Are you hurting on the inside at this moment? Maybe you are reading this because you feeling bad about something.
Some problems are not only painful but seem to be impossible to fix. The internet is full of information. Unfortunately, much of it is designed to mislead or to separate you from your cash. It may not offer you much help if you are already confused about things. So, where do you turn for answers?
I wish I had quick fixes for your problems and mine. I do not. What I have is something even better in the long run: a hope which comes from faith. With that, I can keep my sanity and continue loving the people around me even when things do not get fixed.
Here is a way to start your own journey to deal with the hurt:
First, take some quiet time and accept yourself. Be gentle to yourself. You are who you are at this very moment: stardust, a child of God. You have made mistakes and yet, today, you are starting on a better path. Give yourself a break.
Next, one way or another, you are going to need a little hope. Without it, you will lack motivation to take any positive action in your life. Life without hope is like life without sunshine. We are left shivering and immobile.
This does not mean hope that everything will be fixed just the way you want it. Other people may or may not change or do what you want them to do. This is the kind of hope that can give you a happier life, regardless of how other people choose to behave.
Hope can come when you take a small step in a direction your heart knows is right. A little action is required here. For an addict, this might mean talking to someone at a treatment center. Just talking about options for now might open the door and let in a little light.
Helping someone else with no expectation of a pay-back is another way to restore a little hope.
The third suggestion I have is to consult with people who have made it to the place in life you hope to reach. Look for kind people and run from users and double-talkers. When you find the right person(s), find out what they did, and continue to do, to overcome the same obstacles you face. Start doing some of those things yourself, over and over again.
For me, I cannot start down the third suggestion without having done some work on the first two. Someone could bring me a gold-plated solution to whatever is bothering me, and without some self-directed gentleness and the light of hope, I would turn right away from it. Oh, sure, my eyes might light up for a second. It’s just that my spirit wouldn’t be able to sustain any action without gentleness and hope.
Finally, use the “Five Percent Rule” to help you continue along the way. This means not trying to solve everything in three hours. Bite off a small piece just for today and let momentum guide you along.
Do you have a comment? I would love to hear from you.
Are you trying to help a loved one who suffers from mental illness? Millions of Americans are in this position, loving, caring and hurting alongside someone with such an illness.
As a lawyer, I work with mentally ill individuals regularly. I see the endless referrals to psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. No easy solutions exist, and family members’ struggle can seem never ending. It can be a roller coaster ride. Sort of like life itself.
Many of the professionals who treat mental illness are wonderful, caring individuals. They understand the problems; they put together comprehensive plans to address them. These plans often involve prescription medications. However, there are limits to what you might call “scientific” or “medical” approaches to these problems.
No plan can be effective unless it is carried out consistently over time. The taking of medication is a thorny problem. This can be ground zero for disputes over patient rights. Unless observed or compelled, many people forget to take their medications or refuse to do so, citing bad side effects. Others persist in believing they do not need medication. These are painful situations for loved ones trying to help.
When I can, I urge people to look for other means of help. I want to help people find a tool that can ease suffering and sometimes lead to solutions. There is always a Hope Line somewhere. A grassroots organization called NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has helped many people.
Sometimes a “spiritual” approach can produce positive changes, where nothing else seems to work. This does not mean abandoning professional, therapeutic approaches. It means hitting a problem from multiple angles.
God has worked miracles with countless alcoholics and addicts, healing lives and providing a means to recovery. Likewise, God can bring new hope, power and light to mentally ill persons and their care providers. I have seen it happen. Life takes on new meaning as people find new ways of living and a sense of purpose.
Do you have a story or suggestion that can help people dealing with challenges like these? I would love to hear from you. Send me a comment!