing or not doing what lots of the rest of us are or aren’t doing too.

But definitely just say no to anyone who tries to get you into a submarine.  #nojudgment #butjudgment #sorry #notsorry

Happy Friday.

xoxoxo, d and bella



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