My goodness! I’ve been bombarded with messages since my article got published. If you’re not sure what I mean by ‘my article’ see my blog post Newspaper Articles for details. These messages are not from complete strangers but friends as well, more on that in a minute. People have moved me with their love and well wishes. But unfortunately theres an unwanted side effect. I’m overwhelmed!!
The 5 messages you receive from those who want to help
Firstly, those who message me telling me my cancer is guaranteed to be cured if I do certain religious tasks. I must convert to a certain religion. Pray to a certain god or saint. Confess certain sins. One person even went so far as to explicitly let me know which sins I should confess. Many of which were completely irrelevant to me. I understand that people genuinely believe in what they are saying. And likewise fiercely believe that they are helping. But I’m a believer in letting others’ exercise their own religious freedoms. I simply wish the same courtesy would be given to me. If anyone is interested I’m a humanist.
Secondly, those who tell me I need to switch to a certain diet regime. Often these are copyrighted diets under some surname of a very clever entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs have convinced an incredible number of people to buy their book, course or food plan. If I didn’t have a heart I’d admire the business-mindedness of those people. Regardless, the messengers are trying to help. I however trust the scientific method when it comes to understanding how things work. And I also understand how much I don’t know. I’m therefore careful about which information I trust. For example, I trust my doctors over someone selling products. I trust examples of people being cured over a five star review. I trust decades of research over a well written sales paragraph of pseudo-science.
Thirdly the people who are convinced that ‘natural’ drugs are the answer. Perhaps obviously, marijuana is the main drug of choice. I’m often fascinated with the legalisation debate. I believe that half the attraction of drugs is the risk of it. The naughtiness. The high of the possibility of getting caught. If marijuana was legalised I’d be willing to bet many would stop believing it to be the miracle drug they currently do. No-one is touting tobacco as a cure to ‘everything’. But I’ll bet people would if it were illegal. Something about always defying ‘the man’ I suppose. I’m always amused when these particular messages are signed off with ‘do your own research’. This is usually in aggressive capital letters!
Meanwhile we can move onto the lovely messages! I automatically delete those first three of course. But these last two I respond. The fourth type of message are those from well-wishing strangers. The sheer amount is overwhelming in itself. But these people are so lovely and interesting. They have stories of their own. They share something in common with me. Or they simply have nice words or advice to pass on. If it weren’t for the sheer numbers of messages I’d be so happy. Unfortunately theres only so much time in the day. I’m significantly reducing time spent on my own pursuits. Or more horribly missing calls from my family. Unquestionably that turns something lovely into something untenable. The only solution is to ignore peopled that makes me feel rude and ungrateful.
Lastly are friends and family messages. Great of course… except.. The ‘normal’ rate of messages is multiplied. The ‘regular’ texters, messagers, callers are suddenly buried in the irregular contacts. Those that don’t message regularly are suddenly all getting in contact at once. It’swonderful to catch up with so many people. But all at once feels like a high school reunion. But where everyone wants to carry on their conversation in parallel. And no-one notices that everyone else is also talking to you.
I’m being so rude in order to be polite
Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve. She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.