In life when we break a leg we need crutches to get us back on our feet. We need something to rely on to get us around. In life too we need crutches sometimes. Religion is the primary crutch that dominates the mindset of possibly billions across the globe. ‘You need to believe in something,’ we are told from birth. To have a faith in something more powerful than ourselves, that is even one of the rules for acceptance into Alcoholics Anonymous. But what if you have no crutch, what if you cannot convince yourself to have faith in religion or a higher power like aliens, or even mother nature?
Where can a person who has no faith, who in fact believes in nothing, find solace when the chips are down? We can focus on giving our body a good feeling, we can smother chips in taco sauce, we can devour a chocolate log and use that as a crutch when times are hard (Its official chocolate does in fact lift mood) We might have a friend who is our rock and guide to talk things through with, we might have an object that means something which in a way we get power from. Magical relics of our past aside, the most worthwhile crutch we can develop is the ability to be self sustaining. Building an ability in ourselves, so that come what may, we have the confidence to know that we can get over it.
When depression symptoms hit hard, religion can leave the feelings of guilt even more dominating than they would be without the crutch of religion. The Catholic Church has dominated for centuries by manipulating this sense of guilt in us for their own devices. When faith has been lost in the man made institutions like the church however, is there something more spiritual that we can use as our guide?
I know someone who believes he has ‘the force’ (Of Star Wars fame) I know Raelians (Believers that aliens put us here and they are coming back) I have been offered by a Muslim prince from Africa that there were two wives from Morocco in it for me (Don’t know if I could handle even one) if I became their voice in my country. Faith for these people is different I would imagine, than that which you would bestow yourself onto if needs be, if you really had to go out there and find something divine to submit to.
There is the word ‘submit’ when suffering from depression symptoms, everything about the mental illness, every element of its desire to control you, requires that you submit to its influence. Blocking it, and not giving into the feelings of despair is an invaluable ability if you can master it. The inner strength which can be your crutch is not just in words, it is in experience. Moreover it is in using the experiences that you go through in your life, using them to help you adapt and change into a stronger human being that’s a means to keep out ‘The Devil.’
“Shut the door, keep out the Devil, shut the door keep the Devil outside.” These are the lyrics of a young poet I am a friend of. This guy actually believed in witches (apparently they are in the bible) and became some form of priest or pastor or whatever the ceremonial title was. He found his strength in a book, and he wrote volumes of poetry that pertained to Christ and all that jazz. (It seems that I do know quite a lot of strange religious types doesn’t it.)
He later got in some trouble, and did a disappearing act, and I miss him. But the point is even with some mumbo jumbo belief system we can still fail the test of standing up to the powers that would see our ruin. The only strength and crutch that is really worthwhile is in yourself. Life is long and each day comes with new lessons, and unique experiences. To take these experiences, the good and the bad, and to lock them in our minds, times we succeeded, times we failed and got right back up again, to use our triumphs in order to help us triumph one more time in winning over depression symptoms.