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A Little More About Help

January 27, 2014

We cannot always be responsible for ourselves.

You have no idea how much that goes against my years of training in Therapeutic Interventions! We were taught not to rescue, not to give answers, to give the patient ‘room to make their own mistakes’, to ‘find the solutions to their own problems’ et cetera et cetera et cetera


If you’re on fire – I’m gonna throw you a bucket.

If you are about to drink yourself into liver cirrhosis – I’m gonna take away the bottle and tell you that I love you.

When I was in ‘The Loony Bin’ (a Crisis Centre/Suicide Prevention Facility) last year, along with some of the sanest people I have ever met, there was a running theme throughout the group session, chats in the coffee lounge and one-to-one keywork sessions that I attended as a Patient (a weird experience for someone who used to work on the other side of the therapists’ couch) and it was this – the staff in the centre had to repeatedly remind us (the patients) that we were not responsible for anything other than getting better.

Bills: forget them. Appointments: Fuck them. People’s birthdays: they’ll get over it

I was shocked to hear:

“You don’t have to do that”

“Why are you worrying about that? That can wait”

“That’s just internal pressure – forget it and watch TV”

I’m even getting mild palpitations now, recalling it, recalling the freedom. In The Loony Bin I wasn’t responsible even for myself. Yes it may not seem like that – I still cooked for myself and washed etc but I didn’t actually have to. I had, to all intents and purposes – been rescued.

Thank God for that.

Sometimes we simply – for whatever reason – do not have the capacity to be responsible for ourselves. Sometimes, just sometimes – we need a fire hose and it’s someone else that needs to turn the tap on. I got to a point where I couldn’t ask for help. My two remaining friends (at the time) Jeremy and Christopher automatically knew what to do and when to do it – I was a gibbering wreck on the floor at one point, rocking to and fro. All that remained was to hose me down and pass me the Valium.


Yes – Result.

I couldn’t ask for help so help came rushing (from unexpected quarters). I was no longer responsible for myself (because I had been too responsible for myself) so people, agencies and prescription medication came to the rescue.

And now.

And now.

Am I better for it?


Has this experience, this enlightenment, this new way of experiencing suffering, enabled me to help others?

I fucking hope so.

Much Love,

Matt Chase xx

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