The Surprising Upside to Sadness

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The Surprising Upside to Sadness

By Catherine Morgan

Depression. Discouragement. Sorrow.

Too often we find ourselves here. Waves of emotions overcome when we least expect them. While I’ve learned a lot about choosing light, daring to hope, hard thanksgiving, and spiritual battle, there are lessons yet to learn.

The more I consider these emotions I’d rather not experience, the more I see multiple reasons that depression—yes, depression—has been a gift to me. Here are five.

1. Sadness forces me to depend on Jesus.

I am far more aware of Christ, attentive to Christ, and thirsty for Christ when I am discouraged. Trapped in a rough patch, the psalmists’ words suddenly spring to life: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God” (Ps. 42:1). “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).

Only when I thirst for Jesus do I bend low to drink his living water. And so, paradoxically, in sadness I find the key to joy, which otherwise I might blithely miss.

2. Sadness gives me humility and empathy.

Depression has a way of humbling me like nothing else, as God protects me from my own ego. It’s hard to feel you’ve arrived when you struggle to even get out of bed. In these moments I need grace like I need water, a knowledge that keeps me face-planted before the cross—a posture infinitely preferable to the kind of humiliating crash that often flows from pride.

Empathy lets me see the world from a brokenhearted perspective—it lets me borrow broken eyes. Am I compassionate? It’s only because I so deeply need mercy. How can I withhold this gift I’ve received and need more of each day? I meet homeless families, unemployed immigrants, teen moms, couples mid-divorce, suicidal folks, jilted sweethearts. Every one has the same needs, the same sinful soul, the same shy beauty of God’s image imprinted on their heart. When I see them, I see me. God redeems my sadness as he turns my eyes outward and fills me with compassion.

3. Sadness rescues me from silliness.

As my seminary-nerd husband would say, my depression rescues me from ontological lightness. It’s easy to exchange weighty things for hollow entertainment. Unchecked, it can lead someone through 30,000 days only to face eternity with empty pockets. Isn’t this the spirit of Ecclesiastes 7:2? “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”

Joy is not inferior to gloom—emphatically it’s not—but it’s easy in all the levity to miss the grand epic as it unfolds. Like hobbits happy in the Shire while Sauron advances, we can forget the stakes—life is short, eternity beckons, souls hang in the balance. A healthy dose of sobriety helps me see the world as it is: cursed and lost, in need of a Redeemer.

4. Sadness prepares me for future struggle.

How often does a rootless faith blow away in adversity? A quick survey of spiritual giants indicates they have this in common: They’ve suffered. In various ways, to various degrees, they’ve driven those roots down ever-deeper into the love of God, so that when the storms of persecution or tragedy arrive, they’re prepared. They know from repeated experience where to find living water in a drought.

5. Sadness is God’s way of strengthening me.

Jesus, who holds the galaxies together by his power, demonstrated another kind of strength as he was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. And in his mercy, he lends us a measure of his strength when we suffer. When we’re weak in ourselves, we’re strong in him.

When I fall into the pit of despair, I’ve learned to look up, to seek light, to cry out for deliverance, to long for home. It’s a struggle I may face all my life. That’s okay. God is at work, and I can trust him.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet. 1:6–9)

Thank you, Jesus.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Jennifer Blaszczak

It is winter yet again. The beautiful colors of the autumn leaves have disappeared and have been replaced by barren tree limbs and icicles sharp and brittle. The harsh winds rattle the window frames and the cold air seems to sing a cruel song that frightens away birds to warmer climates. The daytime gives way to the moon, and darkness sets in way before supper. So, you see, while some perceive winter as a festive time when their worlds are blanketed by the purity of snow, others feel that they are being suffocated by a literally colorless existence.

It is estimated that half a million Americans are negatively affected by the changing seasons and darkening of the summer light. They feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Their activity levels decrease, and they find themselves in bed more often. This depression disorder not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life, including their job performance and friendships. This disorder is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronym-ed, SAD.

