I wandered sleepily into the kitchen this morning to grab a banana out of the fridge. After I closed the fridge door, my eyes focused and I noticed, for the first time, just under the temperature display, a small turquoise rectangular fridge magnet. It read...
"Depression - You're Not Alone"
...and gave the phone number and website for Beyond Blue.
I stood there for a moment, somewhat stunned. Then I wandered back into the bedroom to ask the Wah if he'd put that fridge magnet up.
"No - I thought you did," was his reply.
"No," I said, somewhat thoughtfully. "I didn't".
I want to be honest, but I also don't want to be boring, or worse, self-indulgent. So let's just say that for the past few months I've been battling some self-esteem issues. It's hard to explain why I think what I do; save to say that others can and have found it frustrating or irrational.
Several people have advised me to take steps to combat this; whether I have or not, and what those steps might be, are really just my own business now.
If neither The Wah nor I put up that Beyond Blue fridge magnet, it means somebody I know has placed it there during a recent party or gathering. As I say, I only just noticed it (which says a lot about the cluttered state of my fridge door, not to mention my observational skills), so it could have been placed there weeks ago.
Now I find advice hard to receive, but even harder to give. So I understand that some people dealing with my recent poor moods may have wanted to help, but not want to end up in a confrontational state. So I can understand why someone who might want me to get help would opt for the stealth fridge magnet plan. Having said that, I feel somewhat uncomfortable about this particular approach. I feel it's somewhat... insensitive. The person was probably trying to walk "softly-softly", but what ended up happening was a surprise jab straight between my eyes.
Do I know who the fridge magnet person is? No. I have a suspicion, but it is purely supposition.
Do I want to know who that person is? I'm not sure.
Do I want any more advice? I don't know.
But it's made me think about the whole nature of advice-giving. You may remember on a previous occasion, I wrote about a woman who handed me the name and number of a dermatologist and said "He can help with your skin", back when I was an acne-ridden check-out chick. Even then, I recognised her good intentions, but the manner of her delivery still broke my heart.
How do you give advice? Direct action? Subtle hints? I saw Hamlet at La Boite the other night, and was reminded of the Dane's remark "I must be cruel only to be kind". When you've tried all other options, does advice have to be blunt?