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The See-Saw
Photo: Dave Heinzel
I’ll bet when you were a kid, you played on a see-saw. You can’t play on one by yourself very easily like you can a Game Boy, iPod or an Xbox.

I liked see-saws a lot, at least half of the time. I loved playing on them when I was in midair, with my feet dangling. There was a certain scary thrill up there depending totally on my partner on the ground.

Thing is, I had no idea when my friend was going to push with gusto resulting in her going high and me thumping painfully to the ground.

With a sparkle of mischievousness in my eyes, I would watch as my friend enjoyed being high in the sky giggling and swinging her feet. Then it was my turn to give a hearty push (without warning her) which put me up, and you know the result for her.

Hiding It

Life can be like that for some of us, huh. Lots of ups and downs. Older people identify the “downs” as depression. When you’re down, it’s like hitting the ground on a see-saw, and it hurts. Your friends and family might be high in the air with their emotions, giggling and having fun. And maybe you smile when you are with them, trying to hide how you feel inside. But that doesn’t help you, and it doesn’t help them. Maybe they feel the same way you do and are hiding it.

How can you change your “down” feelings? Here comes the point of the see-saw, and my favorite part about playing on it.

When my friend and I grew tired of getting our bottoms smacked, and our brains so rattled we were sure they were all twisted, we called a truce and agreed to work together to balance the board beneath us. We would both put our feet firmly on the ground, helping each other maintain our balance and feeling of security. We would sit there awhile, sharing our deepest secrets and enjoying each other’s friendship. Later, we’d climb off the see-saw at the same time, and walk away arm in arm to a new adventure.

Down on the ground feels bad. Sitting high in the sky with feet dangling isn’t all that fun for long either. The best place to be is right in the middle, with your feet firmly on the ground. You can’t find that place alone. So call a friend. Share your feelings. Help each other find balance. Then walk arm in arm toward your next adventure.

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By Denise Taylor, pseudonym. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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