What is SAD Exactly?

SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual at the same time each year, usually starting when the weather becomes colder in September or October, and ends in April or May when the weather becomes warmer. People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during the brightness of spring and summer.

“Hey, Einstein! I knew that already! Tell me something I don’t know!”

Jeez, okay, okay. Irritability is a sign of SAD, so I understand your bitterness, Crankypants. Here are-

10 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD

1. Did you know that between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women? It’s true. If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD. Great, so not only do women have PMS, Menopause, and child labor to worry about, add SAD to the list, too.

2. Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of a body chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is what helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.

3. SAD can be treated. If your symptoms are mild, meaning, if they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, light therapy may help you beat SAD. Using light therapy has shown highly effective. Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months.

4. Some say that light therapy has no side effects, but others disagree. We think it simply depends on the person. Some people experience mild side effects, such as headaches, eye strain, or nausea. However, these light therapy users say that the side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Most scientists agree that there are no long-term side effects, but remember to consult your physician before any treatment decisions are made.

5. There are some things to consider if you want to try light therapy in your home, otherwise, you will not receive all the benefits that this type of therapy offers.

  • When purchasing a lightbox, do not skimp as far as money is concerned. Buy a larger one so that you will receive enough light to be beneficial.
  • The best time for light therapy is in the early morning. (If used late at night, it could cause insomnia.) So, even if it means waking up earlier, set aside some morning time to relax and use your lightbox.
  • Many people are not aware of this, but you must have your eyes open and face the light during therapy. Do not stare at the light. That would be silly. Simply face the light, eyes open.

6. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. Individuals must meet certain criteria:

  • The symptoms and remission of the systems must have occurred during the last two consecutive years.
  • The seasonal depressive episodes must outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime.

7. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. These treatments are useful for those struggling with this disorder, however, some people find that some medications can cause multiple side effects, so it might be worth looking into those before trying to get this medication. For a short term treatment method, some people do prefer to find some of the best sativa strains as they are known for boosting moods and creativity, making it easier for people with mood disorders to get through the day more comfortably. To read about the best cannabis strain for this, people may want to visit to learn more. Make sure to do what’s best for you though. If the medications work, prioritize them.

8. There is actually a device that conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while treated. The device is called a light visor. Just wear the light visor around your head and complete your daily chores and rituals. A light visor still can potentially have the same side effects as the standard forms of light therapy, so only simple activities, such as watching television, walking, or preparing meals is advised. We do not recommend you operate heavy machinery while wearing a light visor. (You would look pretty silly with it on out in public, anyway.)

9. If you have a friend or loved one who suffers from SAD, you can help them tremendously.

  • Try to spend more time with the person, even though they may not seem to want any company.
  • Help them with their treatment plan.
  • Remind them often that summer is only a season away. Tell them that their sad feelings are only temporary, and they will feel better in no time.
  • Go outside and do something together. Take a walk, or exercise. Get them to spend some time outside in the natural sunlight. Just remember to bundle up!

10. Although not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light. Winter depression does cause petulance in many cases, but summer depression is known to cause severe violence. So, it could be worse.

There are times in this article, in which I seem a bit blithe. However, please, do not take my somewhat lighthearted approach to SAD the wrong way. SAD is a serious disorder that disrupts the lives of many people, worldwide. It is nothing to laugh at. Sneeze at, perhaps-it is winter, after all. But laugh at? No, not at all.

If you would like help with Seasonal Affective Disorder, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor.

Coping with Holiday Cheer in the Face of Loss

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Coping with Holiday Cheer in the Face of Loss

By Sally Carey

The holiday season, under the best of times, brings it own stressors and expectations, which we have all learned to manage or mangle, for better or worse, over the years. Congratulations on learning how to keep a grain of your sanity intact, hopefully without leaving too many bodies in the wake of seasons past!

