Tag Archives: depression


How could I have been so blind?

I missed the meaning in a look, a touch and

whispered words.

My heart had informed my senses,

and it had become dulled to nuance.

My world was as gray as the winter sky,

clouds so thick that the sun could not break through.

I was sad to think you might be leaving me,

but the signs were there,

small changes creeping into our lives

ever so slowly.

And when you said, “we need to talk,”

I thought,

“This is it.”

Braced for the brunt of goodbye,

I sat still and listened.

“Let’s get away,” you said.

“I think it would be good for both of us.”

Growing in resiliency

I work at a cancer support center that is part of a national organization which hosts an annual conference. Last year, it was in Philadelphia and this year it was virtual. The keynote speaker talked about resilience.

This speaker shared that fifteen years ago, he was working in a toxic environment which led to a deep depression. One day, when he could not take it any longer, he tried to kill himself by driving off an overpass on the expressway; he thought he could make his death look like an accident. Fortunately, the guardrail held, and he lived. Now he spends his life sharing messages of hope, positivity and resiliency.

The incident he shared reminded me of a time in my late thirties when I was living in a toxic situation that had drawn me into a deep depression.

One day, I was stopped at an intersection, waiting for a Mack truck to drive by. I remember thinking that if I pulled out at exactly the right moment, the truck would hit me with enough force to kill me. My second thought, though—and the one that saved my life—was that I had a passenger in the car, and it seemed completely unfair to risk her life to take my own.

Before that moment, I knew I had been struggling with feelings of hopelessness and a deep sadness, but I could not see a way out. The vortex of negativity had a strong grip on me, and I felt like I was being sucked under.


The incident with the truck frightened me so much that I called a therapist the next day. I also moved out of the toxic living situation that was fueling my depression.

The conference speaker talked about depression and getting professional help; he also talked about the keys to developing resiliency skills.

Resiliency is important for people facing cancer, and, like depression, can be the catalyst for developing new skills.

Not long after that Mack-truck incident, I remember telling my spiritual director that I felt like I was falling apart, and she said it seemed like I was falling together. I got her point—sometimes we have to be completely shattered before we can begin to rebuild.

I believe that every curse has a blessing, and my task is to seek the blessing.

The isolation brought on by COVID19 seems like an invitation to reflect on the people and experiences in my life that have helped me grow, and this conference talk was a catalyst for remembering a difficult time that ultimately led to deeper healing.

I feel blessed to have not only survived the difficult and sometimes devasting events in my life, but also to have grown because of them. Wonderful therapists and spiritual directors have guided me, and faithful friends have supported me. The grace of God nudges me toward forgiveness—of myself and those who have hurt me—and letting go.

Where do you find hope in the midst of life’s challenges?


Seeing as a spiritual practice

“You have sensitive eyes,” my eye doctor once told me.

He was referring to the fact that I came to see him whenever my vision changed—even the tiniest variation in my eyesight would send me in to get new lenses. He told me that most people lived with blurry vision for a while before coming in for a new set of glasses. But not me; I have sensitive eyes.

His observation came back to me after reading a comment on one of my blog posts about how I seemed to see deeper meaning in everyday objects, how I can look beyond the physical characteristics of something and make a spiritual connection.

For Lent, I am praying to see with sensitive eyes. I want to see with the eyes of my heart (Ephesians 1:18).

When I was in my twenties, I worked in an office with nine men; I was the only woman. My emotional state at the time was like a roller coaster. Which me would show up for work on any given day? Happy me? Angry me? Depressed me? Sad me? It was anyone’s guess.spiritual-practice-Lent

One day, when depressed me showed up for work, one of the men stopped in front of my desk, paused and then said, “Do you know that your moods affect the entire office?”

“What?” I asked, incredulously. I thought I lived in a bubble, that I was the only one affected by my volatile emotional state. I really did not know anyone else noticed.

“You are the first person we meet when we walk through that door, and when you are in a bad mood, it affects all of us,” he explained.

Oh, those poor men, I thought. They had been enduring my unpredictable mood swings. My roller-coaster ride must have been like a ride through a house of horror for them.

But, having been made aware, I decided to change. I would park my moodiness at the door and enter the office even-keeled. It took effort, but over time, I became much more stable.spiritual-practice-LentOne problem, though, was that some of the men had the image of the old me so firmly planted in their minds that they could not see the new me. They never really trusted that the old me would not reappear, so they never let their guard down long enough to get to know the new me.

It was a wonderful lesson about my own potential to grow and about allowing other people to grow—to expect the best in myself and in others, even if I am repeatedly disappointed.

That lesson has stayed with me, and I strive to be even-keeled. I also remind myself that I am not the same person I was yesterday—and neither is anyone else.

I want to be open to the people I meet every day and to look for the best in them. I want to practice seeing with sensitive eyes, with the eyes of my heart.spiritual-practice-Lent