The expert in the room.

Do you know what irritates me?

I am fifty-years-old.

That’s not it. The “irritated” bit comes later.

I have suffered from an eating disorder for thirty-nine of those years. With anxiety for all of them. Depression for thirty-three. That’s a lot of time. And I haven’t wasted it all.

I have read and talked and discussed and researched. I am a font of information. I am not always good at executing the things I know, but I understand a lot. So, I get testy when people who aren’t me and haven’t spent years studying assume they’re the experts in the room.

I know they mean well. It’s good to know that. It helps me not to resent. It helps me avoid lashing out in the moment. But though they mean well, they are uninformed about many of the realities of eating disorders.

Giving advice from a place of ignorance is something people should avoid doing.

Listen to the experts in the room.

Which is a nice segue, I think.

We are in the age of social media. Of computers and instant connections. Of click-bait. Of education by headline. Which is all well and good when the issues aren’t serious.

Enter the coronavirus. Which is, or at least can be serious. For some, it can be very serious. It spreads like wildfire and it is having an unprecedented effect on our societies. We are being asked, by experts to live very different lives.

We are asked to avoid other people. To wash our hands copiously. To keep a six-foot bubble. To quarantine if we feel ill. We are asked to do this to minimize the spread and to stop vulnerable people from dying and to stop the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

It’s sensible advice given by experts who have, cumulatively, hundreds of years of expertise.

Far too many are ignoring it.

They based their decisions and actions on wants and social media rants. They talk about “their rights” to do what they want.

This has never been a thing. We have moderated societal behaviours since we started to group up. Yes, this is more extreme. It is also temporary. Though “temporary” does not mean days and weeks. It will be some time before things return to normal.

But stop believing every random Joe with a social media account. Be a critical consumer.

Listen to the experts in the room.

*Corona Virus (COVID 19): Prevention and risk.

4 thoughts on “The expert in the room.

  1. Wow, glad I’m no longer on social media. I stopped checking back in January before I was aware of all this. I stopped because I was utterly and completely bored of it, and it took time away from more important projects. Clearly I quit just in time, before panic mode kicked in, whew.
    I absolutely love this post by the way! I’m, as of yesterday, 56. I’ve had an ED my entire life, it’s chronic. What gets me going? Nearly all the data on “older” people with EDs are those who started having EDs in later years. So, it’s either teens or late bloomers. I suppose they expect the rest of us to be dead. Among other reasons, this is why treatment centers are pointless, even harmful, in my opinion. The groups they have don’t apply to people who already have a lifetime of life management skills and well-developed wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do expect you to get dead. The staff at the last treatment centre actually told me they were surprised I was still alive. It is a difficult thing to live with – congrats on doing that. Recovery is such a hard road; getting your brain back is very difficult. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. Blessing and stay healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

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