Are labels helpful?
Before you answer - who are you answering for?
On whose authority?
What's your own experience?
Does it match others?
We can use labels to be set free, to shame and stigmatise, to box people in, to give them an understanding and voice.
My label might not be your label.
But my label isn't for you to judge nor 'liberate' me from without permission.
"Parents of neurodivergent children: 'I don't want to limit them by putting a label on them.'
Before I knew I was neurodivergent, my labels were: Stubborn, lazy, rebellious, difficult, stupid, flake, dumb.
Now those have been with replaced with autistic and ADHD." (NeuroDivergent Rebel).
Before my label of dyslexia, I was also called lazy, despite spending three times longer studying, and stupid, despite seeing details others missed.
Before my label of depression, I was a weirdo and utterly alone in my experience.
After my label of depression, I felt stuck and cursed for life.
After my label of dyslexia, I felt ashamed.
Now, neither matter.
My labels don't own me. I own them.
My labels aren't me. But they belong to me to do with as I see fit.
Psychiatrist and trauma expert Gabor Mate says a diagnosis explains you but it doesn't define you.
We're all entitled to our labels and our opinions about them, but don't presume your opinion should be imprinted in someone else's ear.
Until next time, stay safe - and sane - and make kind choices!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.