When the Antidote is Gandalf

Sometimes I think Gandalf is the best psychiatrist the world has ever seen.

J.R.R. Tolkien (and to some degree director Peter Jackson and actor Ian McKellan) crafted a wise character worthy of graduating from a Ph. D program. He may look elderly and gray, but this old bird is tough as nails, and he would beat you into a good psychological state.

Dealing with an abusive spouse that’s not unlike the Balrog of Moria? Gandalf’s got your back:

To the spouse: “You shall not pass!”

To you: “Run, you fools!”

Substance abuse issues from a drug pusher named Saruman?

Gandalf: “I will draw you Saruman as poison is drawn from a wound!”

Hopelessness and suicidal thoughts got you down?

Denethor: “Abandon your posts, flee this city! Flee for your lives!”

Gandalf wacks him in the face with his staff and turns to you, “Prepare for battle!”

Feeling lost and cursed in life?

Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of Evil.”

On a serious note, I truly believe that people who suffer from psychological problems are often whipped from many directions by negative thoughts: Incessant like slave drivers, these terrible energies push and pull like tidal forces until the soul feels completely exhausted and unable to mount a proper defense. Eventually, the mind harmonizes with the darker voices and accepts defeat…unless a small amount of hope can escape like a moth from the clutches from the dark tower and summon the great eagles for a quick retreat.

So the next time you feel down or have a problem that appears unsolvable, just think:

What would Gandalf do?