"The sadness of the past is with me always."
~F. Scott Fitzgerald in a letter to his wife, Zelda, who was chronically hospitalized for mental illness
One of the many blessings/curses of living with a mood disorder is the ability to experience intense emotional states. Sometimes those states are the roller coaster heights of pleasure, desire, anger, agitation, sensuality, and joy. Even for those that experience these highs, the fall always comes and the sufferer endures loneliness, emptiness, sadness, regret, and an overwhelming desire to isolate.
As many as 1 in 4 Americans lives with a diagnosable mental illness at any given time. The people that you meet everyday in line at the grocery store, at your office, in your classroom, that wait on you in restaurants, and even the people sitting across the dinner table may be dealing with a burden far beyond what shows on the surface.
It doesn't take much effort to be kind.
To say, "Thank you."
To hold open the door.
To call or text that friend who may be struggling.
To pray for those around you who are hurting.
To offer a hand, a hug, a listening ear.
We can never truly know what another person is experiencing, but we can all resolve to make an effort to be present in the lives of other people. Helping others, rather than burdening us, actually serves to help lift our own load.
May we be a blessing in the lives of other people and may we also allow them into our lives so that they might bless us.
Have a great week!