Pissing Contest Anyone?....

Gabrielle looking windswept and fed up

When I have a chat with people who know what has happened to me over the past three years and I ask them how they are, they tend to respond by telling me apologetically that whatever troubles they have encountered or difficulties they have experienced are nothing (their emphasis not mine) compared to what I have gone through myself. It is as if their suffering wasn't worth anything.

I understand, and indeed I acknowledge, that there are various levels of suffering. Obviously, being inconvenienced with an in-grown toe nail (painful as that can be) doesn't live in the same galaxy - never mind the same street - as battling pancreatic cancer, to name one type of terminal illness. I am sure poor old Patrick Swayze would agree with that right now.

However, I also know in my very bones that suffering is suffering, full stop. I also know that suffering is relative and very personal, which makes the Suffering Scale very difficult to draw accurately. What really matters in my book is listening to what others say so that they have the opportunity to place themselves on the Scale. Indeed, it is very difficult (I would go as far as saying it is dangerous) for us to place others on that Scale.

Naturally, when I say that we need to learn how to listen to others, I don't mean we must spend hours listening to the pissing and moaning of some chronic complainer. I mean we need to learn to listen to people's heart. To me, that's what really powerful coaching is about: the ability to listen to people's heart and soul, even if the end goal is to help the other become more productive in his/her job.

From a coaching point of view, we also need to be very careful about what we invest our identity in. It's surprisingly easy to become attached to our suffering because it gives us such a strong deeply felt sensation of who we are. I caught myself falling into that trap in the most unexpected way for me.

One day, I was surfing across the day TV channels in a desperate attempt to find something bearable to watch. I stumbled across some American show where Mike Tyson and his then girlfriend Robin Whatshername were being interviewed. I would have moved on swiftly, were it not for the voice over commentary. The voice said something to the effect that, although Robin Whatsername was laying into Mike Tyson, he was not able to respond because he was totally incapacitated by the 400mg Lithium he was taking daily. I heard myself say out loud: "Ha! What a whimp. I'm on 1200mg daily and I am not incapacitated." There was such contempt and such pride in my voice that I was frankly horrified. What the hell was I thinking/doing?!?

Because I had lost (or felt I had lost - same thing) all that I thought of as me - my coaching career, my capacity with language, for God's sake: my ability to get out of bed in the morning! - I had inadvertently invested my sense of self in my ability to cope with high levels of medication without any effect on me or my illness. That was my way of turning a negative into a warped positive. I was now The One Medication doesn't Touch. I was tougher than Mike Tyson!!!!

I had turned my own suffering into a Pissing Contest.

This is a highly counter-productive thing to do because it actually calls for more suffering to come into our lives. Let's face it: aside from the most ardent masochists amongst us, that's not what we want...

I watch myself very carefully to avoid falling into the urinary trap again. A good way to do that is to listen to others and feel compassion for them. An indispensable way is to feel compassion for me too :0)

Colonic irrigation

Hi- enjoying your sight.

I came across you whilst searching on the effects of colonic irrigation on medication.

Iam 45 and have been on Lithium for 22 years and despite ups and downs am very well thank goodness.I noticed you have not found it helpful but thankfully it works well for me.I also take an anti depressent.

I am looking for ways of kick starting my physical health and considering a 3 day detox with ci included.

I am just a bit worried it might affect my levels and reluctant to check it out with the Doc incase they tell me not to.

Obviously you recommend it .Have you ever thought about it from the medication point of view.?

Just interested to know,I will not do anything risky.

Thanks and best wishes

Ros

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