The Top 5 Ways to Face the Dark Side



I believe the first time I heard the term “the dark side,” was in a movie theatre watching the first Star Wars movie. From then on we all joked about a person being from the dark side was evil.


There are many ways to face something evil, but first let me share with you how a llama faces his evil.


Reports the Denver Post:


Like many sheep ranchers in the West, (including Oregon) Lexy Lowler has tried just about everything to stop craft coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and “scare coyotes.” She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the Southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs-fifty one year.


Then she discovered the llama-the aggressive, funny looking, afraid-of-nothing llama….. “Llamas don’t appear to be afraid of anything,” she said. “When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won’t have anything to do with that….Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take the opportunity away.”


I have been in eastern Oregon often, and you see the llama everywhere. The ranchers all have them for the protection of their sheep. When the llama was brought to the west, they were an investment. Their, “wool,” is very valuable for making sweaters, shirts and blankets. So now the farmer has two benefits from the llama. Not only does it protect their other “crop,” of wool, but they provide an income for the ranchers.


How brave the llama is to have no fear of the coyote. We need to use them as an example for our own lives. We face the dark side all the time, and like the llama we need to face it without fear.




                   The top five ways to face the Dark Side.


1.     Never let the little things build into big things. The philosophy that if I just do one thing wrong no one will notice may work for a while, but then it becomes habit for you. You eventually think doing wrong things are your way of life. Stop them in your tracks, and do a U turn.

2.     The dark side can be many things. It can be depression, self doubt, anxiety, fear, or hopelessness. All of these come from you allowing yourself to fear the unknown. If you don’t think you can accomplish anything you probably are right, but if you lift your head up and walk straight towards your fears, anxiety, etc, you gain tremendous strength to prepare for the everyday battles with the dark side.

3.     Play a game of “chicken,” with the dark side. Don’t let it push you around. If you stand your ground, and force the negative thoughts out of your head, you have defeated the dark side, and it will be running in the opposite direction with its tail between it legs.

4.     As I have said before, you always have lots of support from family and friends if you will just turn to them. They can help you work out your mental anguish. They will be there for you to share your fears. They can give you the reassurance you need to stand up and fight.

5.     The dark side can turn around and be the bright side of your life. Once you defeat the dark side, you have victory, and you can always use that to keep you going through life. Start enjoying the bright side of everything. Having a positive attitude is the strongest warrior against the dark side.



Visit my blog, which discusses many of the dark side varmints. Read posts on how to chase them out of your world. Check out what others have done to conquer the dark side.


Doug Bolton


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Depressed? You’re not alone

This is an article from the Hagerston Morning Herald, in Hagerston, Maryand.

6 million older Americans are affected, but only 10 percent of them are treated

Shortly after Mary Anne retired, friends and family began to notice subtle changes in her personality.

Once an extrovert, she was now declining social invitations and seldom returned phone calls.

She stopped going to church, wasn’t eating properly and was content to spend the day in bed.

“My family thought I was bored,” she said. “I was depressed.”

At the age of 68, the Hagerstown woman was withdrawing from life.

“I had worked for 50 years and had always found a lot of fulfillment in being a career woman,” she said. “I enjoyed going to the office every day, solving problems, working on projects. Now, all of that was gone.”

Couple that with the loss of her husband a year earlier, and it became too much to handle.

“But I didn’t see it as depression,” she said. “I thought I had reached a stage in my life – retired and alone – where feeling down was natural. I thought it was part of growing older.”

It wasn’t until her family insisted that she talk with her primary care physician that the word “depression” came into her vocabulary.

“Never, in a million years, did I think I would be depressed,” she said. “But I had all the classic symptoms.”


Today, Mary Anne said she is back to her old self. A combination of medicine and psychotherapy helped her through a rough time.

“I feel like I’m participating in life again,” she said.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, depression affects about 6 million Americans age 65 and older. But only 10 percent receive treatment.

“It’s a medical problem that is often overlooked,” said Dr. Dashka Patel, a psychiatrist with Brook Lane in Hagerstown. “Often, the elderly minimize their symptoms. They think this is how they should feel – so they don’t let their doctor know what is happening. This makes it difficult for a doctor to make a diagnosis.”

Patel said that many people believe depression is a normal part of aging.

“But this is a myth,” she said. “It’s an illness to be treated, just like high blood pressure or diabetes.”

And just like other medical issues, there are symptoms that should not be ignored, she said.

Signs of depression include a change in personality, she noted. Individuals often become sad, withdrawn, have no interest in socializing or participating in once pleasurable pastimes.

They feel hopeless or helpless.

Depression can also be hidden in complaints, she said, such as back pain, dizziness, fatigue or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Often the doctor will order tests and, even though the results are negative, the patient’s complaints persist. That person might be suffering from depression, she said.

Patel said there are several causes of depression in the older adult, but genetics is usually not one of them.

“Among young people – teens or those in their 20s – family history plays a bigger part,” she said. “If your parents are depressed or a sister has suffered from depression, your chances increase.”

But among the older population, she said, depression is often not related to genetics. It’s more likely to be associated with environmental loss – the loss of a spouse, children moving away, the loss of a job.

