A Common Characteristic; Observing Others
Those with mental health difficulties may find themselves on the sidelines watching life as it goes by. I know, I for one, sometimes find that I am the quiet one observing all the activity around me.I have been given the label schizophrenia. I don’t like that label too much. Sometimes I just see myself as a little different from normal. I really have many skills and talents that I like to use and enjoy. It’s just a label after all.
Watching the party..
This piece of writing is about the ‘watching’ some people do who have a mental illness. This observation skill is important. It helps us to feel secure when we see what is going on around us. It is nice to see what people are doing and saying and to think about how they are currently feeling.
This observation skill can be frustrating. It can seem like we are stuck watching. So why do we do it? One of the biggest reasons is because many of us take medication that sedates us. This makes it ten times as hard to get up and get involved. It makes it so our motivation to speak is less. It also affects our muscles which relax.
With this relaxation that the medication causes, we are not bothered by the mental illness symptoms as much. So the relaxation does serve a purpose. On the other hand, sometimes it can feel like we are staring too long. We are looking intently at the other people around us and this can be uncomfortable for others.
Other people’s response…
Can the people who are with us be patient. They could gently point out that we are staring if it bothers them. They could put up with it. It’s just part of the way we are coping with symptoms and medication.
People could also ask us questions and try to draw us into the conversation. I love it when people do this because I love feeling like I’m part of things.
It might seem like we have a skill in being quieter and watching the activities as they go on. It may seem like we are able to just be there, while others are proving themselves and being louder as they have fun.
This style of being quieter can draw others to us at times. People sometimes want a more serious conversation or people want to talk about something that is important to them. These are neat times to be in conversation with others.
Also, animals may be attracted to us. They can see how we are a little different and this can be a great opportunity for us to connect with animals. We can pet them and talk to them and help them feel included.
At times children will interact with us and that is nice but with the sedation it can be hard to keep up with them. It is worth it though!
Observing can be like meditating at times. At times it is wonderful to be so connected to nature and to the still wise voice inside me. The meditation can help me to feel good and to feel like I’m on the right path going towards the right opportunities that are part of life.
Observing dynamics and exchanges of conversation is difficult at times. Sometimes we want to be involved but it’s not our place. Others have relationships that we are not part of and the conversation they have is private. I try to find something else to do at times like this.
At other times just being an observer is excruciating. For me, I worked at camp and loved doing more things like being part of baseball games, or canoeing and hiking. It makes me feel angry that I am stuck feeling sedated. After all, I didn’t do anything wrong. I shouldn’t have to take a drug every day of my life.
Others have to take medication too. They take it for a variety of purposes. So I’m not as different as you would think. Instead, I’m a little more similar… with limitations and frustrations. I miss activities though. I miss feeling the accomplishments and the experiences. I miss the friendships too. But it’s true many others have to take medications and deal with their side effects so it’s something that I just have to do.
Watching can be useful for the arts…
Observing others can be good for writing and working on artistic pictures. It can give you ideas for creating some interesting pieces. It can help to be watching the on-goings of a summer day and then to be able to later come home and write a poem about it. There is definitely some advantages to watching. I hope to find more positive aspects that come from my observations. It’s good to feel like I have a purpose in what I am doing.
Others may pick up some tips or identify with some of this writing. I hope you will consider being less critical with people who stare and observe. They are just coping as best they can.
I have described the characteristic of ‘observing others’. I’m not always happy with it in myself or others. You may have seen that there are some positive outcomes and negative outcomes to ‘observing’. It is wonderful to explore this quality and write about it. I hope we can all be a little more accepting.
Posted on July 15, 2013, in Emotions, friendship, mental health, mental illness, New Age Psychology, schizophrenia and tagged acceptance, healing, labels, medication, mental health, mental illness, self-knowledge, stigma. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.