When Life Is Hard

Laying flags at graves


When Life is Hard… You are Not Alone

By Bill Murphy, MD,
Medical Director, Turquoise Springs Medical Spa


The inspiration for writing to you usually comes to me based on the daily energy I feel from my patients. I am blessed to see patients from all walks of life, with varied income levels, genders, and races, retired, working, young, and old. In my Pain Practice, I take care of people with chronic pain, acute pain, cancer, and debilitating diseases. I also see consults asking to restore, rejuvenate, start over, refresh, and feel better in my Medical Spa practice. We, the human family, are all the same. We are human. We love, hope, hurt, worry, stress, care for our families, struggle to make ends meet financially and emotionally, and often suffer from loneliness even in a crowd.


I have sensed an uptick in sadness in those around me. There are always people with issues going on in their lives that cause mood swings, anxiety, sleep disorders, and the ebb and flow of the up periods and down periods we all have. Others with more serious psychological issues frame how they view their circumstances and how they respond to stress and duress. I am not speaking of what I will call the “average psychological temperature” of the world as I experience it. I am speaking of a sense in almost everyone of an overlay of low mood, frustration, or “sadness.” A sense of loss, but the loss of what?


Various historians, philosophers, and sociologists I have read over the years have attempted to define the American spirit or the definition of the mindset of the average American citizen. All seem to agree on the foundation or drivers in most individuals’ lives in our country. The four main anchors to the lives of the average person since the foundation of this country have been Family, God, Country, and Individualism/Freedom. These have nothing to do with political party, which religion or faith we practice, or who we have as our family. It seems since COVID, all four have been weakened a bit. The change has been nuanced in some cases and blatant in others, but the stability of and trust in these basic foundations has been weakened, in my opinion. This change makes many of us more anxious, frustrated, and less certain about the next week, month, or year.


Social media, the iPhone, satellite communication, 24-hour news, and text messaging are all wonderful additions to our society. Our communication with each other should be better than ever. Unfortunately, no. We are less likely to speak with each other in person or even by phone and more likely to handle critical conversations by text or email.


What can we do to turn this trend around, which is within our power? What can we do to help ourselves personally and to help others, which paradoxically helps us as well? Some of us live alone, and some live in large families. Even in a time of overwhelming incoming data and communication, many of us are lonely, even in a crowded room. Life is hard for everyone, as we all suffer loss at some point. It is more challenging for some than others, and some need more of our help than others. I can say definitively that there is always someone willing to help you. The most important thing we can do is to be willing to ask for help.


Let each of us start working on rebuilding the four foundational anchors we all have in our lives as Americans. Our heritage is Family, Faith, Country, and Freedom. Reach out to your neighbor and introduce yourself. Ask if there is anything you might do to help them or make their life easier. Call a family member from which you are estranged and tell them you love them. If you are a believer, start with a prayer or attend a service at your church, temple, or mosque. If not, meditate and spread love by service. All should consider community service to pick up trash, deliver food, work at the food bank, or help with voter registration this fall. If you have never attended the swearing-in of new American citizens, you must witness the emotion of the event in person. No one loves this country more than those who are our newest citizens.

Say something positive to someone daily as you look them in the eye and smile. We don’t do enough of this anymore. Use exercise and healthy food as your medicine. (I am paraphrasing Hippocrates, who said, “Let your food be your medicine”). Try to sleep at least 7 hours a night. Contact your family doctor or me at the spa for help. You must ask for help if you need it. We can restore what we feel we have each lost, one act, one day, one compliment, one smile at a time. We are strong, caring, generous people. We still love our family, faith, country, and freedom. Reach your hand out, and I am certain another will grab it.


To schedule a consultation, please call (210) 253-3313 or visit turquoisesprings.com.

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