Don’t despair, God has a plan

Published 11:00 am Friday, August 14, 2020

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I was diagnosed with clinical depression many years ago. My doctor treated me with therapy for over 20 years until a pill entered my life and saved it. I was one of the lucky ones.

My depression began in third grade. I wanted to be the girl with the shiny blond curls instead of me. She was smart, pretty, and happy. She was the first of many who I longed to be. I never liked being me. If someone teased me, I cried for days. If a bully was mistreating someone else, I cried for them. When I failed, it was because I was a failure.

Suicide entered my mind many times. I attempted it. I am brutally honest here because there is no reason not to be. Becoming transparent is how we help those who suffer. Depression creates hopelessness, life is viewed behind a veil of sorrow and gloom.

Today, multitudes are hurting. Because of the pandemic, death, isolation and loss of income play havoc with all of us. The predictions for suicide, depression, and anxiety are roiling. No one is immune from the sadness. Its poison is affecting us all.

For those already enduring depression, it is far worse. The other day, the blue monster jumped in front of my computer. I was preparing to write my column, my thought was, “Why?”

Why was I writing? The world is sick and angry. Pessimism has risen to a new level, and those hard-headed political name-calling folks are driving me crazy. When I go to a store that requires safety protocols and notice a customer stroll by with no mask, they cause me to question the world’s fate. So why write? Why talk about the kindness and goodness of God? It is hopeless. Why do I write about love when selfish hate seems rampant?

I wrote one editor, “Is it time for me to put the pen down?” Then, as if a magic wand were waved, a reader emailed me, “Keep writing and being the voice of love and peace. You are deeply appreciated.” 

The monster faded away, words formed on the screen and the hand of God calmed my soul. Once we recognize our purpose, we become what our creator intended us to be.

When we deliver caring behavior, we become instruments of service. Those who watch the world through the fog of depression and hear angry voices lose confidence in living. God does want us to care about the people we share this earth with. He knows those who grieve and calls on us to render aid.

For those who are suffering, who would rather be anyone else, I urge: There is no one better than you. Each person was made to fulfill a mission. Today, you may not know yours, but one day it will become crystal clear. Do not buy into the bullies, the naysayers, the name-callers. You must never believe there are not good, decent, folks bearing kindness, compassion, and love. These are the folks who heed God’s explicit instruction to “love one another.”

Do I wish I were someone else today? Some days I do, but I also realize if I were someone else, I might not be strong enough to fight for those who want to be someone other than their valuable selves.