Feeling Overwhelmed by Our Times

The Problem We Share

People are becoming overwhelmed by the times we live in and are having to rethink “what matters” to them. As a result, they are beginning to shut down emotionally and refuse to listen to negative reporting.

This is understandable, there is only so much bad we can take before it affects us at home and work, possibly socially as well. However, this condition only makes things worse and does nothing to provide peace of mind, to trust government to solve the problems we face, and to gain a sense of security.

We share these feelings and let me tell you why. I went through my own rethinking process about “what matters” after September 11, 2001; the day we were attacked by Islamic terrorists. Within a weeks, I had succumbed to excessive thinking, and became depressed enough that I could not function normally.

I could not find enjoyment in doing things that used to give me pleasure and my emotions shut down. Depression affected my life so severely that I could not function at work well enough to do simple tasks, and so I lost my job.

I am telling you these things because you probably know these feelings. You may be worrying about your job, about where the money will come from to protect what you have, and you may not see any clear solution or know how to respond to our times.

Truly, you are not alone in these feelings. Even though I am not suffering from the same worries as you, I do know some of what you must be feeling. You may need to do what I did and seek counsel from your church, family, friends, and those who have been through the same concerns.

This is where I can assist you. I made it through the bad times but writing in my journal. I was able to redirect my negativity into something positive. I even wrote my first poetry during those times.

Seeing the American people reach out to comfort those suffering was uplifting to me. This is what I wrote in my journal and became part of the book I wrote about that September event. Let these words warm your souls and assure you that we are not alone in these times.

THANKS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

You were an inspiration to this country, as you came together from far and wide across this nation; united in purpose and patriotism.

This was shown in the flags you raised and the songs you sang, in the candles you lit, and the prayers you said.

With heads held high and caring arms spread, you hugged each other as tears were shed.

You were a ray of sunshine in the middle of turmoil, and an inspiration when this country was thrust into chaos.

No one did this alone; we did it together! Together we bridged the chasm of grief and despair, and together we face the future.

Although outraged for what happened that day, we must be united in order to be strong.

I’ve written about my experiences in a book, “The Treasure Box Series, Volume I: Peace, Joy, and Happiness.” The book tells more about the lessons I learned during that time, and the changes I had to make to stop reacting and respond appropriately to stressful and challenging situations. The book is loaded with suggestions for staying out of the wake that follows something traumatic and how to avoid getting caught up in things that don’t matter.

My biggest problem was excessive thinking of gloom and doom, caused by my fear that we would be attacked again and that my family would be harmed. Adding to depression was my bubble of trust in government burst when I realized government cannot completely protect us from an enemy committed to doing America and its citizens mortal harm.

My next challenge was the internet and emails. With all the information available about our times, I learned of deceitful manipulators in past and present government who want to destroy the American way of life as we know it.

Also, I learned from the internet and emails that some of our trusted officials have abused those they represent by making deals and passing bills (stuffed with pork to satisfy special interest groups) that people would object to if they knew about it.

And then, adding insult to injury, I learned that some of those I thought I could trust had actually abused their power of influence by falsely representing themselves or a policy they want us to support because it benefits them and their agenda and not the American people.

All of these conditions caused me to react and sink into a deeper depression. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Up to that point, I thought that government only had good intentions for America. Learning that was NOT true in most cases was a rude awakening for me, which I did not handle well.

I will not go into any more detail about that time in my life because I’ve written about it in my book, “The Treasure Box Series, Volume I: Peace, Joy, and Happiness.” The book tells you more about the lessons I learned during that time, and the changes I had to make to stop reacting and respond appropriately to stressful and challenging situations. It is loaded with suggestions for staying out of the wake that comes after something traumatic happens and how to not get caught up in things that don’t matter.

It serves you well enough to say that I really do understand things better now, and that I know how you may feel about living in these stressful times. It’s been almost ten years since I first realized I was depressed and learned to process my feeling better about events going on around me. So, yes, I really do have a good understanding of how you probably think, feel, and react to the times we live in today.

All you really need to know about me is that I learned to stop “reacting in default” when I didn’t know any better, and became proactive in my choices.

I learned to consider the worse case scenario for things that concerned me or caused me to be fearful, and then think of possible responses to help me deal with it. Doing that put me in the driver’s seat instead of living in default and fear.

In other words, I no longer react to situations but respond much better to life’s challenges, now that I know how. I learned my lessons well, and as such, I live a much happier and more peaceful life. You can live this way as well.

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