The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Daytime

The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Daytime Some year ago, soon after having been released from a psychiatric hospital, I was taking a walk in the forest with a friend. She would go on talking about her problems and I was comforting her. All of a sudden a small brown dog came from nowhere and it started to tear my jacket and my trousers apart. We managed to get rid of him somehow and I was in a double shock: still traumatized by the hospitalization and on the top of that attacked by a dog.

All these years I thought I was lucky the dog did not bite my skin and hurt me. It only damaged the jacket and trousers. Yet recently it has dawned on me that the dog was actually trying to protect me from my friend. The dog was trying to tell me that I should stop listening to her.

She would always use me as the dust-bin for her mental garbage, even when I was clearly in a worse shape than her. If you have a mental disorder, you have to be extra careful, who you hang out with. Some people will only drag the last bits of energy out of you and then act surprised, when you end up in a psychiatric hospital. In my opinion people, who are inclined to fall mentally ill, are especially sensitive to negative energy spread by the downers or the so called glass-is-half-empty people. In my long experience with mental disorders I have found that I much prefer no company to bad company.

Take care,
Helena Smole, author of Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

2 Responses to “ “The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Daytime”

  1. Carmen Lee says:

    Helena, how I identify with this post of yours. I do try to help people, especially those suffering from a mental health challenge, but if I find that they don’t heed the advice and start dong things for themselves, that’s the end of my “investment”. I don’t have that much energy to keep giving when it apparently doesn’t do any good.

    Many people I know strive so hard to make their lives a bit better. Some, though, prefer, I think, to stay in the doldrums.

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