Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"How do you get out of that dark place when you find yourself there?"

Ian asked an important question Sunday, toward the end of our discussion. We had some answers for him then, but I think it's a question we all ask -- at least from time to time -- and a question for which we probably can all use suggestions. So, we would like to open a thread here and invite everyone to share both their answers to the question and their need for answers to similar questions of their own. . . .

Let me start: Since I don't seem to be able really to "give it up" if I tell myself that's what I should do, my own favorite strategy is to go do something that has nothing to do with what's making me bleak -- to focus my conscious mind on something else that has nice, defined parameters. Hopefully, then, my wiser self can let the worrisome thing go and listen to things I can't hear if I'm fretting. Do something someone else needs; cooking something that contains lots of veggies in very small dice; tackle the treadmill as if it might actually take me somewhere. I've done 'em all; sometimes to better effect than others.

But enough about me. What do you do to get unstuck? And/or where are you stuck that the rest of us can help you with? Sometimes just knowing we are with you may help all by itself.

Click on comments below and chime on in!

1 comment:

George said...

You know, I've had different ways of dealing with the very dark places I've found myself in, depending on the different times in my life. At one point, I used exercise, while at others I used prayer and at others, well, I'll be honest, a little Mary Jane. (I hope my Mom doesn't see this). The truth is, most of my life I've tried to go it alone. I'm pretty sure Ian said the same thing, although I wasn't there last Sunday. It doesn't quite work that way, does it?

I like the doing something for someone else thing. As long as it doesn't become a co-dependent kind of thing, which it very easily does for me. It's not such an easy thing for me, keeping my head straight when it comes to getting out of the dark places. For me, it's more often about BEING in the dark places and remaining there. It's about accepting the companionship of another being who's willing to be with me in the darkness. Like Annie Lamott's image of Jesus crouched in the corner of her dark room, waiting for her to come up for air, cry "Uncle" or just plain give up, my relationship with the shadow is possible only because brother Jesus is there with me, IN my darkness, as a companion. I get out when my companion - which is sometimes Jesus or Karen or Jimmy or Dave or You, Penelope, or any number of other companions - I get out when, through the love of another, my loneliness becomes solitude and my burdens become light.

Going to the movies helps sometimes, too.

See you in the morning!