Process Over Protocol

 In Anxiety and Stress, Health, Medical, and Biome, Honesty, Compassion, and Respect, Nurturing Honesty, Respect, Compassion
Since the age of five, my mother has raised me under the belief that authorities aren’t always right. A close friend and I laugh over the “so-called experts” who staunchly demand that we follow their A-grade guidance only until they’re proven wrong, or until we find a discrepancy between their words and their actions. Then we wonder why we blindly trusted them in the first place. 

I am not claiming that ALL experts are ALWAYS wrong. They got to their prestigious position somehow, right? Of course they’re qualified! What I am advocating for is personal scrutiny of their “expert guidance” before kneeling at their feet. What I am pressing for is self-awareness and prudence before taking an action with major implications. Never plunge into the group mentality; you know yourself best.

Despite my mother imbuing this belief in me, until now, I hate to admit that I have submitted my trust to many authorities. In those situations, however, my emotional demise saturated me in stress and fear, in helplessness and hopelessness. Intuition and visceral feelings have failed me– literally. Void of trust in myself, I submitted my well-being to the “so-called experts.” In some cases, I was lucky, and in others, I spiraled further. My journey has taken the turns it has because of those navigating me from the passenger seat and how I’ve learned to navigate myself using their knowledge, expertise, and resources. How can one possibly reach their destination without the know-how to get there? Those people in the passenger seat have been unyielding examiners for my well-being in the moments where I could not–in the moments where I could hardly stand, move, or even breathe. Without their direction or the resources they’ve extended, my path to treatment would have shaped itself very differently.

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Health is a tenant of survival: Without it, an individual cannot thrive, aspire to their dreams, or even function. The same goes for mental-health. In fact, mental and physical health go hand in hand, as in my case materializing along the gut-brain axis. Although my IBS condition doesn’t mark so high on the medical severity scale per se, I have felt my well-being diminish in my own hands. And indeed, that IS severe. Far from “normal.”

In severe situations, we call for help. It seems easy–contact the doctor, get some testing, receive a diagnosis, pop some pills, and you’re set! But what if the tests come out normal? What if medication isn’t magical? What happens if the experts you depend on no longer have remedies for you?  Then you’ll end up as I was–left with nowhere to turn and on the verge of collapse. 

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