Through others we become ourselves

Psi, the symbol for psychology and psychiatry

What is it about the human race that interests me so much, what they think, how they think (although that can be debated sometimes), what they do (or let’s face it, not do) and how they see themselves?

Perfectionists or just-go-with-the-flow people have a way of attracting my attention so I flip their characters around a couple of times in my mind to see if I can find out why they are the way they are. Why the interest? Because that grey, blubbery thing inside our skull, that 3 pound substance some of us call our brains… hallelujah I am in love with brains!

I’ve always found my brain to be a peculiar one myself, and especially these days since it has shown potential for a steep decline at some point in my future. Let it be known though that this decline will not now, not then and never be because of alcohol or drug abuse, but because my brain seems to like being utterly, utterly annoying when it needs to show perfection. But then, Billie would not be Billie if things would go as planned and since 2005… multiple sclerosis! (I’d rather have you leave, Mr Bad-Boy-MS but it looks as if you’ll be around for a long time to come, so I might as well try to make life comfortable for you, don’t I?)

From a young age I asked myself questions like why this or that, and when I do or say this or that, the outcome will be such and such. Needless to say, as a 10 year old you hardly know about psychology, let alone being fully able to understand what the consequences will be of our actions. Nevertheless, I knew early in my teenage years that behaviours and psychology would be one of my main interests in life, just like I knew that one day I would work in a library and/or live in Ireland. I guess I was like cheese… matured well before I knew it.

Nah… You’re what? Twelve years old so you’re this hormone-driven kid with hair in a ponytail and you dream of fairytale weddings and absolutely gorgeous, I mean absolutely stunning husbands (or husband if you’re the faithful type of human). I always knew I had a pondering and wondering mind, which is why I spent half a lifetime in the local library. I was a member of 2 libraries because I couldn’t get enough of the enduring stories, histories and knowledge inside books. And therefore I couldn’t get enough of the brains of the characters in the stories I read.

And I still can’t get enough of it. The only difference is that now I’ve had time to live, to love, to enjoy, to let go, to ask more questions and to put things into perspective. And to see the consequences of my actions and those of my close environment. But each and every time I’ve learned of those consequences because if you don’t learn from the past, when will you ever learn what’s good and bad, who to trust and who to avoid? Which, again, is why I love psychology, psychiatry and counselling.

I’ve somehow managed to scrape myself through counselling studies years ago (thank god the theory was home-based otherwise I’d still be trying to get the darn diploma). I also have a psychology certificate and decided to up the ante and continue on for the degree. A few months into the studies however, the ever-so-annoying MS came knocking at my door and my hospital doctors told me it would be wise to defer the degree for a while because the first year of MS was going to be tough.

As a good girl I listened to the consultants but I haven’t found my way back yet towards college and the degree I so, so want. Of course I’d rather flaunt a psychology and psychiatry degree instead of a counselling diploma (did I mention, with merit? Oh I already did!) but things are the way the are… actions, reactions, consequences and disappointment.

However, I do wonder if I would lose my… erhhmm I’m trying not to sound blasé… “natural touch” when it comes to understanding and having insight into people’s brains/minds/souls. Would I not over-educate myself with theory when I’ve been told in the past by psychology mentors. tutors and friends that I truly have insight into what drives people and their characters? I am afraid of losing this insight because I understand not everything can or should come from theory. But then I look around me and I see that there will be enough practice for a long time to come because some of my friends are nutters when men are concerned, nutters when women are concerned and generally nutters all day long (and yep… I’m a nutter also!)

In the meantime I keep picking people’s brains when I can learn something from them or I let others pick mine but someday I really do want to get back to college and continue with the degree in psychology. I may never be the next Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Carl Rogers or Irvin D. Yalom but I am willing to study hard to at least get half-way the degree, and if not, then I’ll keep asking questions about what makes us, us and what drives us. Learning-on-the-go as I call it, just like I had to learn how to live with multiple sclerosis.

© WVE and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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