The videos below are of a ditch behind my house. Usually, it looks benign and is quiet, just as the videos depict:
However, last night after a forty-five (45) minute downpour, the same two (2) spots looked like this:
While I enjoyed the sound of the rushing water, I couldn’t help but see the usually dry ditch as a metaphor for the emotional storms that life presents that fill our otherwise quiet lives with rushing waves of sadness and hurt. Normally, we can handle those times of emotional upheaval, but sometimes, especially for those what have experienced trauma, the storms bring more negative emotion than we can handle. I think that in a lot of cases, this inability to handle an overwhelming emotional barrage leads people to turn to substances and behaviors that can provide short-term relief at the cost of long-term health. Eventually, they find themselves addicted.
Addiction also happens just like the rushing water: Slowly building until it overwhelms the once healthy person. But, if we can learn to let the bad feelings come and try to understand them, we do get better at managing their negative impact without substances or addictive behaviors.
It sound simple, but the more simple a solution appears, the more difficult it can be to implement. But, try it: The next time sadness or anxiety fills your once quiet world, remember that it will pass, if you let it and don’t fight it. If you fight it, it will get stronger and build into an insurmountable situation. But, if you let those feelings come, they will go, and you can return to quiet once again.