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Positive Mental Health Section

1) Depression, other feelings of hopelessness, overwhelming fears, inertia, are part of everyday life just as much as there is a balanced sense of happiness in some people. Of course it does not always have to be that way for the troubled many either. To help, it seems there are a multitude of mental health books, electronic media, and a raft of articles out there in the self-empowerment department to choose from. If all of that is not working, there are the psychologists, psychiatrist’s, counselors, social workers and the rest of the tribe that might just land someone in the A and E department for many of these professionals need help themselves. It’s all a bit like real estates agents and solicitors and other middlemen before anyone gets to the heart of the problem or its root causes. One thing is for sure: a lot of people are making quite a bit of money from the misery industry, which never includes those they are supposed to be helping.  

The jury is always out on what the root cause of that misery is. Other juries will find those that need help the most will be given sympathy the least, starting with prison and so it goes on…. At the risk of been part of that jury I can only offer what I believe to be one way forward for those who feel they are always taking one step back. I would never claim that what I write is even right, hopefully helpful at best; at the very least it is just another signpost to help when it all seems so hopeless. The most vexing problem I have ever faced is the expectation of what life should be but ultimately is not. Dangerous expectations or sense of entitlement can be draining and self- destructive when, as often happens, things do not turn out the way it was hoped. That reality is always hard to embrace but wholly liberating when it is. Breaking down an unrealistic view of life ultimately gave me a more balanced and grounded outlook when it came to serious decisions that would effect my well being, both physically and emotionally; it also diluted if not make disappear any feelings of being wronged against. It became freedom itself as it evolved more strongly.

I believe too that expectations of what our past should have been rather than accepting it for what it was is one of the most self- defeating emotions that leads to depression and its consequences. The only thing that can change is to make positive that what which is a negative by congratulating yourself that you overcame perhaps a dark past or childhood. The same rings through for the present or future for more often it will be dogged and assailed by disappointment and tragedy, and tragedy is less than one degree of separation for everyone else.    


Meeting my own parents when I was nineteen years to ask them why they had abandoned me as an infant, there was no sensible answer coming back. These  two were already broken people. Prescription drugs fueled my mother and alcohol my father. Thankfully, my expectations of them were not high, even then, and in a brief time I accepted them for being the homeless, hopeless and damaged people they really were. Any higher expectation of them that they should have done the right thing would, I have no doubt, have destroyed me for it would have been the utter sense of betrayal that would have replaced that expectation which was just wrapped in fantasy in any case. Later, sometimes, feelings of betrayal would enter my thoughts, but over time and some counseling coupled with a certain discipline, I managed to keep those emotions out of my head. Confusion reigns long in any teenager with hormones adding to the already dangerous cocktail of emotions, but if we can recognize that a car needs petrol there is no emotive question to answer, and if we use similar logic when it comes to our own lives and that of others who intertwined with us, the feet can remain on more firm ground. I kept thoughts like that in mind when I went looking for answers for reality is an emotionless fact; accepting it or not to be anything else than that, can be very emotional. If hindsight was a sixth sense rather than the wisdom gained from mistakes as we go, what a wonderful world it would be. Other than that, we just learn as we go or we do not.

Barry


To be continued…………