Monday, November 2, 2015

Lonely, addicted, depressed – Who cares?

Life can be overwhelming. Look around your community and see that depression, suicide, and addictions are on the increase. Clearly people are hurting and feel alone with their pain. But who cares? Maybe you feel there’s nothing you can do that would make a difference. Admittedly you may not be able to change the earth, but you may be able to change how someone feels about themselves and their world.

No matter how small your gesture, it can make a difference to someone. A smile costs nothing but it may just brighten someone’s day. A sympathetic ear can help someone feel that they are not alone with their problem. An offer of help may give someone an extra boost to achieve their dream. It’s not important how you show you care, as long as you do. For when you do, you initiate a chain of kindness that is passed on to others and it is this collective caring that creates change.

Sometimes though it isn’t the lack of care or love that is the concern, it is the ability to receive it that is difficult. If you’ve experienced rejection you can be left with a lack of trust which forms a barrier to accepting any level affection. I went through many years convincing myself I didn’t want anyone to love for me out of pure fear that I would attach to their love only to have it ripped away from me. And even believing that someone would want to care was improbable. How could anyone care about me when my own mother had physically abandoned me and mentally killed me off in her mind? Yet I did need someone to care. I needed it desperately. Yet whilst I was too terrified to take the risk to reach out, it was impossible for anyone to reach in. The combination of depression and alcoholism constructed an emotional barricade that was impenetrable.

Unfortunately my mental fortress served only to trap me further in my own cycle of despair by restricting me to living each day based only on my experiences of rejection and abuse. Worse, it prevented any chance of allowing healing or restoration. There was only one way that I was going to ever be able to be helped and that was for the walls to come down. Of course this was an inevitability that I hadn’t the courage to face, and so it was my mental breakdown that resulted in the collapse of my barriers. As they came crushing down, my vulnerability was exposed and I waited for the end of my life to come.

But it didn’t. Because someone cared. Professionals stepped in and there were friends who stood by me. They cared for me when I didn’t care. They loved me when I was at my most unlovable. They believed in me when I was unable to believe in myself. Over time I learnt how to renew my boundaries in a positive way. Life stopped being simply a battle against the bad, and became a home for the good.

Most importantly I found a faith founded in unconditional love. God cared. He loved me and done all along. When I was willing to receive the love that had been waiting for me, I was then able to heal.  And as I handed over my past, present and future into the security of His hands, so I found the refuge I had longed for. Today I am safe in His care.  We all need someone to care for us. But that love needs to be rooted in truth. And it needs to be given freely. A word of warning – if someone is showing you that they care only to want something from you in return, then it isn’t genuine. Steer clear.

Shafa Home is country’s premier organization for treatment of alcohol/drug problems, de-addiction, rehabilitation, counseling, treatment for females, nasha mukti, psychiatric disorders and secondary addictions like gambling, internet etc.

‘Who cares?’ 
I do. I care.

(These articles are the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”, they are its original authors.)

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