Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Good news and bad news are matters of perspective.
Bad news: Friendships and marriages do not always last.
Good news: We have power over our response.
One possibility is to hide. In our houses, under a workload, or staring at a phone, we can wear cold smiles, vowing no one again will get close enough to cause us pain. Such a decision rarely works for our best. Loneliness grows when we disconnect.
A healthier choice is to reach out despite our feelings. Bruised and weak, anger, confusion, self-loathing, or a depressed mood may fill our days. Making a call, sending a text, or meeting up with friends is challenging when we hurt. It is risky too.
Yet this is the very reason to reach out. We need support, second opinions, and distraction from our troubled thoughts.
Create your good news
How does one reach out knowing something unpleasant might happen? We just do. A therapist once suggested that to fight isolation I go to a convenience store late at night and chat with a clerk. Going to church, speaking with co-workers, attending a local game – each idea has merit. Sometimes helping others through volunteerism is a positive way to escape a self-protective cage.
Small steps are monumental when recovering from damaged trust. Since emotional safety does matter, take time to observe a person in social situations before leaping into a full friendship. Listen for clues to his or her attitude and notice character traits. Once the safety test is passed, seize the opportunity to trust again. It is the best bet we have.
When a friendship or marriage is lost, we may feel alone. This can change. Let us hope instead of hide, and find as well as be the kind of people we want to know.
**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral 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 are yours.