Is Kintsugi anti-recovery?

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by palindromordnilap, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Hobo


    Unless the US has some seriously fucked up laws compared to Aus re: this, I'm pretty sure it's not actually illegal to provide (read: link) these resources provided you're not acting like you're a medical professional and it's some sort of officially prescribed therapy bullshit. I mean, I'm looking at several government websites right now that link to online CBT resources and websites designed for self-help re: CBT (with caveats that this might not work for everyone and def see a professional if you're strongly depressed, etc). I don't think anyone is under the impression that anyone here is an actual therapist. Ultimately, as long as it's framed as optional and something people can work out on their own to see if it works rather than something you NEED to do because Doctor Kintsugi said so, seems like it would be alright to at least have this shit as a resource.

    Or don't. I'm just trying to help.
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  2. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    Hobo, I'm confused why you started out behaving like we don't want those things and seem to be continuing to assume that even after we clarified.

    If it wasn't something that was okay on the site we'd have stopped Kathy long ago.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  3. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I am not sure how much clearer it could be.

    The pattern of their actions, especially its changes over time.

    I don't believe that you can rack up Bad Person Points in one area of life that completely eradicate any possible trace of successes in another.

    Imagine two people. One drinks vodka and screams at people every night, and spends the day torturing animals. One drinks vodka and screams at people every night, then in the morning goes back to the hospital and saves a lot of lives. They are both alcoholics who scream at people. But that is not all they are. And what if they only get drunk and scream at people once a week? Once a month? Once a year? Once a decade? Does it ever start being possible to consider that maybe something else about them is also true, or also important?

    You know what's anti-recovery? Watching someone go from getting drunk and screaming at people every night, to doing it once a week, and saying that there is no change, that nothing has happened, that it's exactly the same as it was before. That is anti-recovery, because it is a denial of the reality of recovery as an ongoing process which does not magically happen overnight. But the ongoing process is, barring occasional miracles, all there has ever been. People just wake up totally better one day, sure. Maybe 1% of the time, if that. The rest of us have these long gradual slogs. And telling the people doing the hard work, day in and day out, that nothing they've done matters because it didn't produce all the change at once? That is anti-recovery.

    Like, just... Think about what splitting is. Black and white thinking, madonna/whore dichotomies. What the fuck do you call it when you look at an entire human life, with all its complexities, and say "no, this person is mean too often, they are an irredeemable abuser who is not improving and will never improve"? When a person's problems are rooted in splitting, and the easiest thing for them to do is to think "since I do this bad thing, I am a person-who-does-bad-things, that is all I am", and you say "yes, that's exactly right", do you seriously think that will help?

    Yes, I tell people that one small subset of their behaviors -- less than 5% of the things they do in life -- does not fully define them and is not the totality of their being. And people call it "anti-recovery" because you don't think they should do those things.

    I have been through megabytes of chat logs from several of the drama chats, and there is a recurring pattern. You have several people who are really mad about something. Call the thing X. Could be a person, could be the site as a whole, it doesn't matter. You have a bunch of people sitting around talking about how bad X is. Because they validate and support each other, they get validation and support whenever they mention bad things about X. If they see a bad thing involving X, they bring that thing back to the chat to show off so they can get validation and support. So they all see this constant stream of bad things about X. None of them see the good things, because they're actively avoiding any risk of engagement that might show them those things. And they all get more and more convinced that X is totally fucking awful, without redeeming values, and definitely not improving, because they are complaining more than they used to so that means the problem is worse.

    This is not hypothetical. This is not guesswork. This is a real thing that happens, and keeps happening. I've seen it happen about multiple different people. I've seen the participants in one of these become the new X for another of them, or for the one they used to be in. And when it's a person, sooner or later, a bunch of people come talk to me about how horrible it is that I tolerate X and haven't banned X yet, and how I am not taking their concerns seriously. And I go talk to X and let them know that, even if they fucked up, they're still a person, and they can get better and if they want to try I will try to help them find the support they need to do it.
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  4. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I know people might be getting worked up because this is a really important and delicate topic, but let's please try to read things we're responding to with the understanding that this is a subject that lots of people in all directions are passionate about.
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  5. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    I think maybe there's a disconnect in thr sense that some people are talking about resources to have available and some people are talking about recommending the resources.

    Having the resources is good, and recommending them is good, so long as everyone is on the same page that again, this is a social site for mentally ill people where people can get support, not a place for therapy.