But what do we do when we’ve had some serious, life-challenging or life changing event like illness, job and/or home loss, estrangement, divorce or separation, or even a death, and the happy, happy holidays are assaulting us at every turn of the channel?

I know the fantasy of a Hawaiian vacation or leaving the country altogether might be appealing, but most of us don’t have that option. We still have to figure out a way to get food and find shelter from the storm of good cheer while holding down the fort.

What can help?

The answers are as unique and varied as each individual, and each setback or loss. Regardless of that variety, one thing that does help is to make a plan.

Making a plan can give you a sense of control when coping with circumstances that have been spiraling out of control.

Plan your script. What can you comfortably say when greeted by those who may or may not know about your changes or loss? What are the words that honestly and gently express your feelings and experience? Try rehearsing a few phrases so you aren’t caught off guard. Anticipate their responses and your rejoinders along with questions to ask them that can shift the focus. These might be no-brainer responses in better times, but you might not be functioning at your peak right now. Have some ‘planned and canned’ statements in your protective arsenal.

Next, lower your expectations about what you can comfortably do – physically, financially, and socially.

Refocus on your values of the season and give yourself permission to reconsider how you want to express those. If that means changing a tradition like giving gifts to everyone, sending cards to millions, hosting dinner, etc., think about the purpose of that tradition and find a simpler way to accomplish the goal.

For instance, while you use a courier melbourne, or one near you for that matter, to send gifts or cards, also try and make a donation to a charity or cause that is meaningful to you or to someone who has died. Do it in the name(s) of those you would normally give gifts to, and it is a win/win for honoring values and including others. Another bonus is that typically the receiving organization will send out cards to those you’ve identified as donors so you don’t have to do anything else.

Instead of hosting a dinner, you could make a date to do something enjoyable together in the near future. You could also ask someone else to host it this time as a gift to you, or you could tone it down to a ‘cider and cookies’ gathering. It could be that this year, instead of any dinner, you prefer to go to a prayer service. Invite others to join you and maybe have coffee afterwards. A change in tradition does not mean you are forsaking a tradition forever. It just means you’re making it work for you this year.

If you are missing someone who has died, make a plan to remember & honor your loved one-a lit candle, some pictures on the mantle, a prayer service, a gift to their charity, a day of service or creating a service project in their name are a few ideas.

In doing this, you are creating new ways to maintain your enduring connection with the one you are missing. There aren’t any road maps for that challenge. Search your heart and maybe connect with other folks who have done this. You can also turn to your local grief support groups or hospice bereavement counselors to get ideas that are specific to you.

Most people want to avoid public tears and runny noses, so plan on how and when you may need to safely release your difficult thoughts and feelings before going out in public.

If you are “keeping a lid on it,” you will probably blow your cover at a less than ideal time and place. Letting yourself have the private down time for reflection and feeling and maybe falling apart will help you have control when you need it.

If you are out and about, always know where the nearest bathroom is in case you have to hide and wipe your tears and nose. Believe me. It’s not a pretty sight to be sniveling and snotting while asking for directions to the restroom! Your car can be a good safety zone too. It also helps to go places with a trusted person who can whisk you away and make explanations or apologies at the drop of a tear.

Go ahead and make some plans for limited sociability, but also make a Plan B, which could be to only stay a short time or to allow yourself a last minute cancellation.

Also, have an escape plan. That is, plan for a bit of escape in the form of pleasure and comforting activities. You need to balance sadness with enjoyment however you like to create that. And yes, it is fine to turn off the holiday music, TV, or annoying people. Find something else to help you tap into the love and kindness that is your well-spring any time of the year.

If you know someone who may be missing a loved one, simply inviting them to share their thoughts and feelings without trying to ‘fix’ them is a real gift.

Many feel they cannot share their sadness, as it isn’t ‘fitting’ with the season of happiness and joy. Listen to them and honor their feelings. Letting them know they are normal even if they feel ‘out of it’ can be invaluable support for them. If you ask them to share some of their memories of the person or holidays past, it may bring up a tear or two, but it will surely affirm the value of their loved one and offer a treasured opportunity to share that with someone who cares.

