I’m an optimist who would rather see the glass half full as opposed to half empty. So it was doubly disheartening to hear the latest report from news anchors detailing the Associated Press (AP) statistic on our fledgling economy.
According to the news report, “Poverty in America,” 46.5 million Americans fall below the poverty line which is roughly 15 percent of the U.S. population. Many of us have felt and are still trying to find our way back from the brink of despair, due, in part from the stress of having to deal with the fallout from the world’s changing economy.
We have college students worrying about their student loans. Millennials are stressing about finding jobs and affordable housing. The Baby Boomer is stressed over job loss, healthcare and insurance issues. No one is safe in an uncertain world. Women on all sides are feeling the pressure as some of us work outside the home to supplement a two-parent or single-parent income. There’s a war of wills raging inside us, as we are trying to hold up under the pressure and it’s not an easy feat.
Can we survive another letdown, shakeup or the next statistic indicating a raining down of impending doom in our life? Before dire circumstances unfolded in my own life, I might have continued to live in a bubble of naiveté where everything and everyone in my inner circle seemingly were always there to support me in anything I wasn’t capable of doing myself.
The pivotal time in my life that would alter how I viewed the world and charter the course for the remainder of my life, came in January 2000 when my marriage of 20 years fell apart, I lost my nursing job of two decades and my grown children left home, leaving me an empty-nester. Still coping with the earlier losses of a younger brother and my dad, all the emotional baggage unfolded and came rushing in to topple me and send me into a dark space of ‘woe is me.’
Clarity didn’t miraculously come in the morning. It took many days of wallowing in my own self-pity, prayer and determination to get back to a place of hope and peace inside myself. Feeling helpless, hopeless and alone in those terrible months, I had taken to my bed and consoled myself with candies, chips and daytime soaps – my new bosom buddies. It was ironic that while I lay in slumber, dulled by As the World Turns, beyond my secluded walls, the world was truly alive and vibrant!
I was angry and bitter and thought the world owed me something for being the good person I was. It was when the noise of vibrant living outside my doors, the phone barely rang anymore and the soaps became predictable monsters of fantasy that I knew there would be no knight in shining armor to rescue me from me. I realized for sure that every one of us is responsible for his own life. I had to decide if I wanted to survive where I was or thrive in the world as a productive member of society- my call.
I know for certain that America will overturn this daunting forecast of economic decline. Just as I know that one step at a time, headed in the right direction will keep us from succumbing to the ills of the world and lead us back from a dark despair to the bright call of ‘Hope.’ You only have to know it for yourself.
If you’re feeling more than a little ‘blue’ please seek help from a mental-health resource available in your area.