Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

May 27, 2008

The Rope Swings

I'm taking a step away from the relationship dramas that keep my mind busy during the day to focus on something larger today. Is it just me or does it feel like the world is ailing? From entire countries (China and Myanmar), to cities (tornado stricken towns throughout the Midwest), to institutions (greedy investment banks that fueled this credit crisis), to individuals (the many people I know or friends of friends who are battling various forms of cancer)....everything seems just "off."

I have struggled on and off with mild depression over the years, so I've been thinking that I've just been in bit of a downward spiral that existed only in mind. But after reading an email that I received tonight from a friend about another tragic story of cancer striking someone far too soon, I realize that this is not my mind playing chemical tricks on me. I only wish that was the case. Unfortunately, things just really do suck right now.

I know, I know. In the scope of history, I'm sure there have been many times when people thought, "This is as bad as the world has ever been. Surely the end is near." So perhaps this is just a blip that will be swallowed up by centuries to come. But does that really matter? All we have is the here and now and the here right now is sinking, sick, burdened with something that seems to only get worse.

I realize that I tend to take on the weight of the world, as if there was anything I could do to fix these kinds of problems. So I try very hard to only work on controlling the things within my actual power. But when those uncontrollable things start piling up, it is just plain impossible not to feel that burden.

What can I do? What can any of us do?

When I start feeling really low and helpless, I try to envision myself hanging at the end of a long, thick rope that swings slowly over a dark abyss. I can't control the abyss. I can't control the rope. But I can control how hard I grip it as it swings back and forth, back and forth. It has to stop eventually, right?

So here I am, swinging. Here we all are swinging. I guess all we can do is hold on for now. And keep looking up.



kristin said...

yes, the world seems to be imploding! Just watch the 5:00 news and they will tell you. I do remember my mom telling me that she felt the same way around the time I was born (Vietnam, Nixon, etc.) but for some reason I don't think the early 70's were quite this bad.

Shanna said...

Wow. I've noticed the same general melancholy over in my neck of the woods (Austin)--the last few weeks, heck, months, have been hard on me and the people I loved for a multitude of big and little reasons. Personally, one stupid little thing after another keeps happening, and I've been in a funk, too. But I look around, and a lot of my nearest and dearest are fighting depression, too. Just keep holding on. Nice analogy...My mantra's always been, "Nothing is static, everything's always changing." This too shall pass.

Kelly said...

You. Here. Now. Right in this moment. Breathing in and out.

That is as bad as things will ever be. Sit with that thought and just breathe. It makes me feel better when I have my freakout moments. Usually my fear of the event is always much greater than the event actually happening. And, of course, usually the event does not ever happen.

Mendoza Line said...

Speaking as a 37.5 y/o single, reproductively-challenged female and lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I familiar with a certain level of depression. I often have to look at the bright side, focus on the positive and hope for "next year". When the downward spiral is in motion, it feels like everything is just toppling on me. I guess the real task is being able to recognize, confront and attack the downward spiral.

I have no great words of wisdom or advice. I just try to remember that I live in a pretty sweet location of the world, have some good friends/family/pets, opportunities...and the Cubs have Fukudome!!!

Mendoza Line said...

I guess I should have also mentioned that when big, horrible events shake the world: war, earthquakes, floods & devastation, it is sometimes good to start small, focus on the positive things close to you and try to re-build from there..?

Oh man, I am horrible at this stuff. Go Cubs!

Sonny Amou said...

On my way over to help with the move...

Sonny Amou said...

...and a cup of coffee says that your stress goes way down, now that you've successfully moved in together.

My back hurts.


Juice Mag said...

I would do the same thing whenever things don't go the way I want it to. Hang on. It's really nice to know that you're taking a break from the relationships drama, trust me, I need that sometimes! And I'm glad I got it!