I grew up with a cliche ringing around my ears whenever I was feeling sorry for myself –“there are people a lot worse of than you in the world” – “think of the poor babies in Africa”
When I am in the midst of my unhappiness and everything feels hopeless to me, I resolutely refuse to acknowledge the pain of others in that moment, as I grapple with my attempts to emerge from the darkness.
I know, of course, that the cliche is in fact right and most likely, it is right at some level for all of us, but in that moment of pain we do well to focus on our own needs unless perhaps thinking of others brings some perspective.
I have a particular friend who is in a far worse situation vis-a-vis his mental health than I am. In fact a visit to him has the effect of certainly bringing a perspective to the difficulties in my life.
As a result of his torment, which I am privileged to have been appraised of by him, he has lost his job, his marriage is in difficulty and his motivation to move forward is very low.
So, yesterday, my wife and I visited him and his wife. We were able to encourage them to get outdoors with us, walk around a lake and talk before heading to the pub for a meal and a few drinks.
“Come back and see us very soon”, he says, as we leave for our two hour journey home.
“I’ll be back”, I say. He is my friend. I am resolved that I will never abandon him to his pain.
My next blog will be: Chill Pill