Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
The little English woman who “lives” in my GPS is a bit confused at times. Once while driving on an unfamiliar freeway, she repeated “stay to the left” several times. We were entering a city populated by millions. You’ve seen that – fast and crowded with cars – the road can seem very dangerous.
Tension was rising although I had my trusty English woman telling me I was in the correct lane. Then she said, “Exit to the right.”
Really? Right now? You want me to cross two lanes of heavy traffic and exit? Now?
The last three and a half years have felt like I am in the left lane surrounded by vehicles. I’ve been stuck going one direction, focusing on survival and learning how to be the person I want to be. Then last month something changed. I don’t know exactly what it was, however I told my aunt it is as if there is a lapse in traffic and I have opportunity to switch course.
Now is not the time to hesitate, instead I must figuratively press the gas pedal to the floor to avoid being knocked out by all those oncoming cars. It is time to decide. Will I take my chance? Anxiety has disabled me at times, but I’ve been able to put into practice what I’ve learned about managing emotions, stretching my wings so to speak, and daring to fly. Willingness to take more risks, albeit tentative, is the only way I will wind-up where I want to be, as the person I hope to become.
Do you see your opportunity? Reaching out for professional help and effective support is worth the risk. Later, the pay-off is a bigger, healthier life. Hope that I believed was gone has returned even though a bit shaky. I’m moving forward in ways that quite simply were never going to be options for me again. Yet they are.
Take care of yourself in that left lane. Maybe you believe it will never happen, that the fast and furious turmoil around you will never take a break. It will. And when it does you will be strong and brave enough to pull over and exit in direction of your goals.
You can make it!
God bless you, and keep driving.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.