When we’re in the midst of a storm it’s often difficult to see past our worries and fears and find solid ground. For me solid ground is not when the sun comes out and the birds start chirping. It’s when I have clear vision and can think logically and make good decisions. That doesn’t mean I don’t cry and give in to my feelings, sometimes, but if I do, I don’t let myself stay there for long. At some point there will be plenty of time to breathe a sigh of relief, or grieve, but for now….
I need to be the one person I know I can always count on.
We’ve all seen news stories on television—and known people—whose response to a crisis is to start screaming and crying. That’s the worst thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us. It only makes matters worse. It ratchets up our emotions and makes us feel even more panicky and out of control, plus we’re not thinking about how to get out of the burning building. Regardless of what we’re facing, we must FIRST get ourself under control.
Don’t let your mind go blank with fear. Instead, breathe and slow down, and think about the next step. What is the next thing we need… our loved one needs? Do we need a second medical opinion or the best doctor? Or like when I felt like I was going to pass out at the Rolling Stones concert in Italy, last year… I didn’t wait to see if I felt worse. I left, immediately, and got help.
If you need more information before you make a decision, then make that your priority, but only seek trusted resources. As I was leaving the Stones’s concert, I said a prayer and asked God for help, and a taxi driver showed up and actually introduced himself by saying, “I am an angel, Madam.” Woah!
My mother used to say “thoughts are things.” At the time I didn’t know the importance of what she was saying, but now I know our thoughts have the power to make us physically and mentally ill. On the flip side, our mindset can make us strong enough to deal with most anything life throws at us.
I’m seriously considering writing a book, but if I do, the biggest takeaway won’t be all the unthinkable things I’ve experienced. It will be, as someone said in a note to me this week, “that I have come out on the other side and am doing well.”
I understand, all too well, that depression can come with life’s storms. In next week’s blog, I’ll offer some suggestions for coping with depression. In the meantime, take a deep breath and know you are loved, valued and appreciated.