I am writing this in response to questions and comments I have received from several different people both online and in person. Questions like, “You don’t mind people knowing about your health issues?” “You don’t mind telling strangers about private things?”, etc.
There is much tolerance and understanding from me for the many different views and personality types in this world. How boring would life be if we all felt, acted, and thought the same about everything? I enjoy friendly talks with people about their views, and I learn much and grow from observing other’s personalities, behaviors, and experiences.
When it comes to my life I am pretty much an open book. Just reading through my many blog posts you will see that I do not hold much back when discussing my health issues, my faults, my dreams, etc.. Not all people are like this. There are many people out there who would never dream of talking in public about their poor health, “personal” experiences, and any other “private” things. I understand the conservative, prudish, and private types, and I tolerate and respect such traits; but I do have some issues with this behavior.
So here is my point of view, this is the kind of person I am. I don’t want or expect everyone to be like me, but for many of us, this is how we work, and it works for us:
1. If you don’t want to talk about your negative issues, then don’t, it is your right. Some of us, however, find talking about things to be therapeutic and very helpful.
2. My questions to others who are not open books: If you hold everything in and go about your life ignoring and burying bad things, shameful experiences, etc., then how do you work them out? Cure them? Learn from them? Get help? Holding on to things and ignoring them usually only causes me anxiety, prolonged emotional, psychological, and physical strife. My thought is that you don’t have to make it public, but you should at least open up to a trusted friend about it.
Of course, I do understand that just because people choose to not talk about their issues, doesn’t necessarily mean they are ignoring or burying them. But I have experienced that most people I meet that are the private type are usually this way out of shame and embarrassment. Somehow they think being ill or making mistakes makes them a bad person or a failure, so they hide it. This is where I am coming from with the above questions.
3. There is no shame in being human! We all make mistakes, we all get injuries and illnesses, we all experience bad things, embarrassing things, now and then. When we don’t hide it, when we don’t pretend to be just dandy, we can help each other better, even perfect strangers. For example: My many blog posts on my health issues and bad decisions as a child can be read by anyone. I hope that many young diabetics out there find them and read them and learn that they are not alone in their struggle, and that it really is best to listen to your doctor and take care of yourself. Just like one of my posts says “I am living proof” of what happens when you don’t take care of your diabetes, learn from my life! Don’t go down the road I did.
Life is to be lived, for better or worse. We all have so much inside us that can be used to help others to be happier, healthier. By not hiding our troubles, we can more easily commiserate, relate, and accept that we are not terrible, miserable, people; but that we are human and not alone in our struggle.
This is just my point of view on the subject. I don’t think everyone should necessarily wear their whole life story on their sleeves, but that even if you open up to people you trust, you can help each other. And then there are some people who work things out best on their own, in the privacy of their own bedrooms. And that is just fine, too. It’s just not the way I work. 🙂