There is one sentence I have to say to you.

Take up an art, and love it well.

There aren’t shortcuts to being able to make it out of a personal and/or professional and/or mental health crisis on your own. Contrary to popular belief, there are not shortcuts to happiness. Or to learning to become strong. If this is you, reading this, in that position, and you don’t know how you can feel strong or how you can hold on, remember this sentence. Take up an art, and love it well.

It’s a given there are the really bad days. There may be the days you want to scream. There are probably the days you want not to get out of bed, to throw the alarm clock or your cellphone at the opposite wall. Maybe there are the days you want to rake that wall with your fingernails. Hell, maybe there are the days you’re suicidal.

Taking up an art and loving it well can really help.

And love it for its own sake. Not because it gets you plaudits or accolades. It is unfortunately rather easy in this world to mistake the feeling of loving the art for loving the feeling of what it will potentially get you. It’s happened to me. Don’t.

Love the art because it makes you feel good doing it, love it because when you’re doing it it makes you feel like you’re standing with the smell of green grass in your nose and the wind ruffling your hair or like being a seagull cutting across blue waves, love it because when you’re doing it it makes you feel like it’s something you were born to do.

Maybe it’s writing. Maybe you write a blog. Or a short story, in which you transfer your emotions to the character of the protagonist.

Maybe it’s the feeling when you step out on a stage.

Maybe it’s poetry. Maybe it’s an instrument. Maybe it’s singing. Maybe it’s dancing. Just instead of sitting in a blue funk get up, go, go right this moment. Find something that has a way of taking you by the throat.

Of making you feel like this is it. That there is nothing more perfect or nothing you could wish for more in the world than this moment right here, doing this. And that, doing this, you could live for ever. Find something that makes you want to worship it.

There is something like that out there for you.

Permit that to be your key to getting out.