    I don't mind recommemding resources, but I usually don't recommend resources because I'm not always good at knowing which one is most helpful in what situation. In my 14 years of therapy I've had a lot of therapists give me things that probably work wonders for other people but that just left me baffled.
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  6. Hobo


    Was mostly a reaction to seebs' post where he clarified that the reason he didn't want a resource post in the first place because he's not a therapist, and seemed to be suggesting that having one is changing the site's nature massively for people who Kintsugi isn't working for (like me, because he was responding to my post, so it def sounded like a specific you than a general). I'll admit I'm not entirely sure what the massive nature change could be referring to otherwise, since I don't think anyone has made any concrete suggestions for change rather than just generally talking about the issues with validation as a sole recovery tool. But anyway, it came off more like having an informal system like with how Kathy would offer links to resources she found on her own is fine, but actually writing out a sticky with resources is bad because that would imply you guys are therapists. That's also what I got out of your post given the discomfort re: worksheets. So that's where the assumption came from.
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  7. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Consider two statements:
    1. My doc gave me vyvanse for ADHD, it's helped a lot.
    2. You should try vyvanse.
    One of these is a personal anecdote. One of them is uncomfortably close to Practicing Medicine Without A License.

    I also want to just be super clear: Offering resources because they'd be nice to have around is a great thing, and not a thing I think I've ever suggested much opposition to. But making something that looks like the site is in some formal capacity instructing people to try a thing, even a little, starts getting into a territory I really don't want to be in.

    We have enough problems already with people who are convinced that I'm claiming I am a therapist.
  8. Khan

    Khan why does anyone NOT hate her

    Doesn't that logically follow from what I said? It's not like rollover minutes. You're responsible for your successes and your failures, and they don't make up for each other. If you fail and hurt someone, that's still hurting someone, no matter what a good egg you are some other time.

    I don't know. Let's say that very successful doctor gets home every night and throws his empty bottles as hard as he can at his son.

    Seebs, you can embroider the metaphor as much as you want, but the trauma our John Doe inflicts on people is still trauma, no matter how many kittens he rescues from burning buildings in his free time. It's a matter of historical fact that Gandhi hated Black people. Gandhi did some very good things for India -- does that mean it's good and cool and Valid(tm) that he was a racist, or that we should all be racist like Gandhi if we want to be good people? Do his efforts against the colonial system outweigh the fact that he harbored this animosity for Black people?

    My entire first post in this thread was about how echo chamber communities encourage being as damaged as possible, in part to drive damaged people further into their arms. (I also clarified that this problem wasn't Kintsugi-exclusive or necessarily Kintsugi-specific, before people get all in a huff.) What would you call that? My post ended with a bunch of questions that have helped me focus on how my actions affect others, and how I can be more conscious of that. What part of that is anti-improvement?

    If a person's problem is rooted in alcoholism and they look in the mirror after a long night of drinking themselves sick and screaming at people and go, "Oh, God, am I an alcoholic?" I do think saying "Yes, you are, and please get help before your esophagus perforates," is pretty productive!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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  9. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It doesn't. You said good things can't make up for bad things. You didn't say bad things can't make up for good things. So what you said could be easily understood to be a one-way gate, and that is how most of the people with self-loathing issues apply the logic to themselves.

    True. And if you succeed and help someone, that's still helping someone, no matter what a bad egg you are some other time.

    Which is to say: If someone thinks that a specific action, or even pattern of actions, makes them a Bad Person, they are wrong.

    Of course it is. But the person is not defined solely and exclusively by one subset of their actions.

    Outweigh it in terms of our personal moral judgment of the man? In terms of our judgment of whether he was a net benefit or a net harm to humanity? These are different questions.

    What I'm experiencing is that you seem to be arguing, vehemently and angrily, against a position I have never seen anyone take or advocate for. Which is some kind of weird "no everything is 100% okay, nothing you did was ever bad" thing, and I have never seen that. What I've seen is exactly what I described at the end of the last post: People cherry-picking a handful of a person's worst moments, and a handful of the reassurances offered during the process of talking someone down off a ledge, and imagining that this is even a tiny bit representative of the whole scope of that person's actions, or other people's interactions with them. And it's just plain not true.

    And that makes this all fundamentally irrelevant. You're arguing against a position that I've never seen anyone actually hold.

