7 January 2021
Across the globe, the mental toll of the pandemic is evident as suicide rates climb. The ones that “gave up” in the last year and surrendered to this dark void, have been weighing heavily on my mind. One, in particular, was a bubbly enthusiastic woman with a larger than life personality. When she walked into a room, her presence immediately became known. She had this fresh air of warm sunshine that surrounded her. Hearing that she had committed suicide, and finding out later than her computer search history indicated that she’d been planning it for about a month, was a huge shock to us all.
For the past couple of days, my anxiety levels have been through the roof. I’m thankful for hope and a belief in a better tomorrow. I’m thankful that I’ve learned how to silence the overthinker. I’m thankful for a compassionate, understanding rock of man in my life. I’m thankful for my relationship with God. I’m thankful for my friends.
Every day we see more homeless people, more beggars, more people who have lost it all. What scared me into this “state” was the fact that so many of them are my age. People who had it all: the job, the house, the white-picket-fence family. They had it all and, because of this pandemic, they’ve lost it all. Just like that; gone, everything that they’ve worked for.
I look at these people and my heart shatters for them. I go to bed at night and count my blessings, every single one of them, and I am humbled by God’s favor over me and my family. In all honesty, if I didn’t have that, I don’t know where I would be. It is quite easy for me to see how someone could fall into the trap of helplessness.
the inability to defend oneself or to act effectively.
“worst of all is the feeling of helplessness”https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/
a- the inability to defend oneself
Being helpless in a difficult situation is something that I’m sure most of us have experienced. You see that promotion that you’ve worked so hard for being snatched away from you and given to someone else. You see downright stupid decisions being made by government or other authority figures and all you can do is stand there, shake your head and comply. I’m drawn to think of victims of domestic abuse who are smaller and weaker than an abuser
b- the inability to act effectively
When you are unable to do something about any particular situation, the sense of helplessness is debilitating, and this is the point where all is lost and far too many surrender to the darkness. With any loss, there needs to be a grieving process. If like me, you are rather emotional, this process is easy. Unfortunately, we live in a society of “pretend” and “cowboys don’t cry”. We build fences and put up facades of a perfect life and put up the ideological image of a Utopian life because we want to be better and stronger than the Jones’.
The 7 Stages of grief, as given by Helpline, are:
- Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
- Pain and guilt. …
- Anger and bargaining. …
- Depression. …
- The upward turn. …
- Reconstruction and working through. …
- Acceptance and hope.
At stage 7 is then the point where we need to be in tune with our friends and family and colleagues.
People will display shock, denial, pain, guilt, anger, and bargaining without any problems. When depression kicks in and they go quiet, this is where many find it difficult to reach out. That then is the point where they need someone to take by the shoulders, look them squarely in the eye and tell them:
It’s OK not to be OK! Stop, breath, scream, cry…. do whatever it takes, but just know that it’s OK not to be OK
This song by Demi Lovato and Marshmello is on, what feels like, a constant repeat on my phone at the moment. It’s become my mantra and I just breathe through it.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I am here to tell you today, It’s OK not to be OK. Stop pretending, stop fighting, just stop. Breathe. It’s OK. You will make it through this. There is always tomorrow and you have no idea what miracle awaits with the dawn of a new day. It’s OK