The holidays during a time of loss can be devastating. But make a plan for handling people, give yourself plenty of down time, and remember that traditions altered are not traditions abandoned. And in all things be patient with yourself. This, too, shall pass.

If you would like help with grief and loss, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Don’t say “Don’t Cry”

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If you would like help from someone who won’t tell you, “don’t cry,” please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

6 Ways to Help A Grieving Friend

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6 Ways to Help A Grieving Friend

By Sam Altis

Two years ago, I endured what was, hands down, the most painful season of my life. After a series of long-term, compounding health issues, my dad died suddenly. Part of me felt like contacting wrongful death lawyer Gary Bruce as I felt that he could have been saved, but I don’t think it would have given me the peace I was craving.

My experience of grief shaped me in profound ways that I am still discovering, but one of the things that has come most clearly out my grief is the desire to see others grieved with well. When comforting a grieving friend, everyone has good intentions. Unfortunately, those good intentions often don’t translate to loving, helpful action. And when you’re grieving, you don’t have the energy to see through to good intentions.

So, as I reflect on my own experience of loss, here are a few things you can do for a friend who has lost someone they love deeply.

Don’t try to fix it.

I remember standing in line at my dad’s visitation and enduring an endless string of well-intentioned one liners. Classics like “He’s in a better place” and “You’ll see him again someday.”

Then a total stranger came up and said something completely different that stuck with me: “It doesn’t get better. It gets different.”

Here is what was so impactful about that statement: She wasn’t trying to fix anything.

Most of the things we say to a grieving friend attempt to smooth over their pain. Grief can’t be fixed or smoothed over. It has to be endured and, in some sense, it never goes away. It gets different. Less pervasive. Less overwhelming. But it’s always there because the person we lost is not.

Whatever you say to a grieving friend, make sure it doesn’t try to fix their grief.

Do something tangible and simple.

There was one day in the weeks that followed my dad’s death that felt particularly overwhelming.

I was exhausted, indescribably sad and hurting in ways I didn’t know were possible. And then a package came in the mail. The teens that I worked with at the time had made me cards and sent gift cards to cover meals. I could feel their love in this simple expression, and it gave me just enough energy to go on.

Unless they’re particularly profound or horrible, the things we say to our grieving friends won’t be remembered. What will be remembered are the tangible acts of love we do for them: meals, cards, showing up. So if you’re lost for words, don’t say anything. Just do something simple.

The latte you bring them may just sit coldly on the table, but they’ll feel your love in the action. That love is the best thing you have to offer them.

Ask about the person they lost.

After my dad’s visitation, my wife and I went to dinner with some friends. After a few minutes, the conversation lulled and that “what can we possible say” silence set in. Then my friend said the best thing anyone could have in that moment: “Tell me about your dad.”

Talking to a grieving friend can feel like walking through a mine field. You don’t want say something that will trigger a fresh wave of grief or hurt the person because you said the wrong thing. This, almost always, seems to result in avoiding mentioning the loved one who was lost. This can actually be the worst thing for someone who is grieving.

When you’ve lost someone, you want to hold on to them in any way you can. Often this is through talking about them to others. It’s incredibly comforting, even for just a moment, to share about the person you lost. Give your friend the opportunity to do so.

Be slow to compare.

In the wake of losing my dad, I was flooded with conversations about my loss, most of which I don’t remember at all. What I do remember is a theme: comparison.

Many people said things like, “I know how you feel, I lost an uncle,” or “I felt the same way when my boyfriend broke up with me.” This was well-intentioned, but usually pretty unhelpful.

When we bring up our own experience with grief to a friend who has lost someone, we’re shooting for empathy.

Unfortunately, what we often end up doing is minimizing the uniqueness of their loss. Every grief is different because every person and relationship lost is different.