    This is not a hugbox or an echo chamber, and never has been. It's not even like those, and if that's what you're seeing, stop isolating yourself except when you want to come be angry about the bad things you're cherry-picking. Because that's a complete waste of everyone's time and emotional energy, and it's fucking you up. Stop being the person who does nothing but jump in to yell at people about how toxic they would be if a carefully curated selection of their absolute worst moments was all they had ever been. A lot of people have expressed fear about you being back, because you're fighty and aggressive and never show up except to be fighty and aggressive.

    And I'm also gonna say, I've talked to you, and I know that there's also fear behind the anger (as though anger ever existed without fear; it doesn't), and I know that you are a much better person than people are seeing. And someone from a different clique of People Who Hate Kintsugi is gonna see that, and say "see, it's just a hugbox, Khan is a fucking abuser and seebs is just gonna defend her because all seebs ever does is defend abusers." Because they only see your worst moments. And I tend to be critical in private messages, and supportive or reassuring in public, so people think "ah-hah, seebs never says anything negative about people's actions".
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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  10. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    An anonymous user asked mods to post:
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  11. NevermorePoe

    NevermorePoe Nevermore

    On break at work right now, but I wanted to drop in and say that by aggregating information, I was in fact talking about links to outside sources and not hosting that information on kintsugi itself. I was thinking about stuff like links to meditation websites, organizers and other similar things.
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  12. Khan

    Khan why does anyone NOT hate her

    I don't feel angry. I don't feel particularly vehement. I feel like you're talking past me, and that's a little frustrating, but I'm not actually whipped into a froth about this.

    I've seen people post graphic murdertorture fantasies about other people and then ask to be told they're Good Eggs or whatever and that murdertorture fantasies about real [people|groups] are good and valid, and it is really uncomfortable to behold. I do my best to avoid those people and I am generally successful, but I would consider that an example of the kind of thing I am unnerved by.

    I am not angry, but what is getting me frustrated is you insisting how angry I must very totally be.

    ....???? I spend 200% more time memeing in my friends' and acquaintances' Brainbent threads than I do in Meta. I spend time here and there debugging in FID. I spend a lot of time in PMs with friends, usually checking on them or sharing RL gossip or asking them if they'd mind giving something I wrote a look. Occasionally I use Caring Void to pass on something users-that-prefer-to-remain-totally-anonymous were made uncomfortable by (rare) or something that stressed me out (more common).

    Is this an example of you seeing the thing you are annoyed by, and nothing else? :-P
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
    • Winner x 3
  13. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I haven't seen anyone claim that murder/torture fantasies about real people are good and valid. I have seen people who have serious rage and/or self-loathing issues being told that having those issues does not make them bad people, but I haven't seen anyone claim that the trait itself is completely problem-free. And that distinction seems to get lost, a lot, in the discourse about how people are getting validation and reassurance.

    All I know is that you sound angry often.

    The brainbent threads full of people talking about how awful everything is are pretty much exactly what I was talking about. It's a pretty effective echo chamber, in effect; anyone who suggests that maybe things aren't awful can reliably expect to be attacked viciously and told to leave, so they do, so people sit around talking about how awful everything is.

    I don't think it can be, since in the part you snipped, I specifically pointed out that I see other things. But other people don't necessarily see them.
  14. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya your purple friend

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  15. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    An anonymous user asked mods to post:
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  16. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    Hi, hello! Brief vacation from self care vacation to lay out some thread plans I have for resource aggregation because I like helping.
    All of the threads will follow a structure similar to the one I laid out in the boundary thread, possibly with a few more [reserved] posts in case I somehow manage to hit character limits and include in bolded text in the intro that each thread is a collection of resources that may be helpful and are not mandatory to engage with in any way and that the OP [probably me] and other posters in the thread are not able to officially diagnose other users or create treatment plans & the resources linked are not suitable replacement or substitution for seeking medical care. Probably worded more eloquently than that, I'm rather tired.
    Threads I am planning on making at some point:
    - Hotline services, organized by country. This would ideally be grouped with the following format:
    [State if I am able to go very granular for the US, this is entirely dependant on spoon level I'm afraid]
    - Self-Care And You: The idea for this one is a rough guide for users who have trouble stepping away from the forum when something is distressing them and things they can do if they have trouble with impulse control. Also a collection of handy relaxing links, probably collected from assorted threads around the forum and credited accordingly unless someone specifically doesn't want credit.
    - Conflict Management tips: what it says on the tin. Ideally structured to help all sorts of different approaches.

