The A Word: Glass Half Empty?

Warrior III

This warrior III pose is about balance and stability. I’m working my standing leg quite hard as I’m balancing all my weight on it.  Specifically for me, the pose also accesses all the muscles along my spine holding  the upper body long and straight, and digging into my hamstrings in the extended leg.  Its not perfect but I’m getting there….

Uh-oh, I’m going to be a bit controversial this month!  I love people who have opinions, even if they differ to mine, respectful debate is great.  What really bugs me is people who “sit on the fence”!  So here we go, I’m not sitting on the fence with this one 😊.

When I set off on my journey to share my story of living with autoimmune disease, I set up an Instagram account, separate to my own.  My plan was to post my blogs and reveal lots of information about my life with Ankylosing Spondylitis and the coping mechanisms I’ve learnt over the years.  This new account was called “living_with_autoimmune” and loads of people with autoimmune disease connected to me and me to them.  However, after a few months I hated it, it was the most depressing account ever!  Every day I would trawl through everyone’s woes and self-pity and after a while I stopped even going to the account.  I would post my monthly blog and quickly revert back to my own cheerful account with all the lovely people I follow – family, photographers, foodies, health and fitness tips, yoga and fashion, all of which make me smile.

I don’t like self-pity and the term generally applied to people with this trait is “Victim Mentality”. I think I’m sufficiently qualified to hold this opinion as I’ve lived with pain most of my adult life.  Some mornings my AS is so bad, I struggle to walk.  During one really bad flare up I had to take the most terrible concoction of drugs known to mankind; I was on a different planet to everyone else that week.  Only my immediate family knew the extent of my pain and this leads on to my gripe with the “victim mentality”?

First of all, what is it?  “Victim Mentality” is someone who sees themselves as a victim for the purpose of accruing sympathy and empathy. These people have a perpetual need to have their suffering acknowledged.  Other people or circumstances are always to blame.  Any effort to help them will fail, so there’s no point trying.  When bad things happen, they rarely take responsibility for them and blame the world?  It’s an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognise or consider themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others.

It’s not a formal medical term. In fact, most health professionals avoid it due to the stigma surrounding it but its real and its all over my autoimmune Instagram account.  In my opinion, if people don’t put any effort into helping themselves, living with an autoimmune disease will be a million times worse. 

There’s loads of research to suggest Victim Mentality is a problem in workplace too. It’s challenging for a manager, as often, their team member will react negatively to any attempts to change this behavior or mindset.  They often get defensive or act in a passive-aggressive way toward anyone who is just trying to help.   There’s lots of advice about how to deal with this kind of person but I’m not great with the sympathy card, I tend to ignore this personality trait and move on.  So, now you get the picture as to why I’m closing down my autoimmune Instragram account.

Moving on I thought I would continue on my controversial path and get everything on the table in one blog so I can go back to my lovely self next month 😊.

Who else gets irritated by some “celebrities”and their predictable politics, the ones who sit within gated communities preaching to the rest of the working world about topics that will never truly affect them.  Social issues are like fashion trends to a lot of these people, to be worn in front of a camera lens, to garner heaps of attention and praise. As to the social issues they adopt, sometimes they prove surprisingly ill-informed. But who cares about that when the real goal is publicity?

One of the social issues that doesn’t get enough attention is homelessness. I mentioned in my last blog, I’d talk briefly about my time working for Crisis (the homeless charity).  Look, I’m no saint but this experience did provide me with a real insight into the challenges faced my many people who find themselves living on the streets.  I haven’t done anywhere near as much charity work as I would like, hopefully retirement will provide more opportunity but the 3 years I worked for Crisis were a real eye opener. 

I had no useful skills, for example I couldn’t cut hair, treat someone’s feet, assess them medically, so I was mostly in the kitchen serving food, or going out on the minibus with hot soup to feed those who didn’t want to come to the shelter, or frisking guests at the door to make sure no drugs, alcohol or weapons were brought it.  I got quite good at helping them hide their treasure ready for when they left.

Crisis have released many stats over the years on why find people find themselves homeless and a high number suffer from ill mental health or drug/alcohol dependency.  However, a lot of the people I met were driven to dependency through the rubbish things that had happened in their life.   None of guests I had the pleasure to meet in the Shelter had a “victim mentality”, they took responsibility for their situation and I never once heard anyone cast blame for their predicament, they were incredibly grateful for the help and advice they received.

The point of my story is that we all walk a very fine line in life, we all fall off that line now and again but manage to pick ourselves up and carry on.  Sometimes though, the things that happen to us are just too big to cope with and when we fall off , try as we might, we can’t get back up.  You never know what’s going on in someone’s life which is why it’s so important to be kind. 

Finally (thank goodness I hear you say), our freedom feels a lot closer than it did at Christmas.  We’ve seen our families (outside in the cold) and Jamie and I are waiting patiently for 12th April so we can go to the pub for a pint.  I look like Alice Cooper with my mop of multi coloured hair so 20th April (haircut day) cannot come soon enough.

Take care folks, thank you for reading and sharing my story xxx


Published by meadandrea

Blogger, writer, author, love to travel, photographer

One thought on “The A Word: Glass Half Empty?

  1. I didn’t realise we had so much in common I just kept nodding my head at every comment. No sympathy for you my girl just total admiration x Oh and ignore the website it popped up and I can’t get rid of it!! Years old


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