I never want to be famous.
Fortunately, that’s not very likely.
If you’re like me, though, you’ve imagined having some of the perks. Influence, financial benefits, maybe free invites to cool places…
Then I read the recent news about Naomi Osaka. (Here’s one article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/31/sports/tennis/naomi-osaka-quits-french-open-depression.html
) There seems to be a lot of baggage that goes with being famous, including high expectations and an overabundance of public opinion.
I also thought about how difficult it can be to work with and deal with mental health issues. On the one hand, depression and anxiety are real health issues that require awareness, prevention and/or treatment. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to expect persons to honor their commitments, whether to work or school or family, including difficult ones. We probably run into somewhat similar situations all the time in our own lives. On the one want to be understanding and gracious of someone’s struggles with grief or mental health or physical health. On the other hand, the work needs to be done or proficiency demonstrated. It’s not usually helpful in the long run to have no requirements or standards either. Even as I write this, I am thinking of the arguments that may be running through readers’ minds on one side or the other and trying not to get caught up in “what abouts” or “yes buts.”
These issues are something we wrestle with in therapy regularly. The balance usually lies somewhere in between the two hands, and it is different for everyone because no two persons or their situations are the same. I believe we can be gracious and understanding and help persons find and use their strengths. I also believe we can always do better to both address our faults and to have reasonable expectations, and more to help persons rise to meet those expectations.
Finding those strengths, helping find that balance, watching persons grow into their fullest selves might be where we get the most joy as we practice therapy. It’s not easy - sometimes it takes a lot of effort and time. But every bit of growth is worth it.
(We’d be happy to help you find joy too. You can easily contact us through our website or our Facebook page.)
PC: Pablo García Saldaña