Thursday, May 3, 2012
Sounds cooky but follow me here....
No matter how successful someone is, no matter how happy they may seem in public, you never know what state of mind one has when the spotlight is off. Having gone through the darkness myself, it is illogical, overwhelming, and not based in reality. When we are in the throws of despair, nothing is as it appears. The lows are crushing, optimism is non-existent, and there seems to be no end in sight. You don't want to infect the people you love with your problems, you don't want to talk about it, you don't know what to do... it is paralyzing. The only recourse seems to be to turn it off. If you don't have another option to deal with it, eternal darkness actually seems a better option. If you have never had the pleasure, take it from me, it is life-altering – pun intended!
How does a so-called intelligent, healthy, normal human being get in this position?
Medical Doctors profess a chemical imbalance, which can be controlled by a prescription, in my case it did NOT work. Besides the fact I hate pills and believe the body can heal itself in many (but not all!) instances, the side-effects were awful and did nothing to make me feel better. Some folks find success in this, so don't misunderstand, I am not saying it's bad – just NOT for me. And FYI, many people in-the-know say the imbalance can be greatly reduced by some physical activity. The only problem is, when you are feeling down, the LAST thing you want to do is sweat to the oldies...
There IS the psychological path to take as well, and I know many, many people find relief going there. While the mild forms of depression can be handled by your physician, severe cases should be treated by mental health specialists. What is severe? Substance abuse, problems with daily functions, or other psychiatric issues are labeled as severe.
I would hope these treatments come after we try the basics that work for the vast majority of people on earth.
I don't just mean we work AND play.
I don't just mean we exercise AND eat healthy.
I don't just mean we help ourselves AND help others.
I don't just mean we wash AND dry our dishes.
I don't just mean we take responsibility for what we do AND accept what happens after.
I don't just mean we start the day on the RIGHT side of the bed AND make an attempt to stay there the rest of the day.
I don't just mean we learn to forgive AND not forget that WE will need forgiveness at some point too.
I don't just mean we enjoy the GOOD days, AND realize that bad days come along, sometimes more often than we think is fair.
I don't just mean we stay happy with what we like about ourselves AND do something about what we aren't.
I don't just mean we have compassion for those we know AND for for those we don't.
I mean ALL OF IT.
There is no magic pill, no one thing we can do to overcome everything we are dealing with. Without balance, we spin out of control, to who knows where. Between you and me, that doesn't sound like fun, especially when we have the means to help ourselves live in a happy, healthy, positive, satisfying, and forgiving place that others will want to join.
When life is suddenly ended for someone close to us, we have our perspective changed, long-term or short. That perspective usually is to live a happier life and stop stressing about things we can't control. Why does it take a loss to see what should be so clear to all of us? Our vision gets clouded with the crap that, when you look back a year from now, you wouldn't even remember.
Do yourself a favor.
The next time you feel anger, take a breath and look at the problem from every angle, not just yours.
The next time you feel down or depressed, take a breath and know that you CAN outlast it. There ARE options. You ARE stronger than you can ever imagine and can accomplish much more than you have thus far.
The next time you put in a week that seems to be ALL work, take a breath and enjoy what fills your heart with joy. Even if it only is for a few minutes, joy should NEVER be put on the back-burner.
The next time you see someone who needs help, don't let them ask. Just help and enjoy the fact you CAN. No gratuity required.
The next time you do something wrong, make a bad choice, or are just plain stupid, take a breath and accept it is no one's fault. It's just a reaction to your action. Eventually you will get tired of making bad decisions and you will think ahead and weigh the consequences of what you decide to do.
The next time you feel the darkness closing in, understand we ALL get a visit every now and then. You are NORMAL. You HAVE options. You ARE worth the effort.
Enjoy the opportunity to look in the face of bleakness and smile, knowing joy is moments away.