God please help me - dark night of the soul at year's end
by Brother Boniface
(Muensterschwarzach Abbey, Germany)
At one time or another in a persons life it may have happened that everything around looked like darkest night. No light, no stars, no cheer but hopelesness, despair and not knowing the way anymore. It has even happened to this writer even though, I am doing so much better and have been helped I do remember that those were bad days, weeks and months, as long as this dark night of the soul lasted.
There seems to be nothing a person can do in this state of mind. However this is not entirely true. One of the first things anyone can do is to call for help. People around one, even loved ones and family cannot know of the perhaps desperate state of mind. They may feel that the person is withdrawn, acting down, having no fun anymore and keeping more to him or herself.
No one can actually look into your soul, so no one can feel with you the same abyss, the same depth of feeling lost and hopeless. So telling someone is a good first step.
Sometimes a doctor can help by sending a person like this to a psychiatrist or neurologist for evaluation. It needs a trained neurologist to attest to depression and then it may perhaps need medication and treatment by a therapist in order to get best results.
This dark night of the mind can happen anytime to anyone. Often it happens more during the dark time of the year like December, January and February when there is little sunlight and less chance to walk outside and to enjoy the great outdoors.
There is no shame and fault finding when a person feels like this. Pressure can build up inside, things that were never fully worked through in the soul can be the cause and darken the horizon. Remember, letting someone know is important. If you had lost your way in the city would you ask someone for help? Surely so.
If the sun is darkened and there is hardly any light to walk one can ask a friend or loved one for help. Sometimes those around will be relieved when a loved one tries to open up and talk about these bad inner feelings.