If you want to show empathy without comparing, try to identify the feelings you felt in your grief and ask your friend how they’re handling those same feelings. This simple act says, “You’re not alone” while avoiding comparing losses.

Don’t have expectations for their grief.

Perhaps the greatest act of love I received in my grief came from how my wife walked with me. As grief hit me and I responded with everything from anger, to numbness, to tears, my wife sat with me uncritically. She never questioned how I was responding. She was just sad with me, which is all I needed from her.
For more help in the grieving process, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Teen Depression

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Teen Depression


You are not alone.

There are ways you can feel better.

If you have been feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable for what seems like a long time, you might have depression.

  • Depression is a real, treatable brain illness, or health problem.
  • Depression can be caused by big transitions in life, stress, or changes in your body’s chemicals that affect your thoughts and moods.
  • Even if you feel hopeless, depression gets better with treatment.
  • There are lots of people who understand and want to help you.
  • Ask for help as early as you can so you can get back to being yourself.

Regular sadness and depression are not the same

Regular sadness

Feeling moody, sad, or grouchy? Who doesn’t once in a while? It’s easy to have a couple of bad days. Your schoolwork, activities, and family and friend drama, all mixed with not enough sleep, can leave you feeling overwhelmed. On top of that, teen hormones can be all over the place and also make you moody or cry about the smallest thing. Regular moodiness and sadness usually go away quickly though, within a couple of days. It might help to talk to MMJ doctors in Kansas City to get some support through it.


Untreated depression is a more intense feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and anger or frustration that lasts much longer, such as for weeks, months, or longer. These feelings make it hard for you to function as you normally would or participate in your usual activities. You may also have trouble focusing and feel like you have little to no motivation or energy. You may not even feel like seeing your best friends. Depression can make you feel like it is hard to enjoy life or even get through the day. For this reason, it is very important that you seek medical help for your depression, as there is help out there for you. Some people with depression often look for alternative methods to help treat their symptoms. They may buy CBD products using this Joy organics coupon code as a way to help treat themselves. Whatever you feel, it is important to get help. Get in touch with your local physician and speak with them about treatment options for you.

Know the signs and symptoms of depression

Most of the day or nearly every day you may feel one or all of the following:

  • Sad
  • Empty
  • Hopeless
  • Angry, cranky, or frustrated, even at minor things

You also may:

  • Not care about things or activities you used to enjoy.
  • Have weight loss when you are not dieting or weight gain from eating too much.
  • Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleep much more than usual.
  • Move or talk more slowly.
  • Feel restless or have trouble sitting still.
  • Feel very tired or like you have no energy.
  • Feel worthless or very guilty.
  • Have trouble concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions.
  • Think about dying or suicide or try suicide.

Not everyone experiences depression the same way. And depression can occur at the same time as other mental health problems, such as anxiety, an eating disorder, or substance abuse.

If you think you are depressed, ask for help as early as you can

1. Talk to:

  • Your parents or guardian
  • Your teacher or counselor
  • Your doctor
  • A helpline, such as 1-800-273-TALK (8255), free 24-hour help
  • Or call 911 if you are in a crisis or want to hurt yourself.

2. Ask your parent or guardian to make an appointment with your doctor for a checkup. Your doctor can make sure that you do not have another health problem that is causing your depression. If your doctor finds that you do not have another health problem, he or she can treat your depression or refer you to a mental health professional. A mental health professional can give you a thorough evaluation and also treat your depression.

3. Talk to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, counselor, psychologist, or other therapist. These mental health professionals can diagnose and treat depression and other mental health problems.

There are ways you can feel better

Effective treatments for depression include talk therapy or a combination of talk therapy and medicine.

Talk therapy

A therapist, such as a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, or counselor can help you understand and manage your moods and feelings. You can talk out your emotions to someone who understands and supports you. You can also learn how to stop thinking negatively and start to look at the positives in life. This will help you build confidence and feel better about yourself. Research has shown that certain types of talk therapy or psychotherapy can help teens deal with depression. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on thoughts, behaviors, and feelings related to depression, and interpersonal psychotherapy, which focuses on working on relationships.

