There is nothing better than being a Christian at Christmas. You have got everything going for you as Jesus is going to be reborn, and both mentally and physically you are going top have a darn good time. Not only that, it is a great time to pass on the word and assistance of God of others around you, and that is what happened to me recently.
Don’t get me wrong, no conversion was being attempted, as the speaker was well aware of my baptismal status etc but, being aware of my depression, the words that you see below came my way
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
I have such words before, or words that are very similar, so I allowed them to slide pass me like super slim eel, but it got me thinking about things, especially the way that we handle our depression
How often do we take responsibility for our own recovery programs, and if we do so, how much work do we expect others, associated with such a program to do?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware that in cases of severe depression or severe mental illness, that external assistance is both essential and at tomes obligatory, but, as regards most of us , do we not have the power to at least partially control our own lives.
sounds a bit tough, well just stop a moment, then carry on reading below
To my mind there are four distinct avenues that any mental illness sufferer (outside of severe cases can observe). and such avenues can be summarised as below.
- Give in and drift in the prevailing current
- Seek divine guidance and resolution
- Seek medical guidance and resolution
- Pull up your drawbridge and seek inner guidance and resolution
- Be honest, really honest with who you are, and work with any appropriate help that is out there
Sounds easy, especially the Options 1,2, and 3, but are they always the best options to chose?. Let’s go through them one by one.
Anyone who has suffered mental illness has probably thought about such an option, as, at times it seems to be either the only thing to do, or the easiest thing to do, but is it really such a wise option?
Sure, like a bit of driftwood swept along with a tide, it is easier to do nothing and just go with the flow, but what if you want to want to swim against such a current, or at least be somehow pulled out of such a tide? Someone or something might bump you out of the mess that you are in, but equally a new direction might be mor painful and destructive, or with a another nudge you may well end up in the same rip tide
So what is the point of simply drifting, and where is the joy in simply awaiting the next kick or thump to come along?
Why not look up and see if others are around to help u=you, and maybe even send you in a anew direction, one that you may never have considered going towards before. Where are such people or sources, or where is such help to be found?
Imagine, if you will, that you are lost and you find yourself standing in front of a signpost in the middle of nowhere. There is nobody else around, and even if you were looking for a guide you have no idea who that guide might be, what he she or it looks like, or even if the guide in question will appear to you in a form that is in any way recognisable.
To make things worse you have no idea wether such a guide exists in the first place, so what do you do, you seek divine intervention.
You just stand there and pray, or whatever that someone, or somebody, will be sent down from some unknown and possibly nonexistent location, and, upon arrival, give you an answer to all your problems so as to send you successfully on your way.
When you consider the desperate plight that you may be in, is it realistic to expect such a level of intervention; or is it more likely that nothing will happen and that you will be left standing there.
I can work of course, and many depressives are, I am sure, helped by their faith or by adopting such an approach, but I wonder how much longer lasting strength can be acquired
Ask a medic
There are times when medical intervention is absolutely essential, and I am not going to be stupid enough to stand here and say that such intervention is wrong or in any way a waste of time, but in less extreme cases problems begin to emerge
The first problem is this. Most depressives I have met or spoken to talk of a different world that they inhabit, and a world that they cannot fully explain to those outside of such a realm.
Additionally those outside of such a realm can never really enter that world, let alone the mind of the sufferer who inhabits such a world alone. Even the medics can only assess what is going on in that world,and how good can their assessment be when the only witness is one who cannot fully translate such a place into words?
Finally many Medics face one final problem set which I doubt will ever go away. Money is short, time is short, and worst of all, we, as patients, are all to fond of demanding an instant miracle cure. Hence the quick fix antidepressant, hence the regulated treatment package by which many a doctor, especially a aG.P or family doctor has to abide
All to often the patient and the Medic find themselves separated by a very high, and very thick wall. There are no holes, there are no doors, and there is rarely a true translation service, that both parties can use or understand
Seeking inner guidance
I wonder whether any sufferer HASN’T tried this option
Logically, and rationally, it seems to make sense, and thereby the best of the options so far, but is this always so?
Logically and rationally there is the fact that you are aware of the land you live in, you may well now more about why you are there than anyone else. With such knowledge logic intimates that you, the sufferer, of all people, should know the best way forward, and thereby be able to formulate a cure
This approach can work, and I’m sure there are many recorded examples of such success stories, but it is also a path that harbours many hidden dangers
To begin with Logic and rational behaviour and, all to often, nothing to do with mental illness. When you are suffering from mental illness, in all it’s forms, you are often dealing with an invisible force that has no form, no words, and no identifiable power of it’s own. You know that “it” is there, you know that “it” is an incredibly dangerous force and a powerful enemy, and you know that the damn think will kick you where it hurts most without any warning
You also know that when you are really down you are probably to weak and too confused to think or function properly, and if you are lucky enough to crawl back up the ladder, then the wretched thing slips away and hides
So what I would say is this. It can work in isolation, but if such a course of action is taken, try and ensure that your body and mind are in a fit state to try such a course of action. False dawns, can be very alluring, but they can also bring you crashing to the ground
Self awareness and acceptance of help
The toughest things I have ever done in my life are to face up to who and what I am, to reinvent who I am, and then to both accept that I need assistance with my depression from others, and to accept that it’s ok to do so
It has been emabarresing, distressing, humiliating, and incredibly painful yo do so, especially mentally; and I’m not even too sure that such actions have really resulted in a cure, yet I am here. I am writing, I am very happily married, and I know exactly who I am, warts and all
So if I can do it, why can’t you?
I’ve told myself, and everybody else around me, that I can’t do it, and I have used every word within my internal dictionary to prove that I’m not worthy or worth it, and that such things never will or can be done. But I’ve also sobered up and realised that I must do it, and do so with the help of friends, family, and professional around me, for try as I might I cannot do it alone
Don’t be fooled though; it is a very tough and potentially filthy thing to do, and by engaging in such a course of action,unbearable memories or scenarios may well come and stand by your side. But then what have you got to lose?
You’ve fought the battle, and never quite won it, and even if you think you have won it, the damn thing trips you up and throws you back down to the ground, so why not bring in reinforcements that are only two happy to stand by your side?
Time draws on, and a mug of hot coffee is standing by my side, so this post will close now, but not before all the points are drawn together. I am not saying there is any right or wrong way to combat mental illness, as everyone must find a way, or a series of ways, that suits them, but what I firmly believe is that part of the cure or coping mechanism must come from within.
So it that I leave all of you with a new years resolution, however tough or hard it may seem.
You have a life and a body, your life, and your body, that you alone can truly control. Wherever you are, and whatever problem face you, use your body, and your mind to create a better world for you and for those that love you, and, while you are about it, let the world hear your song
I hope you enjoy or find strength from the video below. Have a good new year. Really make sure you have a good new year!