According to the National Institutes of Health, many older people face significant life changes that put them at risk for depression. Causes and risk factors include:

· Loneliness and isolation, such as living alone, a dwindling social circle due to deaths or relocations, decreased mobility due to illness or driving privileges.

·n Reduced sense of purpose. Feelings of not being needed or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations that affect activities.

· Health problems. Illness and disability, cognitive decline, damage to body image due to disease or surgery.

· Fears. Concerns about death, anxiety over finances or health problems.

· Bereavement. The death of a spouse or family member, friends or pets.

Despite the risks, Patel said depression is preventable.

“It’s important not to isolate yourself,” she said. “Make more friends, be active and involved. Pay attention to your moods.”

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The Top 5 Ways to Stop Tearing Yourself and Others Down

1. Encouragement


In June of 1993 the police of South Windsor, Connecticut, pulled over motorists in larger numbers than usual, but not because bad drivers had overrun the city.


One person stopped by a patrolman was Lori Carlson, according to the Reuters news service. As the policeman approached her car, she wondered what she had done wrong. To her amazement the officer handed her a ticket that said, “Your driving was great- and we appreciate it.”


On Wednesday, June 9, the authorities in this Hartford suburb had begun a new program to give safe drivers a two-dollar reward for obeying the speed limit, wearing safety belts, having children in protective seats, and using turn signals.


The police of South Windsor had a good idea. The first thing others should expect from us is encouragement. Our friends, family, and fellow workers, will respond best if we not only correct them when they do wrong, but thank them for doing right.


2. Consistency


One of the things that have helped me maintain an even ride on the ocean of life is consistency. I have close friends that I can always depend on to be there when I start feeling down or depressed. I either call them, or they always seem to sense something is wrong when they see me.


They then get into their, snap out of it routine, and it works almost every time. They do not criticize, or belittle me, but they also do not have pity for me, or try to give me a warm fuzzy. Sometimes they sit in silence and let me think it through knowing I have them there for comfort.  You can always depend on your consistent friends.


3.     Knowing What is Important


You probably have heard this story before. I have read it many times, but it is fitting to think of what is important in life, as well as caring for the little things.


An old man, walking the beach at dawn, noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.


“But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish,” countered the old man, “How can your effort make a difference?”


The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it safely into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.


We often walk past things that could have brightened our day. How about that puppy that ran past you going to the park; the little boy giggling over by the lake; the mother that is hugging her daughter; or the ducklings that are swimming behind their mother?


Take time to look around for all the cool things that are happening. Stop and enjoy the other side of life that is not in the fast lane.


4.     Fill people’s lives with humor.


Filling someone’s life with humor can go a long way. Laughter is not a cure-all medicine, but it soothes the soul a great deal.


I came across an article that listed real excuses on insurance reports for why they had an accident.


“A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”

“The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”

“The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering into the other car.”

“The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”

“To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.”

“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.”

“The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran him over.”


AND…… my personal favorite……


“As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.”


This is just one way that humor can really help. Always look on the bright side of everything, and even laugh at it if it is trying to pull you down.


5.     Never go to Bed Angry


One of the most devastating things a person can do is to go to bed angry. That not only builds up over time, but it tears you down both mentally and physically.


I have learned that if I had a heated disagreement with a friend; someone at work; or in my own family, I am miserable until I clear it up. It is better for me to walk away; clear my head; and then come back and apologize. This is not an apology for what I believed in the disagreement. (Many people need to agree to disagree.)  My apology would be for how I handled it. I should not get angry if I can’t sway someone. I need to state my case, and then listen to their reasoning. If you still do not agree, say so and leave at that. You could argue all day and not sway some people.


Let these five ways be a part of your to do list. Go out and try them.


Encourage some one. You will be amazed how it makes them AND you much happier. Be consistent with your family and friends. They will see that you are a person that they can trust, and confide in.  Take a walk with someone else and see what you see. Look for the important things that you would normally not notice. ALWAYS find time to spread humor. It is a great exercise for the face if you cause a smile or laughter. NEVER I said NEVER go to bed angry. It is hazardous to your health.



Doug Bolton


Check out some other methods on how to eliminate self doubt, anger, fear, depression, anxiety, or negative thoughts. Also share some of your own ideas with bloggers at:




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What This Blog will be About

This is my first offical post. I have dreamed of what I could do with this blog; and, here is what I offer to you.

  1. Honest feelings on my own demons and storms that I have been through, and how I conquered them.
  2. Data will be shared from articles on depression in newspapers from all over the world. There will be a new article everyday.
  3. I am hoping that through the posts you will respond with your own feelings and ideas on how you overcame your afflictions like: depression, self doubt, anxiety, fear of failure, or hopelessness. There may be many other storms you have faced; and, I hope you will let us know about them too.
  4. Through all of the posts, resource material, guest writers, and data, I am hopeful that you will begin to take an inventory of your life, and clean out the dirty closets. It is time to wake up and smell those famous roses.
  5. Let the adventure begin. The first informational post will be coming out this week; and, it is called: “The Top 5 Ways to Stop Tearing Yourself and Others Down.” Don’t miss it. It is the first of a series of articles that will give you the information you need to have a better shot at life. You don’t want to miss one.
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