Different is not difficult

Thursday February 3, 2022

A chum was popping round for dinner. Ahead of time, he sent me a text detailing what he could and could not eat. It wasn’t through choice, but for good solid allergy reasons.
I told him it was no issue; clarified a couple of things and said we’d sort out something tasty. And we had a great time. He thanked me profusely. ‘Sorry for being difficult’ he said. I thought about it later and clarified it afterwards. He wasn’t being difficult; he was telling me what didn’t make him ill. Why use the word difficult? Oh, he said, that’s what the family say.
I was appalled. Difficult? Really? To a family member? How does that work? If the family member has only one leg, are they being difficult in slowing everyone down when out for a run?
My work involves preparing reports for Court. We are taught that we can’t use words like disseminated or distributed (as in funds); they are capable of subtext which is not positive for a defendant. Paid is the word we should use (and if you think I am being difficult over this, you haven’t had the debate on subtext with a barrister when in a witness box).
Paid is factual, unemotive and uncontroversial. It is also entirely objective. So is ‘different’.
Difficult, on the other hand, implies fault. It is subjective.
Also, difficult for whom? The family? Yes, it’s a shame that one of them must have different food. It’s a shame that two meals must be provided. But that’s what a family is about. If one person loves peanuts and another is badly allergic to them, who gives way? To me it’s obvious and I’d describe anyone continuing to want to eat peanuts in such circumstances as difficult (and other words too, all unrepeatable and entirely subjective).
If I want your company and I must eat differently, so what? I have friends who don’t eat pork for religious reasons.  Visiting them reminds me that I eat too much bacon. It doesn’t mean I avoid them. Your company is more important than my convenience.
Having mental health issues makes us different from a lot of the population. It doesn’t make us difficult. It makes us, us.
Not difficult, different. And Vive La Difference!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 44 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.