Help Cure MI

Add another one to the list of invisible chronic conditions suffered in silence by millions. People rarely open up about it, but it is real, believe you me, and can be very painful. What I’m talkin’ about here is a new cause du juor: MI or Massive Insecurity.

Lisa Kogan, a columnist over at Oprah Magazine (which I read only in doctor’s waiting rooms, I swear!) has penned a heartfelt piece on the trial and tribulations of MI:

Kogan_mi “My first bout of MI hit in seventh grade, right before Marcy Needleman’s roller disco bat mitzvah party,” one patient bawls. “How many nights have I lain awake asking myself the same question: Why, why, why did I choose that day to try parting my hair down the side?”

From my side, I was looking over question #22 of the new 52-questions meme and thinking, my Worst Enemy? Why self-doubt, of course.

Looking back at photos now, I can see that I was actually a very hot teenager. But I never had a single boyfriend all through Jr. High or High School. What’s up with that? MI, for sure!

Even when I was good at stuff, like the newspaper, I always opted for a “background role” like copy editor, rather than being in charge of anything that might plunge me into limelight. Why? MI.

Now be honest people, most of you suffer MI, too, right? Or at least you have several friends and a great aunt who has it.

What started this epidemic of insecurity?” Kogan asks. And she’s just so darn funny that I have to quote her verbatim here:

“Maybe we were all left to cry it out in our cribs for too long, and it kept us from developing a healthy sense of entitlement. Or maybe we were held so much and hugged so close that it rendered us incapable of standing on our own two feet with any real confidence. Maybe we should blame our fathers, if for no other reason than it serves as a delightful change of pace from blaming our mothers.”

Or maybe it doesn’t matter who started it. What matters is that we don’t seem to know our own worth. What matters is that we still worry the cool kids won’t want to eat lunch at our table… So here are the choices: We could either hold a telethon to fight MI and perhaps raise enough money to get scientists started on a vaccine that will wipe the damn thing out once and for all. I mean, if we can destroy an entire layer of ozone in my lifetime, how hard can it be to get rid of our insecurities? Or we could decide to take a risk, say what we think, get up and dance, wear our crow’s-feet like crinkly little badges of honor, acknowledge that it can be really, really scary to face the world head-on armed with nothing more than a strong sense of irony and a good pair of shoes—and then do it anyway.

Kogan’s holding out for the vaccine, but we PWDs know how long these things can take. Me? I’m putting on my very favorite Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes and going for it, from now on.


2 Responses

  1. RichW
    RichW July 11, 2007 at 11:44 am | | Reply

    My wife and I have two daughters who are now adults and we have two grandchildren. Watching our children grow and now our grandchildren at two and four I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re born with MI in some or many aspects of our lives. That sounds sad but then why should we be surprised. We can’t significantly alter the physical characteristics we’re born with and I imagine we could all agree that we are born with the physical characteristics we have as adults. I say that with the understanding that indulging in unhealthy behaviors, accidents, or sickness can alter our physical characteristics. The same thing applies to MI. You can probably find relatives that have the same MI you have.

    I just attended my 40th high school reunion and I was surprised how many people actually shared the MI they experienced in high school. For most of them, it wasn’t apparent. The good news here is that unlike being very short when you really wish you were very tall, you can overcome your MI. It’s not easy but it can be done. I taught high school for 10 years and I wish that there was a class about MI in grammar school so that young people could learn that their MI could be overcome. What a gift to young people. You might be on to something here. Now you’ve got me thinking, what would be the objectives of the MI class? Hum let’s see.

  2. Island in the Net
    Island in the Net July 14, 2007 at 4:41 am | | Reply

    Sounds like we could all use a little perspective. I took a course called the Landmark Forum in early June and it made a profound impact in how I approach professional and personal relationships. It has helped me identify the behaviours and thoughts that prevented me from having confidence in how I interact with people and has increased my level of personal productivity.

Leave a Reply