    These are not gonna happen fast. I'm getting ready to do an international move and that takes a lot of my Doing Things energy. If someone else wants to do it first by all means please do so. I love collecting things and organizing and helping, it makes me really happy and I want to help this site be a safe and useful place for everyone. Due to the timeline and things going on in my environment though, I can't guarentee I will have these done any time soon, like, in the next few months level of soon.
    The pipe dream thread is to collect links for common kinds of personality disorders and what things might be healthy for some and disasterious for others (caveat in here and will be in the thread if it ever happens too that these would be very general and that everyone is different) - massive in-depth discussion of thought patterns and behaviors might be fine to have with someone with one kind, but be absolutely awful to do with attachment focused disorders and put those trying to help in danger of accidentally being pushed into an unofficial therapist role rather than a friend, for example.
    Anyway I just wanted to pop in and elaborate there. I've seen people talk about wanting resources for ages, and I like organizing things like that, so I will try too when I can :)
    <tosses down smoke bomb, vanishes back onto vacation>
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  17. Khan

    Khan why does anyone NOT hate her

    Please to include the NDVH, they're helpful (even if they ask you your stupid demographics before transferring you to an operator, as if you want to get into THAT when your shit's burning down).

    Enjoy your vacation!
    • Like x 1
  18. AbsenteeLandLady124

    AbsenteeLandLady124 Well-Known Member

    (I don't know that acronym, could you elaborate? And thank!)
    As for the wider thing of is kintsugi anti-recovery - no, I don't think so. I think that sometimes people accidentally reinforce each others problems and that sometimes the health sought and offered can be the *exact opposite* of what someone needs to recover and improve. That's why I want to eventually make that bottom thread. Sometimes the things people feel like they desperately need may in fact be the product of their disorder telling them that and it might be the thing that reinforces it - like if I were to blow up on someone and tell them I wished they would die, afterward I imagine I would feel crushingly awful and might want to ask for reassurance that I'm not awful. And for me, the correct response to that would be to point out that while the distress I would be feeling is real and I would not be irredeemable, it is not the priority over the person I hurt and I did in fact do an awful and unhealthy thing that needs an apology and a commitment to do better.
    Not all distress is inherently bad. Feeling bad about doing something wrong is important! With my illness, my bad feelings get blown completely out of proportion and can send me into an awful hell spiral, but the initial 'oh fuck, I fucked up' is an important sign post. So I think sometimes, there can be a little too much focus on telling people they shouldn't feel bad for a thing, when maybe they should and use that to then make the next conclusion of 'Okay so I have this problem, what can I do to work to fix it, rather than push it into the back of my brain to come back up later.'
    And nothing is simple or easy about recovery. CBT and DBT doesn't work for everyone. Meditation can trigger disassociation episodes, some people react really badly to certain kinds of medication.
    Sometimes people don't want to get better for a while - maybe their brain is self-sabotaging and telling them that they never will get better, so they shouldn't even try. In which case, like the anonymous quote said above, sometimes it becomes about survival rather than forward progress. Hanging on long enough for something to happen that brings the spark back.
    Recovery is an intensely personal process and as others have said in this thread - you probably won't have a full idea of what someone is going through just from what they post in their threads. Please don't condemn people for not trying hard enough.
    I use my own thread to catalog my thoughts, both good and bad, as an unfiltered stream of consciousness thing that I go back and look at later and analyze. Sometimes it might look like I'm upset about forum things when in actuality I'm upset because I live in a hellscape, because my thread is the only place on the forum where I feel able to just talk without compulsively self-editing in also to make sure I won't be misunderstood or others won't misinterpret things and as a result I'm not as eloquent there. Others structure their threads entirely differently.
    While I experience great distress over seeing people suffer over forum debates and this sometimes leads to me feeling like I need to try and fix the problem entirely, I recognize that 9.99 times out of 10, I can't, and that's okay. A few years ago, I wouldn't be able to recognize that, and wouldn't think it was okay if I couldn't fix a big overarching problem. So now I do smaller things, little bits and pieces, because being able to do that is crucially important for my own recovery and I learn more about how I work and what the triggers for me being unhealthily caught up in a problem are. So in that respect, kintsugi has helped me recover more than I can express, has made me a more efficient activist and advocate, and taught me when I need to disengage for my own safety. Sometimes I might slip up a little but like, that's important too. It helps me let myself establish personal boundaries, something I'd never been able to do before, and lets me go 'okay no, I need to go for a while.' Helping out with this kind of thing also gives me a reason to get up in the morning when my environment is hurting me so deeply that it seems easier to just give in to that.
    Okay, now I'm out. This has been a really neat and important discussion to read, reminder to all participants that you can and should ask for temporary bans from parts of the forum that fuck you up if they are doing so, see ya'll in like a week!
    <secondary smoke bomb>
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  19. bloop

    bloop Well-Known Member

    Not Khan, but I'm assuming NDVH is the national domestic violence hotline.
    • Informative x 3
  20. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Late to the party, don’t even have Starbucks. But,

    Kintsugi has been incredibly good for my mental health. I have professional resources available for the most part. What I needed was validation, and what I needed even more was... I suppose you could call it role models?

