Reprinted. Original Date: Sept 30, 2010
Personal Development: Feeling Sad or Depressed
I had a series of incidents in my life that threw me into a tail spin. None of my tools were working and nothing anyone said helped.
My dad is terminal and I care for him full time. I received a call from the Hospice social worker, who knew I was having a tough time. I was already on a call, so I didn’t speak with him.
Later, I had this image in my mind that I was in a whirlwind and I was reaching out with my entire arm, but kept missing everyone who reached out to help. I was feeling utterly alone and overwhelmed.
A friend came to stay for a few days and it really helped just to laugh and relax. As we talked and I started to feel better, I said, “I felt like I was waist deep in the mud and slowly sinking and you were trying to throw me a rope.”
She looked surprised and said, “I had a picture in my mind that I was pulling you out of a hole or something similar.”
What had bothered me about it was that the mud felt ok. It was familiar—almost comfortable. Isn’t that the way? Isn’t that why change is so scary? Life may suck, but at least you know what to expect, right?
It’s a little different for me, since any situation like this can help me understand and assist my clients better. But for most of you, these feelings can be overwhelming; and without proper tools or mentors, they can last much longer than they need to.
When you feel yourself slipping into that oh-so-familiar rut and you can’t seem to pull yourself out, get help. Talk with your pastor, priest, or rabbi. Talk to friends you trust, your partner, or find a counselor or a coach.
It’s way too easy to get caught up in the feelings when you are dealing with it alone. And remember, the mud may feel familiar—comfortable even—but it is not safe. It reminds me of a quote by Anais Nin:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”