The decimation of smug

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Mental Health

Okay I’ll admit I have waited a while to find a day when a Tolkien pun would fit my thoughts and there have been moments when I may have tried to use others but today I am at the point where the title and the emotions of the day meet up well enough to get away with it, well hopefully anyway.

I have been doing what I do for almost three years now and add that to the three and a half years of psychotherapy, my Samaritans training and the child protection work I’ve trained for I find myself in a sticky situation where I am in danger of Hubris overtaking me.

Hubris : the excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy. I don’t write this to condescend but to ensure there is no doubt as to my interpretation, there are others.

I am falsely regarded by some as an expert in my field and that implied expertise can be difficult to argue, I have lived experience of Personality Disorder, ally that to the hundreds of fellow sufferers I have worked with or alongside of and the very clever people who are at the cutting edge of the clinical side of things who respect me and offer my name to others as a good person to get on board with their work. It all sounds like an attention seekers dream doesn’t it but its a very dark place to be when you are fighting very hard to get people to realise that its all just a case of the emperors new clothes, I should know as I am both the emperor and the tailor.

Things are changing for me, new things have come to light or  rather old things have been revealed to be far more relevant than I imagined at the time and in this tentative moment where I am having to put up or shut up I feel that hubris heavily on my shoulders. I can be seen as arrogant by some who see my bloody minded defence of the psychotherapy approach and the incalculable value of peer support means  am figuratively painting myself into a corner where opponents of these methods marginalise the benefits we have been seeing for years on the basis of how much money we have saved the NHS in terms of  patient costs to A&E r crisis pathways and I know that even the most stable PD client can be triggered from leftfield and it is the way they react and how quickly they recover that’s important not if it happened at all.

That said I am somewhat smug in the sense I know my victories, have seen the people I work with move on at varying speeds. I can firmly state that there are some people who know a great deal more about their condition than prior to meeting me of my co-facilitators and that number will grow as we psycho educate people and the relief they feel after finding out what is them and what is their condition has such positive responses that I feel I could be forgiven for some gloating and I have three or four people around me who would put me back in my box pretty quickly if it ever rears its ugly head but it could happen.

I am very happy knowing those who are covering my back would do so kindly and with a sensitivity I wouldn’t necessarily employ myself, we don’t always get what we deserve in life and on rare occasions we get better and I am in that boat right now. So the Decimation I mention is an internal trick I have somehow set in motion to undermine my confidence in the things I do know and serves to give others more power than they truly hold over my well being. Its a false entity but this doesn’t diminish in the understanding of that and while I bang about in the padded cell in my head I will do my utmost with the support of a loyal team of colleagues, peers and friends to diminish the damage my errant ego is trying to do.

  1. R G Gooding says:

    I think I know where you are coming from Steve. What I do know is that I and a lot of other people owe you one hell of a lot! Thanks mate. Roger.

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