Why I Cannot Give Personal Advice Over Email

ErinBlog Maintenance7 Comments

irongateI WANT TO HELP YOU. Every single one of you. I want to help every person on the planet because every person on the planet deserves help. And this world, it’s a giant ball of pain.

And I am so fortunate. I’ve had access to many forms of mental health treatment. I’ve always had a doctor (if not the best or most appropriate) to attend to the physical part of my mental illnesses, and my parents have paid for me to receive individual psychotherapy for twelve years. Neither of these things are a small feat; I am fortunate on SO many levels that I’d never be able to list them all here.

Although I am not a trained professional, mental health treatment for twelve years has provided me an excellent education in the field. Lived experience is the best teacher.

So I write. I write this blog and I post these words so that everyone who seeks them, and is fortunate enough to have internet access, is able to find them. I reveal my thoughts best through writing. This blog is the alchemy of my heart’s contents.

I encourage feedback through comments, so why do I say, “No,” to those who email me for personal guidance?

It would harm us both. Here’s why.

Why I Cannot Give Personal, One-on-One Advice over Email or other Medium

1. My Heart is Healing

To have any part of our bodies heal, we must treat wounds with special care and consideration. I have severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and unless I create boundaries around my emotional exposure to triggers, my life may be jeopardized. An outdated word for PTSD is “shell-shock.” I am in constant emotional shock and this means I am hyper-sensitive to feeling. On top of that, I’ve always been someone whose heart feels far too big. I feel like I break a thousand times a day. I may sound really stable and collected in my blog posts, but I only post my strongest and most capable thoughts and feelings here. I still have a million moments of weakness and despair.

2. I Am Not Trained for Crisis-Related Situations

Not only do I not have formal education or training around crisis care, but I have lost many friends to mental-health-related causes. I’ve had my closest online friends in the world disappear without a word of explanation. I fear that they may be dead and not knowing what happened to these friends is an incredible burden I bear. Plus, when I was a teenager, I spent an entire day with a suicidal friend, trying to help her, and she killed herself within an hour of me leaving her house. This will haunt me for the rest of my life. If something were to happen to you and I couldn’t reach you, it would traumatize me completely. Especially over the internet, if there’s an emergency I can’t send emergency help to you. I don’t have those resources. I can’t call 911 in your area because we are most likely not in the same area. And even if we are in the same area, I may not be able to get back to you for several hours even if you did reach out to me.

3. Email is Very Time Consuming

The highest-traffic day on daisiesandbruises.com resulted in 541 views. If even ten percent of those readers emailed me, I would be replying to emails all day. Every word I write is very personal to me. I give incredible thought to even short text-messages, and so emails take me a lot of time and energy to compose.

4. Blogging is My Medium

The written word has always been my greatest form of solace, and so to help people best, I know that writing is what I need to do. I have chosen the profession of a writer over every other profession in the world, including being a therapist of any sort. Blog writing especially lets me speak to hundreds of you with one post. I aim to reach millions! I want to talk to all of you at once, I want to share my advice with the world. I want it to be bookmarked and referred to later. I want a digital copy on the world wide web.

5. Comments & Blog Requests Are Most Welcome!

I want to keep my mental health discussions on this blog, so that everyone can participate. If you want to tell me that you were touched by my writing, please comment on my blog post(s) to tell me so! If you want advice on something, think about requesting a blog post on the topic. That too, you can say in comments on my blog posts.

Lastly, I know this post is hard to read and digest. I’m someone who takes everything personally, so when anyone says they can’t talk to me for whatever reason, I secretly hate them for a moment. And then I hate myself more. I have so much anger boiling around under my skin that it can be quite poisonous at times. Behind my anger is a pool of the deepest fear in the world. I know what it’s like to feel unbearably alone.

I’ve never felt truly listened to in my life, and that’s why I write. I’m tired of feeling unheard, so I speak up and put my words out where anyone who wants to hear them can hear them. I write because of a lot of people who will never read this blog, but to keep myself going, I tell myself they are reading along. It’s a wonderful backwards kind of therapy.

The best advice I have for you to feel listened to is to pick up the pen yourself. Keep a journal, write or draw out your feelings. Start a blog if you want to and even send the URL to me. We can connect through the blogosphere.

I am only one person, and I regret that I cannot answer each of you personally through email. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express those feelings of yours. Could you write your feelings in an email and send them to a supportive person in your day-to-day life? Could you print them out and take them to your first appointment with a counselor or therapist? Writing works. If you feel the need to express yourself through writing, the world is at your fingertips.

Please read my Help page if you are in crisis or need to talk to someone.

Thank you. I love you!

(If you have met me in real life and/or we have spoken previously, please ask me if this post feels confusing when it comes to our connection. ♥)

ErinWhy I Cannot Give Personal Advice Over Email

7 Comments on “Why I Cannot Give Personal Advice Over Email”

  1. Wendy

    I just wanted to to let you know I think you articulated your need for boundaries regarding emails extremely well. Boundaries are incredibly important when you are healing and susceptible to being triggered by others thoughts and behaviours.
    About two months ago I reconnected with an old friend, who also happens to be a mental health professional. She was off on disability due to workplace stressors. I didn’t realize right away but her bizarre behaviours where triggering me. The result has been that I have been in bed for two months trying to sleep my life away.
    So I hope others will be able to see just how fragile we can be and respect the boundaries you have set forth.

    All the best to you and your viewers. Keep up the good fight, if not for yourself then for others in your life.

    Wendy Xxx

    1. daisiesandbruises

      Thanks so much, Wendy. It’s such a strange thing, being triggered by others. Mostly I just feel inadequate to help people when things get really bad, and there’s always that chance. When it comes to email, I feel like I can do so little! Anyway, thanks again for your encouraging words when it comes to me asserting my boundaries. I hope this post doesn’t scare people off but actually helps them to feel safer, in the end. ♥

  2. Kinnery

    I’m very proud of you for asserting these boundaries! It’s so hard to put up those boundaries, but it’s healthy and necessary. You’re an inspiration, and I thank you for everything you do <3

  3. Aisling

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! I wish there were more people talking openly about mental health when I was a teenager and my mental health problems were setting in. I completely understand why you can’t give advice to people via e-mail, a good therapist is the best person to seek advice from, but knowing there are others out there going through similar experiences is a crack in the clouds. As a teenager and in my early twenties I felt so defective and alien but I’ve since met loads of people like me who struggle with depression. I started my blog just to vent I suppose https://themindmemoirs.wordpress.com/

  4. sairaam

    Thank you so much for this blog post. Thank you for your advice: The best advice I have for you to feel listened to is to pick up the pen yourself.

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