The more I watch the news, the more it seems to feed my own darkness, as I watch a world that seems to make less sense than my mental illness. I cannot understand the horrors happening in Ukraine right now, as Putin pursues his own agenda despite a world that is becoming increasingly galvanized against his aggression. I cannot understand the ever-deepening divisions that exist in our society. I know that my own mental illness is full of darkness and contradictions that I struggle to come to terms with on a daily basis, yet as the world grows increasingly chaotic, I wonder if my mind and the dark fractures within are more centered than a world increasingly broken.
In this world, it seems hard to know how to manage my mental illnesses. It seems every news story brings with it a new layer to my own darkness, and each update fuels the demons of those shadows. I find myself constantly questioning how I can focus on healing amidst a world of pain.
I did not ask for the darkness of our world any more than I asked for my own personal demons of depression and anxiety. Yet where I have no control over the former, I have a responsibility for the latter. Because even though I did not ask for it, how I respond to it, how I manage it are instead things that I can control. And I know from my own dark history that if left unchecked, my own darkness could create harm and pain for those I know.
When the world makes less sense than my own mental illness, the only thing I can do to keep my own peace is knowing that I am doing everything I can to reduce my own contributions to that darkness. This is the example I must set not only for myself but for my family. And on my good days, it might be enough to keep my own darkness at bay.
And all I can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope for more good days than bad, both for myself and for this world that we all share.
P.S. for more on how I daddy with depression in such a world, check out today’s Daddying with Depression post.