Six Gentle Steps to Get Out of the Dark

In my many musings, I have found a natural progression that helps us out of our darkest places. I call it Moving Through, Moving To, and, in this case, it means moving toward a little Hope. 

When nothing else seems to work amidst the immobilizing fear and grip of extreme anxiety or depression, this progression has helped me move gently, first out, then up. I only hope it might help you to do the same. In this gentle process, I first outline the step, then demonstrate an example in italics. Please feel free to cater it to what feels right for you.

Step One: I am

In my depressive worst, at the bottom of the barrel, there are times when I can’t even move. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to say anything, and I can’t explain it. I could call someone, but no. I could get out, and eat something sweet. But no. Yet if I can, I try to muster the strength to at least say how I feel, at least to myself. Because it’s not like I want to be there. So, I try to get it onto the page. I try to at least say the words of the worst, of where I’m at, what I am, and how I feel, simply.

I call this the “I am” stage: I am miserable. I am awful. I am broken. I am battered. I am lost. I am afraid. I am. Just let it out.

Step Two: You are

Then, there are times that I find that I can only handle myself at a distance. Sometimes, it makes it easier… treating it as if it’s someone else’s life, and I’m looking at it from an outsider’s perspective. Because that is what I

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Some healthcare can safely wait (and some can’t) – Harvard Health Blog

Among the many remarkable things that have happened since the COVID-19 pandemic began is that a lot of our usual medical care has simply stopped.

According to a recent study, routine testing for cervical cancer, cholesterol, and blood sugar is down nearly 70% across the country. Elective surgeries, routine physical examinations, and other screening tests have been canceled or rescheduled so that people can stay at home, avoid being around others who might be sick, and avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. Many clinics, hospitals, and doctors’ offices have been closed for weeks except for emergencies. Even if these facilities are open, there’s understandable reluctance to seek medical care where an infected person may have been just before you. So which health concerns can safely wait — and which should not?

What can wait?

It’s safe to put off some healthcare for a number of weeks or months.

  • Routine screening tests. For example, a mammogram may be recommended every year or two for women at average risk of breast cancer. In that situation, it’s unlikely that having that test a few months late will affect your health. Similarly, if you’re due for a screening colonoscopy because you’ve turned 50 or your last one was 10 years ago, having it a few months late is not a risky delay. For some tests, there are alternatives you could have in the meantime. For example, there is home testing available for colon cancer screening that checks the stool for blood or abnormal DNA (findings that could indicate the presence of cancer). Each person’s situation is a bit different, so if you’re due for a screening test and can’t have it due to the pandemic, call your doctor about how to proceed.
  • Routine vaccinations. Usually, it’s safe for adults to briefly put off
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