“Sometimes you just need to ride the waves.”
A psychologist once said this to me. This is not a particularly new or mind-blowing analogy. The comparison between life’s hardships and the sea’s monstrous power. I found that these words became lodged in my brain. I used them at every given opportunity. It could have been because I was about to go into a manic episode or maybe I just really liked the idea of “riding the waves”.
Either way this analogy has helped me. If it helps even just one other person I will be happy. It is only very simple. You could use this way of thinking for many types of problems. It could be anything. So, let’s get back to the analogy…
The sea is a powerful being which demands respect. When I look out to the sea I feel something magical, yet also eerie. The sea has the ability to portray so many emotions. From the calm ripples that tickle your feet, to the crashing waves that have the power to drag you down below. The sea holds so much unknown. Which I believe makes it fascinating.
Two things that are absolutely certain about the sea:
1 There will always be another wave.
2 That wave will always pass.
In a way, this could be compared to the way life treats us. You can sometimes feel as though you’re just waiting for the next wave to come crashing in. Instead of enjoying the calm. It is a shame to miss out on that very moment because of what might or might not happen.
When you are caught up in a strong wave, you must keep telling yourself… This WILL pass. You must learn ways to ride it out. You won’t always get it right, but that is okay too. This is all part of the learning process.
Now I am by no means an expert at “riding the waves” but I am learning…
Knowing that a wave will pass does not always make it easier to ride. This is very important to remember.
Imagine you were tossed overboard in a fierce storm out at sea. The rain is hammering down, the current is pulling you under and the sea itself is below freezing. If you don’t die from hypothermia, you will almost certainly drown. Now in this situation you can’t possibly wait for the waves to pass. The crew onboard aren’t going to shout down, “Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon. Just hang in there.”
When you are consumed by a deep depression, “just hang in there” doesn’t really cut it. Like the person drowning in the sea, you will need help to fight your way through it. Maybe you’ll be thrown a life jacket. Or maybe the Coast Guard will send out a team on a life boat to save you.
The person drowning needs support.
Support is one of the most important parts of getting through an episode. Whether the episode is depressive or elated.
Support can come in many forms; family, friends, doctors, nurses, medication, hospitals, or even exercise and diet.
You see, that wave will ALWAYS pass. But unless you are able to get help, you may not be there to see it.