There’s often more than one way of resolving a problem
The pulsing cursor sits and waits patiently as I consider the title of this blog.
The more of life that we live, the more diverse the challenges, problems, or conflicts that we have to navigate. Through each of these experiences there exists an opportunity for growth of self and worldly awareness.
If I consider the philosophies of some of the great thinkers of our time, the cognitive approach to the above situations could fall into five main categories.
1) Think about the problem for a set time and then make a decision, or formulate a step by step plan to resolve the problem.
2) Talk about, or research the problem, then backed with greater knowledge, consider, or, list the options.
3) Make an immediate instinctive response/decision. Sometimes this is not always the best plan, but it’s essential to do this, for example, in an immediately dangerous situation. It’s also fair to say, that while acting on instinct is not always the best way to deal with a problem, it’s not always the worst either !
4) Turn and “run” away, cease communication, as a result of fear. (This choice, in most cases, will not provide any opportunity for self growth, but, there are always possibilities of exceptions to a rule!!)
5) Bury your head in the sand !!!! Again this is not likely to resolve a problem, but I am sure some folks have found a solution through doing nothing, or just “waiting”.
I know, that the way I might deal with or react to a situation/problem/challenge may change drastically dependent on my state of mind, and I believe that this is the case for many people be they someone who suffers with depression or not.
There are times for all of us, in our lives, when we simply feel “weighed down” by a number of problems that converge at the same time and “it” all just gets too much.
Call me old fashioned if you like……but it’s at times like these when my pen and paper are my best friends. You see, when “it” does all get too much, I “default” to my journal and write down the problems and in writing them down, or identifying them, sometimes, I can “free” my mind so that I can use more mental and emotional energy to create a strategy for dealing with the problem, instead of having this big “blockage” in my head and heart that stops the flow of creative energy.
However, sometimes I act without giving enough thought to a situation or the words I use and, in so doing, I hurt people’s feelings. This is one of my many shortcomings and too, the shortcomings of modern media because communications are so instantaneous. I have many times in my life, reacted to a situation by typing an email or text and hit that blasted “send” button before considering what it is that I’ve written. For me, there’s no excuse, I ought to know better at my stage in life !!!!
Now, there’s a flip side to this coin !!!
When “we” are weighed down with worry, feeling depressed, desperate, hopeless, fearful, suicidal, it’s extremely easy to misinterpret a situation, an email or a text…..and respond irrationally. Having felt all these things myself, and feeling them most days, I am heavily reliant on the acceptance of my nearest and dearest. I am lucky to have a few people around me that are accepting, but, and this is extremely important too, they are honest and open enough to say when I have gone too far, and they have the courage to discuss the things that I’ve said or written that may have caused them hurt…….and that is a true act of love.
My state of mind is no excuse for my behaviour, and I refuse to hide behind it…..I make the most terrible mistakes, and will do till my dying day, but, I hope I don’t make as many mistakes as I used to……though in truth I really do wonder sometimes.
I was listening yesterday, to a friend talk about her twenty six year old Son (Terry). A very creative intelligent young man who suffers terribly with depression. As I have said before it seems creativity often go hand in hand with depression. In some ways, while I listened to the challenges that Terry faces everyday, I felt a very strong degree of empathy with him.
Terry also happens to be a successful professional musician. I think what resonated with me other than the obvious aspect of music (although I am not successful) and depression, was that like me, he would rather be able to live with his depression, and keep his creativity, than be emotionally “flattened” by mind and heart numbing drugs. I completely understand that……BUT…….sometimes, me included, we need a medically prescribed drug that just takes the “edge” off the “lows”.
Terry’s Doctor couldn’t understand this. Now I have huge respect for our amazing NHS in the U.K. and the thousands of wonderful folk who dedicate their lives to helping others, but there is Still within the medical fraternity such an amazing lack of real understanding about depression.
What I wanted to say to my friend, as I listened, was that, like her son I have suicidal thoughts very often, barely a day goes by, without me thinking about it, and I am twice his age, BUT, with time, he will learn, through his music and writing to develop his own ways of coping…….but God knows when you are in the darkest of places, with demons clawing at your flesh and you feel like you are being dismembered emotionally…….I know the prospect of death is so exquisite…..and I use that description purposefully and thoughtfully, because it is.
Now in the last thirty years I have gone through almost every talking therapy, and many legal drug combinations……..as well as abstaining from alcohol, exercising every day for almost ten years, eating a “clean diet for that period, studying the subject of depression…..but nothing has worked for me better than my journal and my guitar.
So, I guess the message I would like to send out here is, a little like my blog about “freedom”………where, if you suffer with depression, or love someone who does, try to identify whatever it is that has bought you this far. If you can do this and harness that “power” within you, you may find an ally through the tough times….use your art, your exercise, your guitar, your gardening, love of rugby, your journal…….whatever it may be.
Steal yourself, reclaim your mind and soul from the demons, and allow yourself enough time….and you will, I promise find new ways for yourself to deal with your depression
I wish you all love peace and hope