An Open Letter to All Who Suffer
I know… I have suffered from depression and despair since I was seven years old and my mother tried to kill herself the first time. I know how deep a person can sink when they believe the whole world is piled up on them like a huge pile of sh*t with no way to dig out and no way to breathe. I know what it is like to just give up because there is no way to manage the despair and pain in my life. I have taken drugs to combat it, I have been told to just “get over it,” and I have been told that it was just all in my head. I have been down that road for almost 50 years now. Fifty years of hell and afraid to tell anyone about it for fear that they will lock me away. Well, I got locked away when I was 18 years old and they told me I was just immature and needed to grow up. A great amount of good that did.
But things got even worse than I ever thought possible about a year ago, when I decided that I had to close my business of about 5 years because of the economy. I basically lost all of my business by September 2008, started looking for a job and had several interviews, but no job offers, and closed my office in January 2009 when I could no longer afford the rent and utilities. In January 2009, I was at the bottom, feeling totally worthless, although none of what happened was my fault. But all of the old fears and inadequacies came back to haunt me, except this time, I had way too much free time on my hands so the fears, the inadequacies, and the pain ran rampant through me. I was at the bottom. So what would it be? Pills? A bullet? A car wreck? A long walk on the freeway? What would it be? It couldn’t continue like this…
I knew it couldn’t go on like this, and in January of last year, I broke. I was on the verge of doing myself in when my wife kept asking me what was wrong, so I broke down and told her that I had hit that point in my life where I was so lost in my own depression and despair that I needed help. That I couldn’t do this by myself anymore. And she took me to her church and said just listen to what the Pastor says.
I really don’t remember what exactly the Pastor taught on that day, but I knew that he was talking directly to me. I knew that what he said was true because the words began to fill that huge void in the center of me that had never been filled before. I knew that the only way I was coming out of this alive was to accept what he was saying and to accept Jesus as my personal savior. And to turn my life over to Him to do what He wanted to do with it. So I did just that, that day, not another minute later. I was saved that day. Jesus did what He said He would do, He washed away my past sins, He released me from the pain and despair that I was suffering, and He gave me hope. Hope, something I had not had for a long time.
It’s now a year later, and yes, the bouts of depression still come around at times, but my best defense is to stop, take a minute to talk to God and tell Him that I don’t want to feel this way and to take my hand and lead me down the path He wants me to take. The feelings of depression and despair go away almost immediately. When I have prayed for a job, work shows up. When I pray for the health of my family and friends, illnesses go away. When I pray to be strong so that I may follow His path without wavering, an angel appears behind me to help push me down the right path. I have been truly blessed by what has happened over the last year.
Just think about this – Miracles happen every day. God wants you to come to Him so He can give you peace and grace. All you have to do is ask Jesus for it. And you have to learn, like I have, that walking with Him has its rewards, greater rewards than we can imagine. But it is all about gaining and maintaining your faith in Jesus and God and realizing that you too can have a daily personal relationship with Him that will help you through the trials and tribulations of life.