As any witch knows, the darkness is necessary. Without it, the light would mean nothing. However for those who suffer from any any type of depression and/or mental health issue, or any type of debilitating illness, the darkness is not always a nice place to even visit.
Most everyone had their say when Robin Williams passed away a few weeks ago. There was a big outpouring of “oh, mental health issues should be in the forefront”, “how can we help those with mental health issues”, “what not to say or do when with someone who says they are depressed”. We also had reactions running the gamut from a so-called reporter calling him a coward (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/robin-williams-dead-fox-news-anchor-shepard-smith-apologises-for-calling-actor-a-coward-after-apparent-suicide-9664684.htmlreporter calling him a coward ) to a wonderful Disney tribute (http://www.eonline.com/news/568759/disney-creates-heartwarming-aladdin-themed-tribute-to-robin-williams-see-the-photo).
Yup. So, here we are, a few weeks down the road and it once again becomes something we just ignore, unless of course we can’t, whether it is because of someone in the family, a friend, or our very own selves. We cannot ignore it, because it is there every single day.
There are those that call it the dark night of the soul, and it is an apt name for it. It can also be aptly called hell for those who have been there and returned, and have been there again.
For some, these visits into the depth help us to become stronger, more able to deal with that which would wound, or even kill, us. For some, the depths destroy what is left. The struggle continues, always, as those that are affected veer from light to dark to light to dark, and on and on. For some, they look forward to those visits into the darkness, to learn, to absorb, to fight harder when they return to the light.
As a yoga and meditation teacher and healer, I can and do offer techniques for dealing with emotional and physical issues. As one who has, and does, struggle with the darkness, sometimes willingly, sometimes not, and who also has a very loved one who seems to live in the darkness always, I can not and do not offer answers. I have none, not for myself, not for my loved one, not for friends who suffer. What I do offer is sympathy, empathy and compassion for those who suffer.