Asking for Directions

Some people have a good sense of direction and are able to find what they need in life, without any help.  Other’s need help and direction.  Sometimes directions are basic, and get you from place to place, but other times direction includes finding a focus and direction for your life.  That can include picking a career, or finding a home, managing medical issues, or deciding to spend the rest of your life alone or with people you love.  Whatever the issue, sometimes you have to stop and ask directions to make sure you continue in the right direction for a happy life.

There are so many things that can get a person lost.  From drugs, to gambling, to alcohol, lots of things can pull you off your path to happiness.  I have watched patients try desperately to get back on the right path, giving up drugs or other addictions.  Once you lose your way, getting back on track takes time and effort, and it’s possible to lose so many things along the way like family and support.  Lives can fall apart when addiction is involved, but it can come back together with help, support, and lots of time and patience.

People lose their way due to mental health issues as well.  Depression and anxiety can put road blocks in between you and happiness.  It seems easier to sit alone, at home, rather than take chances by getting out and trying to make changes in your life.  Being overwhelmed by crowds and not wanting to be around people are symptoms of bigger issues.  Don’t assume that it can’t be fixed, without really trying.  Hiding is not the answer when it comes to anxiety and depression.  Mental health issues can be managed with support, including counseling, medication, both, or other skill building.  Don’t stay on the wrong path, because the thought of backtracking, or looking for a new path seems scary.

Stopping to ask directions when you are lost, related to a map, seems fairly simple.  You find a safe place, stop, and ask directions to get back to the correct road or path.  The same can be true when you are lost on an emotional path.  Stop and ask for directions, from family members, friends, coworkers, or anyone that can help.  At times I refer people to their pastor, or doctor, or other people they trust for help and support.  So many people who are lost “burn bridges” behind them.  Bridges can be rebuilt with time and “I’m sorry”.  Being humble helps too.  Take some time and take an inventory of your life.  If you could go back, what would you do differently?  If there are things, and situations that you didn’t handle well, you can change those relationships if you are motivated.  Find the positive people in your life and ask for help.  They can help you with directions back to where you want to be, but be ready to hear things that you may not like.  (We will come back to that.)

Everyone gets lost sometimes.  Some people can find their way back, but some people need help to get back.  Which ever you are, don’t be afraid to ask directions if you need them.  If you have supportive, healthy people in your life, they can help.  If you need help, there are places to go and get it.  Ask for directions.  It’s all a part of being healthy for life.