I say that strength of character must grow from our own initiative, and I should add that it must be from our own initiative that we come to recognize and actively believe that we are dependent upon a power not our own and our real strength comes from ceasing to be an obstruction to that power. The work of not interfering with our best health, moral and physical, means hard fighting and steady, never-ending vigilance. But it pays—it more than pays! And, it seems to me, this prevailing trouble of nervous strain which is so much with us now can be the means of guiding all men and women toward more solid health than has ever been known before. But we must work for it! We must give up expecting to be cured.
How Women can keep from being Nervous
Many people suffer unnecessarily from “nerves” just for the want of a little knowledge of how to adjust themselves in order that the nerves may get well. As an example, I have in mind a little woman who had been ill for eight years—eight of what might have been the best years of her life—all because neither she nor her family knew the straight road toward getting well. Now that she has found the path she has gained health wonderfully in six months, and promises to be better than ever before in her life.
Let me tell you how she became ill and then I can explain her process of getting well again. One night she was overtired and could not get to sleep, and became very much annoyed at various noises that were about the house. Just after she had succeeded in stopping one noise she would go back to bed and hear several others. Finally, she was so worked up and nervously strained over the noises that her hearing became exaggerated, and she was troubled by noises that other people would not have even heard; so she managed to keep herself awake all night.
The next day the strain of the overfatigue was, of course, very much increased, not only by the wakeful night, but also by the annoyance which had kept her awake. The family were distressed that she should not have slept all night; talked a great deal about it, and called in the doctor.
The woman’s strained nerves were on edge all day, so that her feelings were easily hurt, and her brothers and sisters became, as they thought, justly impatient at what they considered her silly babyishness. This, of course, roused her to more strain. The overcare and the feeble, unintelligent sympathy that she had from some members of her family kept her weak and self-centered, and the ignorant, selfish impatience with which the others treated her increased her nervous strain. After this there followed various other worries and a personal sense of annoyance—all of which made her more nervous.