I really don’t like to complain. Especially about my health. I guess I’m kind of stoic in that area; I figure people have enough problems of their own, so unless they’re a doctor, they really don’t need to hear about my health. I must say that I’m fortunate, as a pretty healthy fellow, I really don’t have many health issues.
However, I’m dealing with a health problem now that results in a significant decrease in my energy. In addition to that, my kids were generous enough to pass along the runny nose virus they surely picked up from day care. Suffice to say that I’ve been moody, irritable, and somewhat of a drag to be around. With the exception of my wife, I haven’t really been interested in sharing that with anybody.
I come from a big family, 7 boys and 1 girl, including myself. I’m fortunate that we are all in close proximity, including my mom and dad, so we are able to gather quite regularly at my parents house for food and drink. It’s been a while since I’ve seen my parents, and since they’ve seen my two girls, their grandkids. In spite of my stuffy nose, lack of energy, and sour disposition, my wife and I chose to pack up the kids today and drive out to East LA to visit the folks.
Sitting at the kitchen table with my parents, wife, and a couple of brothers, the conversation quickly turned to my haggard appearance and less-then-jovial demeanor. It didn’t take much for me to let them know about my health challenges. They were interested. They asked questions. Of course, they gleefully gave me grief as well, (“He can’t handle living with three women!!”) as is their nature. Later, three of my brothers and I packed into a Subaru and went to get some food. When we got back, my sister-in-law asked me, “Why did all of you have to go to get the food?” I replied, “Because they are my brothers and I like being with them.” She didn’t believe me but it was the truth.
When it was time to leave, I said good bye to my father. He gave me a big hug (and he’s not really a big hug kind of guy), put his hand on my forehead and said “Be healed, I hope you are feeling better.” And I was. Much better.
The number 1 thing you should do when you’re down, depressed, out of sorts, and really challenged by life, is to reach out to someone who cares. Give yourself permission to ask for help if you need it. Put aside your pride and call or visit a friend or family member. Let them know what’s going on with you. Tell them how you are feeling. Sometimes, just talking to someone can be healing. If you don’t feel you have someone in your life who cares, then contact a mental health professional, priest or minister, whoever you feel most comfortable with. If you are so inclined, go to church, temple or mosque and talk to whoever is your Deity. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, get them out of your head and onto paper where they will be much less scary. Get a massage. Get out into nature, and let the trees, wind and water nurture your soul.
Nobody does it alone, so don’t feel like you have to. It may sound corny, but we really do need each other, because we are all in the same boat, floating on a little blue ball though dark and empty space, trying to make the best of it. If you are alone and feeling isolated, and have been for some time, consider that perhaps that is what you’ve chosen, on some level. You can choose different. Of course, you will have to take responsibility for how you are feeling, it does no good to keep complaining to everyone unless you are willing to take some action. But perhaps reaching out would be the first step in doing that. Letting someone know that you are not well does not mean you are weak, it just means you are human.
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Ted A. Moreno