Saturday, December 2, 2023

Comments by Carrie Foulkes

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • Thanks, Alex. I agree with you that the process of healing can have tremendous value in itself, and that the struggle to accept the way things are can be transformative. It can be a real challenge, though, when you’re unwell. You just want to be healthy, you’re sick of being sick. But there’s plenty of room to cultivate acceptance. Sometimes all you can change is your attitude, not your circumstances.

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  • Thanks for your kind comment. I think our fear of impermanence, change and death manifests in many different ways in our lives. Advertising plays on it, consumerism distracts from it, popular medical narratives disregard it…The idea that something we care about can be lost forever can be difficult to cope with, but it’s the truth of our human condition, the truth of everything that lives. Nothing lasts. The sooner we can accept this, the sooner we can go about living our lives in a more peaceful and compassionate way.

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  • I like your analogy, thanks for sharing it.

    I’m not gifted when it comes to gardening, and I’ve managed to inadvertently kill plenty of plants in my time, but I’ve also seen dying plants brought back to life with a bit of nurture. Although a toxic environment doesn’t help set you up for a healthy life, I don’t think it’s ever too late to improve things for yourself. I think it’s important to be discerning about friendships, the food you eat, how you spend your time. And to treat yourself with kindness even if you feel stunted or damaged in some way by your early experiences.

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  • Thanks so much for your comment. I would agree with you that what is known as “bipolar” is actually transformable in many cases. In my opinion, a diagnosis is only helpful inasmuch as it offers a person a way forward. When I was really struggling with mental health problems, my diagnosis and the medication that came with it brought me enough relief to buy me some time to engage with the issues in my life in a constructive way. In some cases, however, I can imagine that such a diagnosis would not be helpful, and may even be damaging. In my story I was just repeating what I’ve heard so many times over the years: that I have lifelong, chronic, incurable conditions that I just have to accept as my lot. Not particularly empowering!

    I think our minds are configured to seek to compartmentalise things, give them names, understand them. It’s very sad that emotions have become so medicalised when they are often natural responses to craziness in our environment. I took meds as long as I needed to, but I never felt it was a permanent “fix”.

    I don’t know, I have mixed feelings about everything. I don’t doubt that meds may really help some people and prove invaluable. But I think it’s tragic if this comes at the expense of the ability to talk about what may be keeping cycles of thoughts and behaviours going.

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