Ice - it’s not so nice!
It’s one of those rare snowy days in Oklahoma.
Thankfully, we do not get much snow, but when we do - dang, drivers here just go crazy. Either they putter around like snails because they are terrified or they drive like Mario Andretti on the race course, sort of like saying, “Ha, you pansies, I'm not afraid of a little weather.”
Of course, the snow in Oklahoma more often comes with ICE. Now THAT is the real bugaboo. The problem is that ice is invisible, especially “dark” ice.
In Oklahoma, we get quite a bit of rain, even in the fall and winter. On those rare days that the temperature drops below freezing, then frozen rain will fall as sleet or ice. And that ice covers our trees and streets. This is where the idea of “dark” ice comes in. Roadways are usually made of asphalt or concrete. They are dark colored, especially at night. AND when there is just a tiny bit of invisible ice on the roads, it creates a big, dangerous problem.
OKAY, so, I am not just here to talk about the weather……..the idea of “dark” ice is a great metaphor for a way for us to look at and talk about depression. Depression is like “dark” ice. It is an often hidden pain, and you might not see it in the roadway of your life until you spin out and crash into a guard rail. Or heaven forbid, you run off the road. Depression can do that to you. It can sneak up and totally derail you. I know. I have battled it all my adult life.
Statistics from the National Institutes of Mental Health
(These statistics were collected in 2017, so can you just imagine what the statistics will be for 2020?) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml
- In 2017, an estimated 11 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment. This number represented 4.5% of all U.S. adults.
- Approximately 35% of adults with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment.
The last few years were like something out of the dark ages, with medieval mentality and group insanity. Politics became a pox upon our country. And THEN Covid happened. After the last few years, I would be surprised if you weren’t depressed, or hadn’t at least felt pain from depression’s little cousin, anxiety.
People think it is weak to admit they are struggling, that the darkness is surrounding them and threatening to derail their life. But actually, it is the opposite. It takes a LOT of personal strength to admit that something is wrong and that you need help.
Look at those statistics again. Look at how many people did NOT get help - 35%. They just kept travelling down the road, slipping and sliding along. Maybe ashamed that they needed help, maybe too attached to some idea that their parents or elders gave them about sucking it up and pretending that everything is okay.
You don’t have to pretend any longer. Get help!
The BEST way to get help is to step outside of your comfort zone and speak up. I was so proud of a family member this last week. She reached out to me to begin the conversation about her depression and how bad it had gotten. I had NO IDEA! I did not know she was skidding on dark ice.
Someone you know right now is suffering. Reach out to your friends and family. Start talking! Let them know that we are really all in this together. Reach out to me. Send me an email on my website www.shannawarner.com/contact or send me a message on my facebook page - www.facebook.com/whatshallwereadtoday. I am here for you, too!
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression and is suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day - 1-800-273-8255.
Sending you a little bit of love on this wintry Oklahoma day,