“It’s tough right now, and getting tougher. I can’t do anything I want to do for people.”
That’s my neighbor, a kind and giving man with a heart of gold.
Little did he know that I shared his feelings, in a profound way. Hanging up the phone, I was sadly relieved. I wasn’t alone as I struggle with a pending deep depression, and just as saddened that I had company.
Sometimes, it feels like a train running downhill, and fast, out of control. The only hope is that, at the bottom of the hill, there’s no sharp curves to navigate too. Just a straight line of track, just something to cruise until the downhill speed runs out.
Earlier this week, I talked with a woman that cried and cried. Hers were tears of joy and relief to have restored a meager $100 a week income after going two months with no income at all. That it was only a temporary fix didn’t matter. Right then, things for her were just a little bit better.
It’s not the gift-giving that makes this time of year special, yet it is. Something tangible to give to make real the deep feelings of love, care and friendship that I have for so many people. But, it’s not possible this year, like so many years before.
When I talk with people, I can only listen. I have no solutions, no advice, no alternative way of thinking that will make the downhill trip go away. It’s too close to home, too real for me.
I worry for so many people out there today that are struggling too. There are so many jobless, homeless, starving people right now. Their downhill battle is steeper and more treacherous than mine. What can they be feeling as the world continues on its merry way?
Sure, the commercialism is superficial and cheapens the true meaning of this time of year. That it is so blatant, so glaringly loud and constant is what makes it impossible to ignore. It’s rubbing salt into a deep wound.
If you have joy, spread it. Give it. Wear it on your sleeve and be joyous. A little shining light can brighten many gray days.
I’ll be joining you again as soon as my downhill trip runs out of steam…