Welcome to the Jungle


In life, it seems like everyone starts out on the edge of a jungle. In order to get through that jungle you are given a machete.  That way you can chop your way through the dense areas and make it through. Those with a mental illness got the stupid, dull machetes. Yay us.

Jungles get really thick at some points, as does life. You have to work hard to get through it. Those with the really nice, sharp machetes work up a sweat but their progress is readily apparent. Then you look back down to your machete in all its dull glory and decide to start hacking away. You put all your time and energy into getting through this rough spot and you are making little to no progress. Well that’s disappointing. Then thoughts start to creep up and you tell yourself “what’s the point in trying if I’m never going to get anywhere?” “It seems so easy for everyone else.” 

Those are the warped negative thoughts that depression can give you. You are overwhelmed and start thinking about how unfair this is. That can become consuming. Your continuous negative thoughts feed your depression. The jungle is closing in and it starts getting dark. It becomes a vicious cycle if you don’t stop it.  How do I get out?

Getting out may seem daunting but believe it or not, breaking it down into smaller pieces may help. Instead of comparing yourself to others and the way they do things, realize that you have your own unique way of dealing with problems. You can chip away at them little by little. After a while the problem is very small and you can now move on. Setting small goals instead of looking at the large goal of doing it all at once, makes it a lot less daunting.

Now that you have smaller more manageable goals you can think about the tasks in a more positive light. Getting from A to Z seemed really hard, but A to B doesn’t seem so bad. When you have accomplished a lot of little goals it seems like you have been doing quite a bit and then you have got the ball rolling. Your thinking gradually becomes more positive and the outlook no longer seems as dim.

Yeah, a lot of people have really great, sharp machetes. So what? You and I have one too. It may be dull, but with some extra forethought you can wield it in a more efficient way. Your skills become considerably more refined with all that extra effort you put in. It looks to me like you will come out of the other side of the jungle just fine.


9 responses to “Welcome to the Jungle

  • James Claims

    I’m not so sure that we get dull machetes. Well maybe we do. But then again, that just forces us to be more creative than those who cut through what problems they see. And it’s in these creative routes that new problems and paths are found. It’s one thing to hack your way through life without ever bothering to think about what you’re doing, it’s another to find a unique avenue through it. (I think I’ve strained the metaphor as far as it’ll go too)

  • Ruby Tuesday

    This post made me smile, because after all that I have been through, my machete could slice through an Amazonian rain forest the way a hot knife does butter.

    And there are also many moments (in mental health and life at large) when the scalpel is the more effective tool for the task at hand, anyway.

    Luck to you on finding your blade of choice, and on learning how to hone its edge to that of a new straight razor and keeping it from rusting. 😉

  • Shelly

    nice analogy. Sometimes instead of a dull machete, it feels like a butter knife.

    I agree that breaking things up into tiny pieces at times especially in the midst of depression is what is necessary.
    *open eyes
    *lift head
    *think about putting one foot on the floor
    *get up
    * get dressed, etc, etc

    The trick is to stay kind to self…be a cheerleader to self…turn the condemning thoughts away. Gets easier with practice.

    Thanks for your insights!

  • reversingthepolarity

    This actually really helped with my perspective. I’ve never thought of my illness like this. Cool post!

  • happythoughts32

    I just wanted to thank you for such a beautiful way of portraying mental illnesses and your outlook as to how to overcome its difficulties. It gives great insight and is a great way to share and explain it to our family and loved ones about how to see us and understand us better.

    Thank you!

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