3 Av, 5777
"Yes, and I responded with what became the title of a book, It's MY Crisis, and I'll Cry if I Need to!"
Here's an excerpt about the insulting comment:
Human beings mint coins and they're all alike. But when the Creator mints people, each of us is unique even though we come from the same mold. Our different personalities, skills and longings necessitate different paths to achieving a state of calm after we've been startled or terrified. There are no "One size fits all" methods of calming down or gaining perspective. Yet we need to reach the state of composed thought and behavior in order to live as productively and as happily as possible under challenging circumstances. Sound reasoning enables us to choose the coping mechanisms that work for us.
Challenging? Oh yes. But the alternative to coping is worse. Life's not democratic or fair. It's a workout. Make your choice: Coping aka self-restraint or the continuing, possibly worsening problem before you.
After I revealed my diagnosis to friends and family, we cried together. Then we progressed to choosing coping skills and keeping me strong so I could have a chance to continue living. My choice to focus on sound psychological principles complemented my Orthodox Jewish religious convictions. Many of those sound psychological principles, as well as classical Jewish philosophy and laws are presented in this text. A blend of both appears in the next paragraph.
One of the worst reactions people had to my news was saying with a sense of fatalism and religious superiority over me, "You shouldn't cry. GOD only gives people the challenges they can face." I disagree. Many a good person has experienced a psychological or medical problem, and suffered terribly or not survived it. Some medical and emotional challenges destroy no matter how valiantly we fight to survive them. Other crises can be survived. It isn't fair to lump them all in one "You can do it!" category. It blames the patient, who is suffering already. No one on this planet is authorized to pass judgment on another person's trials and tribulations. That's GOD's job.
Are you afraid that religious people or even not so religious people will blame you for your very legitimate tears and fears, because GOD knows what He's doing? Are they doing it already? These types of pithy remarks get high scores for being truthful and meaningful. But they get big fat ZEROES for actually helping someone to conquer their misery. It's as useless as telling someone dripping blood or holding onto broken limbs in an emergency room that "I FEEL YOUR PAIN." It's no help at all.
A medical diagnosis that presents a crisis is something to legitimately cry about. It is a lack of stability and a lack of reliable givens that we need so much. One of the Gates of Prayer that remains open despite the lack of a Beit HaMikdash (ancient Jewish Temple) is the Gate of Tears. Crying is a form of prayer. It says, "I'm scared, I'm sad, I'm angry, I don't know what to do about my problem. I need your help HaShem (GOD)," and more.
We learn from the Talmud in Bava Metzia 59a "Even though the Gates of Prayer are closed (after the destruction of the grand Jewish Temple called Bait HaMikdash), the Gates of Tears are never closed."
The catharsis of getting my story on paper was a soothing experience. I wrote the book to shut up my misinformed critics as much as I wrote it to empower other people facing medical and/or mental health issues. You can buy the book directly from the publisher for fast delivery. Click here to do so.
Be sure to read the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge. It clues you in on how to respond to rude relatives, medical personnel and anyone else who decides to mind your business without just cause.
Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.
Fill your mouth with polite, self-supporting comments.