Sadly, so many people are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma, leading many into the realms of what can be, the unknown and despair. Even more so, many can feel stuck or even some do not return.
As I have continued to study, write and learn, I have increasingly become aware that it takes just one voice or small action from someone for others to identify within themselves and see that they are not alone, that they have support, and that things can get better with time and effort.
The mere word darkness conjures up a mass of thoughts and feelings and for some can make them feel isolated, dejected, and lonely. Even those of you that are doing ok right now, if asked to sit quietly in the dark would probably struggle after a while. Your mind and imagination may begin to race and any past experiences or films watched may leap to the forefront of your mind. Instinctively your body will react and respond to these thoughts. We have become overwhelmed with the stimulus, of phones, TV's, and gadgets, no longer comfortable with just 'being.,
You may feel disorientated, numb, lost, desperate, and anxious all at the same time or have one leaping in front of the other as they race ahead in your mind. This makes rational decisions almost impossible. Your body may just shut down and given in, subdued and withdrawing from life.
But, here's the good part, and this may sound crazy, reframing our thoughts and looking for a positive alternative, offers a route to recovery. At some point what you haven't recognized is that your body and mind may have shut down to allow you time and space to rest and recover. In this time, of what can feel like an almost non-existence to the world, you have given yourself permission to pause and heal. It may not feel like it, but you may become more comfortable with the dark. Some will disagree and say that they are completely unable to function, even getting out of bed is a struggle, and to which I say, I completely understand you, you obviously needed the rest and we all have different coping capabilities.
The point I am making here is that, by looking at it differently and reframing your thoughts from negative to positive, you may begin to see potential and light on the horizon.
With any glimmer of light, there is an intuitive instinct of hope.
The survival instinct is within us all.
So you may become to realize that being in the darkness, in some bizarre fashion for a short time, can be a blessing, although many won't feel like this. During this time, you may experience yourself becoming comfortable with silence, darkness, and solitude. And yet from this existence, we crave the opposite. To be accepted, heard, and welcomed, and here we are, lonely, isolated, feeling powerless and voiceless. I speak from my own experiences. Calling out for help when it just isn't heard and no one is there to respond is a shitty place to be! All the signs are there, yet no one can see them. So, here we are, finding ourselves pausing there for a while, exhausted by it all, there are only 2 options. People don't want to mention suicide, but it is a very real reality, and there is no shame. For me, option 1 was not my answer. I have way too much to be grateful for and it was if it were even at all considered, it was dismissed very quickly. I must have said something like, 'what's the fucking point of being alive?' or something like that, but the list of my question, is massive.
All that said, no one knows how they will respond until faced with the situation, so do not judge, do not try and fix, for those people finding themselves in a similar situation, should be given the opportunity to hold space and to be truly heard. You may have become accustomed to this uncomfortable environment, and it becomes bearable and somewhat strangely 'comfortable.' Breaking through the walls of this feeling is the difficult part. As much as it is a discomfort, changing, and challenging it can seem unachievable, so opting for remaining and staying right where we don't want to be, appears the lesser of the two evils. Confronting and facing it daily will show you that you can overcome it and eventually it will be seen for what it is. Persevering through hard times will be tough, but worth it. You don't have to do this alone.
Imagine if we all encouraged and supported each other what an amazing world we would live in. It all starts with one person and it becomes infectious.
We all make a difference and contribute, however small. We are all needed.
However difficult my pathway may be, staying like this was not desirable to me. A change had to happen. Everything I needed was within my capabilities, I just didn't know it yet. Turning to sports and creating a flow of energy, assisting to release any trauma and stress has helped me.
This dark space offers us time to become aware of our surroundings and to engage in our sense of touch, making sense of what is around us in our confined environment. Yet in this space, we may realize that the mind has no boundaries and the only confinements we place on it are our own doing.
Yes, the brain can and will play tricks on us too. In a fire situation, the smoke can be so dark and thick, that you cannot see your hand in front of your own face. Entering a room searching for a person, methodically sweeping your arms and feet as self-protection and analyzing the layout of the room and obstacles, making a plan in your head, so you can orientate yourself and know how to retrace your steps safely back out is a priority. Maybe there is a TV playing in the corner. Left on in the frenzy of the incident? Hearing this is very strange. Voices talking and when you call out, not a response, just carry on as if nothing is happening. 'What the fuck,' may have popped up in my mind at this point, as I'm trying to rationalize it all. It is only as the screen emerges through the gloom that you realize it is a TV and its people talking. Your mind has been momentarily fooled.
Sitting still and allowing the body and mind to feel, rather than think all the time, can be strange at first. Meditation is exactly this. Pausing and just being, allowing thoughts to come, and importantly, then letting go. Not to overthink or ponder, acknowledge, and let go.
In the darkness, we can learn to feel our discomfort and pain, where we are holding onto it, trapped within our body, and in this moment question, why it is there. How did it get here?
What would it feel like to not have it anymore?
What sensations does it bring with it and after acknowledging it, does it shift or dissipate? By asking questions we allow our cognitive and rational brain to challenge and open up our ability to grow and recognize our own value and worth again.
From the darkness, we will intuitively look to rationalize what we see and make sense of it all, picture shapes, and place them logically, and we will instinctively search for a glimmer of light to assist us. With any light, our brains in our subconscious are looking to stabilize our thinking and in turn, allow us to feel safe and secure and allow our nervous system and response mechanism to function correctly.
Emerging from the dark, when we are ready to do so or when capable of doing so, proves how strong and resilient we are.
Accepting that any trauma is valid, no matter how big or small, it has affected you and your daily functioning.
Realizing that through small steps, be it thought processing and, or physical activity, we can change and release trauma and restore our nervous system to a state of calm.
Acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses, abilities, and self-worth, lifts us up to keep making progress. Setting achievable goals on our progressive journey.
We all have a light within us, how bright will you shine?
Your light may be exactly what someone else needs to pull them out of their darkness right now.
May this post be received with the positive outlook it is sent with.
Note: The photo was taken by accident, by myself, the camera was facing the wrong way but it was far too early, and I was not yet properly awake, merely concentrating on the beautiful dawn leading to sunrise.
You see, out of nothing and darkness, we can find inspiration and positivity.
Reframing our thoughts and outlook can have great potential.
Nothing more than appreciation of life and for the presence of now.