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Maneuvering Through The Darkness by Rev. J.T. Smith

"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell/I know right now you can't tell/But stay awhile and maybe then you'll see/A different side of me"
- "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty

"We all have a universe of our own terrors to face.
- the Doctor [Doctor Who: Ghost Light]

Every one of us has a Dark Side within us.  For the most part, people are able to keep that aspect in check.  Typically, that dark side is balanced out by what could be considered our "Light Side".
"Typically" and "usually" are not “always”.  For some of us, it's harder to control that dark side.
Basically, the Dark Side comes in three flavours: Our fears, our demons, and our monsters.  Those three basic flavours are completely individualized to each of us.
Our fears are our, well . . . fears: both of the present and what's coming in the future and our thorough uncertainty of the occurrence of things that in the future we need to happen, and the fear of things coming to pass that we don't want to ever happen.   Like the "Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear" from Frank Herbert's book Dune said: "Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration."
Our demons are the memories and regrets of our past, things that we want to have done differently or that we can't forgive ourselves for having done regardless of whether or not anyone else has forgiven us, that come back to haunt us.  Our nightmares nearly made manifest.  And anyone who claims to have no regrets lies, even if only primarily to themselves.   We all regret things either done or not regardless of how seemingly inconsequential.   How can you know you have no regrets without knowing first-hand how it feels to begin with?
And our monsters are those dark urges we have to be careful to never let loose else we may hurt those closest to us.
For some of us, our Dark Side can can be a fearful demonic monster in its own right, striking at any time and without remorse.  Always tiring, draining, and dragging down our spirit with varying degrees of success.  And no matter how much those around us may wish to help us, we still have to deal with our own Darkness, especially when we're all alone in the night.
And when we're fighting our monsters and having a really bad day, let's be honest, telling us to “calm down” is the fastest way to piss us off further, and telling us how wonderful things “really are” is just so trite.   And since God is testing us, and we can See and Feel that clearly, saying we need to “find God” as though God was somehow misplaced demonstrates the depths of their lack of comprehension.
Letting people in may be, so we're told, the best way to deal with that Darkness of our dark side, but for some of us that's easier stated than accomplished.  Especially when, no matter how hard we try to make ourselves understood and explain what we're dealing with, even when we're talking with people who're also dealing with their own deep Darkness, we're still having to deal with ours in the middle of the night or alone in a crowded room and the Darkness sneaks up on us and begins to attempt to smother.
And while reality itself can be a hard thing to cope with even at the best times, regardless of how it's presented or how much we'd rather close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears, and ignore it because we feel it's uncomfortable or goes against what we want to believe or the frustrations that are incurred causes our dark side to show itself or be magnified further, the fact remains that we have to face and deal with reality so that maybe, just maybe, we can bring about much needed change which can act as a light to drive away, or at least stave off, our dark side.
And, sometimes, what we need most, more than chemical crutches and understanding confidantes, even when the rest of reality doesn't seem to be going to hell in a hand-basket, is for things to finally start going right for us without our having to scrabble and claw for every micron of progress toward our goals.  Particularly when the primary goal is simply to get our life back.  In the meantime, some of us can especially relate to Pitchshifter's song “Genius” when it says: "If dysfunction is a function, then I must be some kind of genius."

by Rev. J.T. Smith