Read more about talk therapies at


If your doctor thinks you need medicine to help your depression, he or she can prescribe an antidepressant. There are a few antidepressants that have been widely studied and proven to help teens. If your doctor recommends medicine, it is important to see your doctor regularly and tell your parents or guardian about your feelings, especially if you start feeling worse or have thoughts of hurting yourself. It might be a good idea for some, with parential permission, to try CBD oil from Zuya. It has been known to support those who have depression to work towards an emotional solution.

Read more about medicines for depression at

Be good to yourself

Besides seeing a doctor and a counselor, you can also help your depression by being patient with yourself and good to yourself. Don’t expect to get better immediately, but you will feel yourself improving gradually over time.

  • Daily exercise, getting enough sleep, spending time outside in nature and in the sun, or eating healthy foods can also help you feel better.
  • Your counselor may teach you how to be aware of your feelings and teach you relaxation techniques. Use these when you start feeling down or upset.
  • Try to spend time with supportive family members. Talking with your parents, guardian, or other family members who listen and care about you gives you support and they can make you laugh.
  • Try to get out with friends and try fun things that help you express yourself.

Depression can affect relationships

It’s understandable that you don’t want to tell other people that you have been struggling with depression. But know that depression can affect your relationships with family and friends, and how you perform at school. Maybe your grades have dropped because you find it hard to concentrate and stay on top of school. Teachers may think that you aren’t trying in class. Maybe because you’re feeling hopeless, peers think you are too negative and start giving you a hard time.

Know that their misunderstanding won’t last forever because you are getting better with treatment. Think about talking with people you trust to help them understand what you are going through.

Depression is not your fault or caused by something you did wrong

Depression is a real, treatable brain illness, or health problem. Depression can be caused by big transitions in life, stress, or changes in your body’s chemicals that affect your thoughts and moods. Depression can run in families. Maybe you haven’t realized that you have depression and have been blaming yourself for being negative. Remember that depression is not your fault!

Learn more

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

NIDA for Teens, Drugs & Health:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), free 24-hour help

If you or your child is struggling with depression, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

Why I’m Scared of Being Cured of Depression

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depression couch

Why I’m Scared of Being Cured of Depression

By Karis Rogerson

Depression, man. You’d think after spending all this time in close confines with it, I’d have developed a fondness for it. Like we’d be friends, or frenemies maybe. Buddies who sort of hate each other but have learned how to get along.

You’d be half-right.

Depression sucks. It really does. It sucks because it is, by its nature, a sucky thing, and it sucks because the longer it pulls on you the more you come to rely on it, to depend upon its presence in your life. Who would I be if I weren’t depressed? How light would my heart be, how different would the landscape of my past look? I’m scared to look. I both hope for healing and plead with God not to release me. And I hate depression for even making me think for a second that I would be less than what I am if not for it.

But there it is. Depression is such an integral part of my story. It’s woven into most of my memories starting halfway through middle school. It’s the foundation of tons of poems and random prose pieces I’ve written. I’ve got a series called “when the times are hard,” where I just sit down and write what I’m feeling when depression hits.

Then I roll over to go back to sleep and wonder if anyone would care if I didn’t get up at all. Is it possible for me to pull the covers over my head and sink back into the serene black of dreamless sleep or the psychedelic rainbow of my dreams? Is it possible for me to stay in my warm cocoon, where nothing can hurt me and no one can reach me, until my bones deteriorate and my skin withers? Is it possible to run out of tears so I can spend the rest of my life in blissful numbness under my comforter. Maybe this is why some people shop for cbd online to provide some more comfort in their numbness.? A friend told me that wholesale cbd powder really helped them as well, maybe I should check it out?

