You learn something new everyday…the Latin name for the humble daffodil is Narcissus. They are everywhere at the moment, a symbol that spring is finally on it’s way. Personally I think they smell of pee but I think I might be alone in that!
The Latin word Narcissus is related to the Greek word narke, which means numbness. This is a reference to the daffodil’s narcotic nature because the daffodil bulb contains a toxic substance. But who knew that the little yellow flower Narcissus is also relevant in the word Narcissist. It is believed that the name of the humble daffodil was probably borne in Greek mythology.
There was a young man Narkissos, he didn’t value the people who loved him and was often cruel to them. He rejected the love of a the nymph Echo and the Gods were furious with him, so they cursed Narkissos that he would fall in love with his own reflection. He spent hours gazing at his own reflection in a lake, ultimately drowning there. In death the Myth holds that he became a flower. Yes, you guessed it, the little yellow daffodil Narcissus.
Narcissism is a much-used word now days. In all honesty I didn’t exactly know what it meant until I looked it up a few days ago whilst reading an article about the current POTUS! So, I do not profess to be an authority, I have done no research, I don’t have a PhD or even a GCSE to my name on the topic. I do know though that reading Hotchkiss Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism there is a lot that feels familiar, in particular the question ‘Why is it Always About You?’
And that brings me to ABF, who is drinking again… I say drinking again, he never actually stopped; he just stopped drinking vodka, his problem drink, for a few weeks. It was fairly predictable though because replacing vodka with any other spirits he could get his hands on was never going to solve a problem like alcoholism!
Alcoholism seems an extremely self-centered past time, particularly when you have to live with it’s effects. It seems quite narcissistic; a lot of the tendencies seem to be similar. So I am left with the question has alcoholism created the narcissistic tendencies or does he just suffer from extreme selfishness? More importantly, I guess, for me at the moment is whether knowing that will actually make a difference to my own life or how I deal with and feel about his alcoholism?
So, as well as being a sign that spring is on it’s way the humble daffodil could also be the symbol of those who suffer from the affliction of arrogance, superiority, excessive self-centeredness, and a complete failure to understand the concept of empathy. The symbol of those who have such fragile egos that they cannot tolerate criticism and who need to inflate their sense of superiority by belittling and demeaning others.
Mmmmm, I know a few people like that…I might just send them a bunch of daffodils to welcome the spring in!