Thursday, February 23, 2017

Finding Light in the Darkness

Those with rose colored glasses see the world sunny side up. I cannot tell you the number of times some Pollyanna has assured me that life is wonderful and, sure, "a little rain must fall" but that makes one appreciate the good times that much more. So cheer up!

No offense to those who are true believers and have dedicated their lives to God. He offers comfort and salvation, but when the darkness descends, even his glory is shut out. Sure there are those wrapped in their chosen denomination who believe accepting Jesus will "save" you, don't worry your life is preordained, we are all sinners, your soul will continue after your body is physically dead, or the end of days will come and only those "believers" will be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven - everyone else will be damned to Hell. In other words God, alone, can solve all your ills.

If it were this simple all the pews would be filled with those seeking instant relief. There would be no need for professional assistance. The evils of depression would easily be managed by prayer. Trust me, I was in therapy with many God fearing dedicated Christians (as well as Jews and Mormons) who had not forsaken their God or their religious beliefs. They understood just believing would not take care of them.

All this said when the dark cloud descends the last thing one is able to remember is that "life is wonderful" and, (once again) no offense to those faithful to their religious beliefs, that there is a God (or a Son  or Holy Ghost for that matter) there to save you. Even those with strong beliefs find the salvation and comfort of their religion suspended. Life feels more like the edge of Dante's Hell than earth.

One cannot see anything positive, and when it gets bad - nothing to live for. The key is catching oneself before one slides into the unstable darkness. Thankfully I have learned coping skills to use the proverbial rope to climb out instead of hanging.

I do not write this as a cry for help, I have the skills, tools, and knowledge to keep me in the light. However, I realize I am the lucky one. If your dark days are becoming darker and you start to question the meaning of life, now is the time to face reality and get help. Having someone pat you on your head, tell you life is good and look on the bright side is not helping you. This is no time for patronization.

This is the time to painfully bare your soul to someone you trust. They in turn should assist you in finding the appropriate help. Even in Pollyanna's world rain falls and tears are shed.

What you need to know is: it is OK to cry, seeking help is a "must" not a "maybe", trusting the one trying to help you is necessary, and there are no easy fixes. Also, keep in mind you are not alone. There are many out there, often friends and family, also in the shadows. Take care of yourself then you can, in turn, help someone else.

Like you are told during the Safety Demonstration on an airplane, "Breathe normally. [ ] Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are [ ] with [ ] someone who requires assistance, secure your mask, and then assist the other person."

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