That’s the expression I came up with when I was trying to assimilate and collate and accept and put together and place all of the stickers which had been slapped onto me. I don’t mean to dismiss diagnoses outright, they help point you towards what you need, but they are a double-edged sword.
One of the pages that I wrote some time after I had gotten all comfortable and cozy with my jelly jar tags sort of sums up my feelings on that duality nicely:
. . . B) diagnoses are only helpful insofar as they can point you in the direction of the proper treatment, and C) labels are for jelly jars. . . I am so much more than just a listing of diagnoses. . . I am intelligent and creative and curious and beautiful and honest and a writer and an advocate and a reader. I am wonderful with children, I take interesting photographs, I am loyal and supportive, I am kind, I understand the things in this life that cannot be understood, and I can love like no one you have ever met in all of your days.
I’m presenting this background and excerpt because I want to pose to all of you reading this who may happen to be a jelly jar an open question: What does your diagnos(es) mean to you, personally? Have you found some degree of acceptance? Do you think you have successfully integrated things in yourself? Do you feel you may let the name of your malady define you too much; or conversely, do you reject it and hold it at arm’s length?
Okay. That was more than one question. But I have an excellent reason for soliciting so much for input and answers. Unfortunately, I cannot tell it to you right here and now.
I debated on posting this, because I cannot tell you, and that doesn’t really seem fair of me. But I can tell you this much, and it may help you to understand why I chose to, ultimately.
I need help.
I need help for myself and for those around me. And though I did not originate the expression about relying on the kindness of strangers, in the short time I have been blogging, I have encountered so many incredible, marvelously kind “strangers.” People who want to help, people who want to share, people who just want for me, for us all, to be well. Many of these people I now know not as strangers, but, happily, as friends.
So rally ’round all, and many thanks in advance for the comments and feedback you provide to me.
Comments are now closed, in (somewhat belatedly) keeping with the format of our ‘Let’s Talk About’ posts. To join in the discussion, please go to our page March 2012: Labels Are For Jelly Jars.
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