I just re-read the entire three pages that section comes from and I wanted to hide from my computer, so the violence of my depression wouldn’t consume me through the screen. That section is tame compared to the rest, and as I read it I felt the feelings again, and I hated it. But I also loved it because this is who I am, this is me.

And the truth hits me: I don’t know who I am if I’m not depressed.

I don’t recognize a smiling girl who doesn’t get mad-anxious at parties. I don’t recognize the person who doesn’t have to rely on medication for sanity. I don’t recognize the girl who’s run by joy instead of sadness.

Who would I be today if I’d never been infiltrated in the first place?

I don’t know what stories I would tell, I don’t know if I would have the depth of feeling I have, I don’t know if happiness would be as sweet if I hadn’t also experienced despair.

That’s what scares me the most.

The one good thing about depression is how much it makes me cherish the good moments. Happiness is twice as joyful, dancing and singing and laughing and loving are all so much better when I’m feeling them after feeling depressed.

I start to believe the lie that I wouldn’t be happy, not for real, if I didn’t know what real sadness was. And I start to believe that I wouldn’t have a story to tell if this weren’t it.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my depression and how I’ve been saved from it, and it’s brought me to a place of acceptance of my suffering. The danger is that there’s a fine line between acceptance and allowance. There’s a difference between accepting that I live with this illness and allowing it to become my friend, my buddy.

The more I talk about what I go through, the more people reach out to me saying my words have helped them come to terms with their own illness. And that’s a great feeling, knowing that I’ve done something, however small, that has helped someone else.

It is also fascinating to hear about all the different ways that people manage their mental health. For example, one person once reached out to tell me that psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, helped them to significantly overcome their depressive thoughts during a particularly dark episode. Accordingly, you can learn more about the potential health-boosting qualities of psilocybin here:

There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m not going to stop writing about depression. I just have to remember that I am not my illness.

Depression does not define me. It does not make me good, and it does not make me bad. It makes me ill, and that is all. I am more than my depression.

I am a writer, an American, a “third-culture kid” raised in Italy, a jokester, a laugher, a dreamer, a romantic, an idealist, a pessimist, a fighter, a crier. I am these things and more. These are the things that define me, not the state of my mind or the depression that clouds my judgment.

That’s something I struggle to remember, but the older I get the more important it is that I do remember it. My journey with depression will always be a huge part of my life and of my story. It’s not something I ever want to forget, because if I forget how God has helped me through the darkness I’ll lose my faith in the light.

But I also need to remember that I am so much more than that. I am not just depressed; I am also saved. And that is so important.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m most likely not going to be healed of my depression. And I’ve found a certain solace in that. However, I have finally decided to give the local cbd store a chance.

I need to realize that even if I am cured, if I wake up some morning and don’t need to take my medication, don’t feel the pressure of depression, my story will still be worthwhile. I won’t lose who I am because I’m better.

If you are struggling with depression and would like help, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our counselors or coaches.

Bad Times, Good Theology

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True story typed on a vintage typewriter

Bad Times, Good Theology

By John Myer

This has been a big year for me and my family.  Some of it has been good, like various graduations and an exciting church re-launch.  More recently, some of it has been disappointing—at least enough to affect the trajectory of our future.

Disappointment seems built in to the fabric of our world.

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist here because I don’t think that attitude is consistent with the gospel message.  But then again, neither is naïve optimism with its denial of common sense.

Instead, the gospel calls us to become realists, summoning us into the reality that belongs to God.  Jesus said “The hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth [reality]” (John 4:24).   John continues to write, “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in truth [reality]” (2 John 4).

And here is a basic part of divine reality:  Sometimes God’s providence turns into an impenetrable barrier between us and the future we thought we would travel.  No amount of naming or claiming or bargaining can change it.  Neither does God explain why.

Our options are few—either go high or deep, stay in the same place, or go backward.  But putting on a helmet and battering our way through won’t work.

We’ve had to deal with that reality for the last week, and work on some basic acceptance issues.