    One of the best things that’s ever happened to me was getting advice about agoraphobia from someone who had worked through agoraphobia. It wasn’t advice on how to recover, it was advice on what to do until then. How to make things easier for myself during recovery. There’s no way I want to live with this my entire life if I can help it, it’s miserable, but right now that’s how things are. Right now I need help eating and showering without overcoming my agoraphobia, because it’s unlikely that I’m going to overcome it before the next mealtime or before I become stinky. And I usually have a much easier time doing the actual recovery work if I’m not starving or filthy.

    I already have plenty of advice and help and stories about How to Succeed Even If You Suffer from Whatever. I have a lack of advice about what to do if you can’t succeed right now. I’d still like to succeed, but that might take some time, and in the meanwhile I’m doing a lot better thinking of myself as a human person with intrinsic value and rights. Even if Whatever. Even without the success. It’s shelter on the journey.

    I really liked the fictitious Noisy Stompy Disorder because that’s a fantastic name. Khan, I hope you don’t mind if I use it.

    Let’s say I have NSD. The bottom line is I need to work on my shit and figure out how to not make life so difficult and loud for myself and everyone around me. But where I am right now is terrified to get out of bed and go down the hall to the bathroom because my disruptive footfalls will potentially remind everyone, especially myself, that I have yet to sort myself out. I need to talk to other people with NSD who walk down the hall to the bathroom like they have every right, because I’ll look at them and see it’s true. I need people reminding me that I, specifically, have every right to walk down the hall to the bathroom, and that anyone who tells me I should not be allowed to do that if I involuntarily walk noisy is not someone I should listen to, especially if that person is me. Literally everybody in my life will be better off if I go ahead and stomp down the hall to the bathroom when I need to. Yes, even if it’s 2am. Yes, even if I’m trying not to have this problem at 2am. No, it’s not ideal, but that’s not the biggest priority at that moment.

    In fact, it turns out people are somewhat relieved about me stomping down the hall to the bathroom because they’ve been worried about me. They’re more happy about proof of life than annoyed at the ruckus. When I explain the situation they help me get a rug for the hall. They didn’t realize that was why I’d requested the rug, but now that I’m more confident about my right to walk down the hall to use the bathroom, I’m able to articulate it more clearly in terms of basic needs and related accommodations for Noisy Stompy Disorder. They offer to go with me to the store so I can have a look at some cushioned slippers. Suddenly I’ve moved from bedridden, flown right past meeting my basic needs, and arrived at the beginning of making my disorder less disruptive.

    That’s pretty close to what has actually happened in my life. Distress about my issues has been very counterproductive to my recovery. I’m doing much better with learning to advocate for myself, particularly in my own head. I suppose I could take this as a sign to stop trying and make other people dance around my problems indefinitely, but if I were okay doing that I would never have been in this situation in the first place.

    I’m sure that’s not how everyone operates. I can’t think of many things more personal than mental health recovery. And even for me, with needs that align very well with what’s available to me via Kintsugi, I only get out what I put in. Nobody can read my mind and determine what I might need at any moment without me asking, and I’m unlikely to find that the solution has fortuitously made its way into my lap while I sat quietly.

    That’s my essay on What I Did over Summer Break why I don’t think Kintsugi is anti-recovery. And why I think learning to accept and live with your illness can be the first step in learning to fight it.

    If it’s not an effective tool for someone, I’m totally in favor of them asking for what they need, even if they have to noisy-stomp their way in. Maybe they won’t be able to get what they need here, but they might if they’re able to communicate the problem. I think this thread is a good thing. I’m happy people are making suggestions, and responding to the ones they’re willing and able to help with. I do think it’s a good idea to have resources on hand for people who still don’t find it helpful, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable if people still end up having to ask about it if they need it, rather than having it land fortuitously on their lap when they visit the site.
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