We are all human

We all have unique experiences:

  • Some that unite us, some that divide us.
  • We have all felt pain, however slight or extreme.
  • We all look for answers or clarity in some way.
  • We all want to feel love acceptance and that we belong to something greater.
  • We strive for happiness and joy.

As a civilian, I do not know first hand what veterans or those in active duty experience, but as a professional social worker and as a human, I do know the impact that depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, addiction, grief, loss and pain can have on one’s psyche.

Personally, I have not always had a handle on these things but I have learned how to handle them over time in my life. The process or “the journey” is not always easy, but the destination is well worth the work. Many of us think that happiness is “out there” or down the road somewhere in the future. It’s not. It is inside of us, right here, right now, but is simply masked or overshadowed by darkness. For many, that darkness is always lurking.

Ways to get out from it is as simple as one decision. I want to be better or I will be better.

The question is, how? The answer is, to seek light.

Light comes from that place inside where a spark lights a smile across your face.

It can come from:

  • The smell of a flower
  • The sight of fall leaves in all their splendor
  • The smell of coffee or a chocolate chip cookie
  • The sound of a child laughing
  • Your favorite song on the radio
  • The excitement from connecting with an old friend.

It is joy in it’s simplest form. Remember to seek these things. Remember the feeling that comes over you and create these moments for yourself. To help yourself, avoid isolation. Even in these trying times of COVID, seek connection. People need people and we all need help. HicksStrong is one way to get help and make connections. Make that call and start your journey. We are in this together.

Tina Pantuso, LCSW