“Depression is anger without the excitement.” – Mike Wells
Depression is anger turned inward… it is anger that has no means of expression… it comes when there is no hope. The tragedy of suicide (whatever variables may be involved) has one underlying current: that person has lost hope. To lose hope is to see no way out of the current situation.
Life can be so difficult it is hard to reconcile. Circumstances that overwhelm us for a long time, or a trauma left ungrieved, can make us wonder, “What’s the point?”
Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can’t get ahead, you can’t succeed, you can’t lift the weight off your shoulders.
Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can’t connect, you can’t feel love and acceptance, you can’t life the weight off your heart.
The joy you used to find in particular activities or encounters is now gone. You think about quitting. It’s just too hard. The deck seems stacked against you. (Or an insurmountable tragedy occurs, like losing a child.)
You don’t even have the energy to get angry anymore. Anger has turned to hopelessness. Now, it’s too hard to just keep going.
You may feel lifeless or empty. You just don’t care. You may feel unrelenting helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. Nothing seems to make a difference.
I hope that recent events have caused us all to look inward, and to look outward. I hope that it has caused us to reach out to someone who is on our heart — make a call, pay a visit. Tell someone you are there, that you care, that you love them, that they are not alone.
“How are you doing?”
“No, really, how are you?”
People are hurting. Someone you know. Look past their smile. Take that step to reach out to see beneath the surface.
“Have compassion and empathy in your heart. Many people are suffering deep emotional anguish beneath the surface of their lives, and they smile even as they hurt inside.” – Jim Palmer
If you feel alone and hopeless and depressed, please reach out too. Don’t give up. Let’s discover together that whatever situation you are in, whatever problems seem overwhelming, there is hope – there is always hope.
Wherever you are on this journey called life, reach out. Let’s not go through this alone.
“I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
[To read more from Susan Cottrell, visit www.FreedHearts.org]
SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith, as well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – FreedHearts.org – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.
She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.