Clare adores apologizing for “crashing out early” to explain why she hasn’t replied to the five quadtrillion texts I sent right before the rest of world understands it’s time to go sleep. It’s kind of adorable in a very bizarrely self-deprecating way, like when a cat makes itself dizzy by putting itself into a blender and turning it on. Same thing.
Today, I called her on it. I said to her, “You sure enjoy apologizing for basic biological functions like sleeping.” Really, why apologize for the capacity to fall into blissful slumber without the benefit of lab-devised chemistry? Many a peer values being able to fall asleep full stop, so to hear another apologize for a talent to drop into a temporary coma seems foreign and/or adorable. Like when a cat makes itself dizzy by putting itself into a blender and turning it on. Same thing. And the cat put itself in there. What kind of monster do you think I am?
Something about being in DBSA is that over the past six years I’ve learned how to connect with other peers by “speaking from my own experience.” The essential principle here is that we aren’t credentialed professionals so we can’t give advice. Instead, we relate to others and give roundabout advice by saying “In my experience I have found …” or “When faced with a similar situation this is what I did …” This is a skill that isn’t exclusively used for DBSA support groups. I’ve allowed this to bleed into the outside-group world as well. It turns out that the “you should” and “you need to” statements aren’t appreciated as much as anyone likes.
Clare Clarissa Nina Castellano, Olympic-Caliber Slumberer.