Guest post by a friend of mine
The Crock Pot Method of Sharing Ideas with Others
I really love these ideas! And it could apply to much more than just mold illness or MCS. My friend writes:
I’ve been discouraged lately. I have tried to share with friends and family what I have learned about mold avoiding. I’ve emailed them articles, and shared links, and talked about my own experiences with mold. I’ll admit that having them understand would be wonderful for me, but some of these people are also mold affected and don’t realize it! It’s tough knowing your friends are sick and believing you could have the answers for them. If they would only listen. But, they won’t.
I put it all in their microwave (brain) hoping that they will quickly come up with the same conclusions I did. Somehow, between the text I type, and their understanding, they must hear: “Sell all you own, shave your head bald, and join the circus.” I swear, I never once mentioned the circus 😉.
Seriously, and as frustrating as I know it is, they are not going to hear us. Not until they are ready. And they may never be ready.
So, stop thinking of this as a microwave: instant on! Think of it more like the crock pot method of sharing. You add an ingredient, it cooks, and then you add another ingredient and that stews for awhile. Not too quickly, or all at once, but a little at a time as they can receive it. Eventually, one day, you hope that person will lift the lid and say: “Oh, my goodness, it’s what you’ve been saying all along, it’s a STEW!” But, it might be a slower process than you had hoped!
In my case, the first day I heard about mold injury, I was convinced and ready to dump all my stuff and move to the next phase of my life. But, the only reason I was ready to hear was because I had spent so many years as a chemical avoider already. Having CFS/Fibro/MCS for 30+ years had prepared me. I was constantly looking for answers and ready to try ANYTHING to get better. When I heard about mold, it was like: “FINALLY AN ANSWER!” This will not be everyone’s experience.
The other night while chatting with a friend it came to me – we aren’t going to win them by expecting a microwave response, but, we may win them by using the crockpot method. S-l-o-w-l-y, p-a-i-t-i-e-n-t-l-y.
Here are my best words of advice suggestions when trying to convince people that mold is dangerous and could be causing their health problems:
- “Would you like to hear what happened to me in my moldy house?” I didn’t mean WAIT to be asked before you share what you know. I am saying when an opportunity comes up, ask the person if they would like to hear your story. Waiting for a response and reaction will help you to know how much, and how soon, to share. Recently, I met someone who had health issues who shared with me that her husband grew up in a home with mold issues that was eventually condemned because of mold. I assumed she wanted to hear my story. Actually, she didn’t. She told me even if it was mold, they were not prepared to change their lifestyles. I needed to accept that. I had given her a little, but only as much as she was willing. Hopefully at some point I can give her more, but it must be her choice. I am learning not to push. So, always ask for permission to share.
- When they ask you a question, try to answer only their question. It’s tempting to send them 400 articles and two documentaries and links to Mold Avoidance Forums the minute they ask you a question. If they have asked you how long you were sick, try to answer the question – “I was sick for 12 years, until I got out of the mold.” Giving them too much, too soon, will only sent them scampering away. Ask me how I know this!
- Resist the urge to preach. “You know, you will NEVER get better unless you do x, y, z.” That may be true, but using crockpot method, you want them to come up with this themselves once they have all information. If it is their idea to join the circus, er um Mold Avoider’s Forum, then they will be much more receptive.
I know that not being understood and worse yet, trying to help people who seemingly do not want your help, can be so frustrating, but don’t ever give up. Slow and steady wins the race. Determine to add a little to the pot at a time. I can’t guarantee that they will get it one day, but I can guarantee they will not, if you try to push too much, too soon. Put the microwave away and get out that crockpot.
Thank you so much, my friend!!! This is brilliant.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books Edgemont, SD 57735