Thursday, December 3, 2009


What’s Your Label?

Gucci, Dolce and Gabana, Prada? No I am not actually referring to this kind of label (infact, I have just realized I do not have a single designer label item in my wardrobe!)
The kind of labels I am talking about are Personality Labels.

Are you: - A Depressive, An Obsessive, An Alcoholic or Ex- Alcoholic, A Wife or An Ex Wife, A Single Mum, Neurotic?
Do you, or have you, suffered from: - Anorexia, Bulimia, Panic attacks,
Does your child have: - ADHD, Conduct Disorder or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder?

Yesterday a friend of mine, whose child has always had problems learning at school and is famous for being clumsy, phoned me and said she was delighted to find out that her child suffers from some illness affecting eye/brain coordination. On one hand it is sad that she was so happy that her child had an illness (we normally do not wish for a sick child) but on the other hand I completely understand why she was so happy. Whether there is a cure for this problem, or not, my friend can now understand why her child behaves in this manner. That child now has a label- The Child with The Eye to Brain Coordination Problem. This label will explain and excuse her behaviour and therefore make her more acceptable to society.

How many times have you been told (normally in a hushed voice) “That is the one who suffers from depression” or “He is an alcoholic” or “She is ****’s ex wife” or “don’t worry he always does that-he has ADHD” or “she had a tough childhood”? Haven’t you found that once you know that persons “label” you see that person in a different light? You find their bizarre behaviour more acceptable? I know I am much happier about someone’s odd behaviour if I know the reason behind it; if I know their “label.”

I was over the moon to be diagnosed with Obsessive/ Compulsive disorder! Now I understood my somewhat strange behaviour. So what if I was annoyingly organized? So what if I had panic attacks if my routine was disrupted? So what if I made ridiculously stupid and rash decisions? None of this mattered anymore; I could use my “label” to justify all this to myself, and others.

Many times I have used my label as a crutch or an excuse. For me this label is not a problem, but sadly for others being “labeled” has adverse effects- they can never escape from it. They may have moved on in life, but we, the ever critical public, will never let them forget their past. To us they will always be “The Alcoholic”, “The Adulterer”, “The Mistress”, “The Drug Addict” etc.

My Labels:-

The Obsessive/Compulsive (my personal favourite)
The Foreigner
The One With All The Cats
The One With The Strange Hairdo
****’s Ex Wife

And there are probably more I haven’t heard (the ones whispered or communicated from one person to another by the raising of eyebrows or “knowing” looks) Not a bad list really. What do you think your labels are?

Ok- that is my lot for this week. Busy weekend ahead I have already bought and wrapped all my Christmas presents, but it is only 21 days to Christmas, so I had better start laying the table for Christmas Dinner ( hey, so what-I am Obsessive about being organized!)

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