In the television program WEST WING, Josh — one of the main ensemble characters — falls into a pit of malfunction and can’t find his way out. He doesn’t even realize he’s fallen in, for one thing. This unawareness or denial is because he’s experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, having been shot and having survived an assassination attempt.
Another of the WEST WING main characters is a recovered alcoholic. He knows what it’s like to fall into the pit and not be able to get out. He’s been helped out of his pit.
He tells Josh, presently stuck in the pit, a story:
A man falls into a pit. He can’t get out. A priest walks by. The man yells up, “Hey Father, can you help me out?” The priest stops, writes a prayer and throws it down into the pit with the man, goes on his way. A doctor walks by. The man yells up, “Hey Doc, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription and throws it down into the pit, walks on. Finally, a friend walks by. The man yells up, “Hey Joe, I’ve fallen into this hole. I can’t get out. Can you help me?” His friend jumps into the pit. The man says, “Joe, why’d you do that? Now we’re both stuck in this hole.” “Yeah,” says Joe. “But I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.“ (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, ESV)