Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank you for your advice... not!

Unsolicited advice is awesome!

Don't we all love it! Not.

I don't know why some people just love giving advice. Especially those that have never even sniffed my situation before. Sure, wisdom does not always come from experience. But ignorance comes from inexperience.

My dad likes to ask me, how are you doing? Everything going ok?

Ummmm... I have a loan taken from my in-laws and I see a counselor every week for my depression and anxiety, some of it stems back to growing up in your house and you are my boss too...
"Yeah... umm sure."


Thats the depth of my relationship with my parents on things that matter.

The worst advice I have been given to date:
All you need to do is spend less (umm... ok... I'll stop eating)
I can get you a second job that will get you health insurance for 20 hours a week. (Okay, so I should work 60 hours a week at my salaried job that does not pay a livable wage, then 20 more hours... my family says ok- I switched jobs instead)
Sell some blood (just kidding never gotten that)

Its not so much the direct advice- the 'pearls' of wisdom. As the really open ended questions. How are you doing? How is that whole financial situation going for you? These kinds of questions could lead down a 100 different roads at a 100 different emotional levels. My usual answer? ... ummm... fine... just keep keeping on.

Although, my goal is to extremely honest- I find it hard when someone does not really care. It's like throwing pearls to swine- just not worth the effort. Bad attitude, I know. But I hate to waste my extreme honest moments on someone who does not care. Who wont take the time to understand, develop compassion, and care. Most people do just enough work to feel like they actually care.

I have an extreme aversion to 'get up an go' 'pull yerself up by yer bootstraps' advice. It has a lot to do with my parents effort to encourage me growing up. It causes me to run like I am running for my life. 'All you need to do is put on a happy face and go face the day.' Puke. The hardest part of the day for me? The moment I wake up. The get up and go attitude for me is like walking through a field of broken glass carrying an aircraft carrier on my back filled with cement. My issues run a bit deeper than- git er done brother- advice. It is actually damaging to me because I have to walk into the chaos of my life and feel for the first time what is actually going on inside. Weird.

My favorite moment in the history of our crazy lives was sitting in the living room of a really nice family (well...) in a nice house (one of two) with a huge screen tv in the room... it matters just wait. And her encouragement "My husband did not get a paycheck for 2 months at his firm. We really worried. We didn't know what we were going to do. We understand." Umm, didn't know what to do... sell the boat, the second house, the tv, the nice car... If I didn't get a paycheck for two months, we'd be on the street! Oh I was livid. It was like talking to a jellyfish about hang gliding. Just wasn't going to happen.

The best thing about being in debt, depressed, and fat- you learn who your true friends are. The ones who get it, care, and love you for who you are. Straight up. The people in our lives who have jumped in full bore and really care, keep me going. Keep my wife sane. And keep us engaged in community. I love it! Thank you wonderful people who don't try to solve us but live with us.

So advice givers of the world! Suck an egg. :)

As my counselor said- "you only need one counselor. And that sometimes one is too many."

What I really need? Community.

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