There’s a great quote from Desmond Tutu about how we need to stop pulling people out of the river and how we need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.
Over the last few weeks, it has felt like I am not just falling in the river, I am plummeting down Niagra Falls. There’s all the usual stuff that’s ramping up, then add in a few crises and emotional turmoil, and it’s a recipe for one dysfunctional human. It’s utterly overwhelming and creates a vicious circle of feeling crap and feeling like you’re not progressing with anything. Sometimes, I look at my list/schedule/plan and flit to something else, and then something else and then 15 minutes has disappeared and I beat myself up about not achieving anything. This sense of overwhelm is paralysing which makes it very difficult to overcome.
Last night, a friend said how lovely it was to see me happy and that over the last week he had been worried about me because I didn’t look like me. My last week has been awful and to be honest, it’s been like it for some time. It’s not gone away but a few things have been dealt with and that feels like progress; sufficient progress to enable me to smile at least. All of these things weigh heavy on our shoulders and it can be so easy to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, to lose sight of the people we are.
It is at this point that we need to help ourselves and each other. One of the things that has enabled me to get some perspective was meeting a young lady who is dying. At the request of her family, I took one of our ice hockey players to meet her. It didn’t take much organisation or effort and it was totally within my gift to make it happen, so of course, I did. The smile on her face, the utter joy of making her smile, really gave me a fresh view of life. How life is short; too short for staying in that rut of being overwhelmed, and how we need each other to look out for us and remind us of who we really are. As well as trying to do that for those I see in the same kind of situation, I now see those gifts from my friends and family. The moments that are full of care and support, love and joy. Not necessarily big things but the smallest of considerations that can make a massive difference.
As we focus on mental health this weekend, and figuring out those reasons why we fall in, perhaps we can take some preventative measures for ourselves and each other with some gifts of consideration and thought, providing a bit of light in that dark tunnel so we can actually see where we are going.