The Dark Cloud

My friend sends me a link for an event happening near her house. It is an outdoor classical music concert, which is okay but would not be my first choice of music to listen to. The other part of the event was a hike, which is something I like doing but only on a flat route, no rocky terrain because my knee would start complaining. "I am in," I say. Because we live in a foreign country we have left our original contact list in another land/city so we know we have to make a special effort to make new contacts.

People do not like to talk about the grey cloud. When you spend too much time alone one can feel fine one minute then the darkness can find its way to your door, creeping its way into the cracks and crevices in your mind. You begin by feeling a bit low, maybe isolated. Before you know it, one can be engulfed in depression. In some societies it is taboo to talk about these feelings, everyone wants you to be happy, happy, happy, which is a never going to be a constant state. All of our feelings are valid. We need to be able to lift our moods, which is not always possible to do on one's own. People can bring us great joy or great saddness. We need to be able find our cheerleaders, people who accept us for who we really are. Those people are not necessarily going to be constants in our lives.

The relationships which are not great are meant to teach us something or give us a message. We are here to learn unconditional love. It is not easy to eliminate all of the toxic relationships to from our lives. When zero contact is not an option, one can retreat from that environment, when necessary, for the sake of one's mental health, returning when we feel stronger. We can do what we can to help people but not to the point where it is overly destructive to our own wellbeing. One cannot give from an empty basket. When the situation involves an addict, for example, the addict is known to say, "You do not love me, you have abandoned me". The addict is the person who does not feel the love or support from their network of loved ones, if they are fortunate enough to have one. They need to find some self-love, before it is too late, the will to continue living. It has to come from within themselves, otherwise any kind or therapy is not likely to help, at least in the long term. If you do not control your vices, there is a liklihood your vices or bad habbits will control you, or worse.

What does addiction have to do with feeling "not quite right with the world?" It has everything to do with feeling a little depressed. One day you might be feeling feel a little down. If you do not address this, saying, "I am okay, happy, happy, happy", when you clearly are not, you can become an addict or develop some kind of irreversible mental illness, dementia, alzheimer's. You do not necessarily need to ask for help, although it would be great if you could. How can anyone help you if they do not know how you feel?

You can make an effort to integrate. If you cannot find anyone in your existing network, build a new one. Do things which you love, take a class, what a great way to meet like-minded people. Alternatively, you may not feel like talking to anyone but you can go for a walk, do something which can lift your mood, go swimming, whatever works for you. If you really do no feel like doing anything, try to find someome to sit with you. Explain how you feel and that you would really appreciate some company. If they are feeling great, their energy will help you. If they are not feeling great either, you can cry together. It is all good. The energy will shift. hopefully you will begin to feel better. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon.

Why do we find it so easy to love, motivate and encourage others but so difficult to care for our own needs and wellbeing? With practise and good boundaries, learning how to say no when necessary, it is possbile to find some balance. If we lose some contacts en route, were they really our friends? Do we really need those good people in our lives who do not respect our need to heal, reflect, disconnect or to simply please ourselves instead of pleasing the crowd. Perhaps a lot of Americans have good mental health because they are so open to getting help. I have had a lot of great help, for which I am truly grateful. I do a lot of yoga and spiritual work on myself but there have been times in my life when I have needed professional help. I have also had hypnotherapy, which is hugely misunderstood by a lot of people. It allows you to access the subconscious mind, with the help of the therapist, in order to improve or reset the your thoughts, especially the negative ones.

We all need help, and need to get it when the situation requires it. The people who are important in your life will want to help you and they will probably know you are not in a good place. You need to find what works for you. I also have a great network of friends but we do not see each other on a regular basis so it has been necessary for me to find some new friends, which I have. People get nervous about meeting new people. You only do not know someone until you do. I have met up with some great people who are passing through Madrid or who want some company, always in a public place.

Be well, My Friends. You are loved. What we need most in this world is self-love. If you are happy, you can make others happy.