“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth.”
Abraham Lincoln went on to write…
Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forbode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.
Yes, okay, I’ll admit it! I’ve been on an Abraham Lincoln kick for the past two-plus months (in the middle of reading a second biography, thank you). And what a man he was.
Lincoln wrote what you just read in a letter to a friend in January of 1842. At the foundation of his despair was his break-up with Mary Todd.
Right after they parted company, Lincoln was so distraught that he missed several Illinois House sessions. And when he finally showed, it’s said he appeared emaciated.
No doubt, Abraham Lincoln was in the midst of a mental war – and won.
Nine months later he married Mary Todd. And two months after that he began his pursuit of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Needless to say, he moved forward.
Anyone with a mood or anxiety disorder may find themselves in the midst of a mental war at any time – whether they realize it, or not. And the victory always goes to the one who’s able to identify the correct enemy – and fight ’til the end.
But what do I mean by identifying the correct enemy? You don’t need to convince me that the diagnosis-building symptoms of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are mighty and potentially debilitating.
But I say, if you choose to focus solely upon them you’re in for an extended stretch of misery.
For my money, the battleground foes that demand primary attention are the fallout of what you endure: hopelessness, despair, lost inspiration, wanting to give-up, loneliness, anger, self-loathing, self-punishment – and more.
It’s waging war – and defeating – these demons that provides the opportunity to face another day (and prosper).
No matter the context or location, war is never pretty.
However, sometimes it’s a necessity. And when you’re absolutely flattened by the assorted fallout of your mood and/or anxiety disorder, the time has come to roll-up your sleeves and do something about it.
Yep, put up your dukes!
So the question becomes, are you willing to fight? And that means taking no prisoners as you reclaim that which is rightfully yours.
Look, if you find yourself feeling the same as ‘Ole Honest Abe, step back and re-evaluate your response. And then put on those fatigues, load your weapons, and wage war!
Divide and conquer, my friend. Sometimes it just comes down to that…
This piece is an edit of the featured article in this week’s chipur newsletter. Received some nice feedback on it, so wanted it to go chipur-wide.
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