During peace time, theology only seems to belong in a seminary.  We can get by without all the big talk and spiritual words.  But it’s amazing how suffering turns everybody into a theologian.  We want to know what God wants.  Why did He let (or make) this happen?  What will He do?

It’s as though theology were a giant umbrella planted in the middle of a patio.  While the weather is perfect and dry and the sun not too hot, the umbrella appears unnecessary, even obnoxious.  But let the clouds gather and pour torrents of rain.  Or let the sun burn with a certain fury. We’ll huddle underneath that same formally obnoxious umbrella with gratitude.

During stormy moments, our attraction to theology won’t be one of detached intellectual interest, but of passionate seeking.  The doctrinal words and concepts stop being mere preacher-speak.  They describe God’s reality in the most immediate terms.

In times of disappointment, it’s tempting to succumb to substitutes.  Possibly the worst one is a form of pop theology I call “Me-ology.”  Since it uses verses that have been cherry-picked from scripture, it vaguely looks like theology.  But it’s not.  Closer inspection will demonstrate that rather than being God centered (theos), it’s me-centered.

Here’s what it does:

  1. It smooths over troubling circumstances without leading you to engage the pain, to seek deeply, or, if necessary, to repent.
  2. It aligns you on what you want, offering little or no wisdom to temper reckless desires.
  3. It promises you will get what you want with no regard for whether God has actually promised it to begin with.
  4. It encourages trust in your own positive vibes, affirmative words, or faith energy, rather than God Himself.
  5. It promotes little or no interest in what God wants unless “what God wants” is to bless you with everything you want. In other words, it establishes you in your own self-centered bearing.

Alternately, good theology does this:

  1. It tells the truth up front even if it hurts, because true healing lies down the road— like the painful setting of a broken leg right now leads to healing later.
  2. It aligns you on what God wants, which is where all blessing ultimately rests.
  3. It prepares you for suffering, empowering you to go through anything for Christ’s sake.
  4. It encourages trust in God rather than your constant efforts to fix, grab, or manipulate.
  5. It emphasizes character formation rather than quick deliverance.
  6. It advises getting what you want in God’s way and in God’s time.
  7. It avoids the never-ending anxiety of what-if and deals with what is.
  8. It ultimately describes God getting what He wants.

We can’t control the weather, but we can make sure we have the best umbrella in town.

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy

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A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy

By Linda Mintle

depressionHe sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken. 

She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, “I don’t love you and want out,” hit hard. 

He never saw it coming. For years, his trusted friend was his confidante. How could this lifelong friend betray him with a one-night stand with his girlfriend? 

Love, loss, tragedy, trauma…what helps in the healing process may surprise you.

A host of studies have shown that people who write about their trauma and difficult experiences heal better, They sleep better, feel better, do better academically, cope better, and are more positive.

Not everyone will go to someone to talk out a loss or trauma, but anyone can write. Writing helps you take your story of loss and make meaning of it. We open up and express our thoughts and feelings, especially when we need to allow grieving.

Expressing your feelings through writing helps organize your story and gives perspective. Writing releases your story and keeps it from being bottled up. Not talking or writing about difficult events can negatively impact your health.

So if you feel stuck and need to move along the healing process, add writing to your prayer and reading of God’s word. Try 15-20 minutes for a week or so. Write from your heart. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or sentence construction. No one has to see what you wrote and you can tear it up or delete it at some point if that is your desire.

Label your feelings, talk about how this event affects your life. Get it down on paper and see if writing is a little like taking good medicine. Then write out a few of God’s promises to you–ones that relate to your experience, e.g., God will never leave you, He will be with you through difficulty, He will give you wisdom, comfort, peace, etc.

Writing is therapeutic. Give it a try and see if it helps!

5 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD

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5 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

By MHAFC (Mental Health America Franklin County)

SAD roseAccording to American Family Physician up to 20% of the US population may experience mild Seasonal Affective Disorder, meaning they are negatively affected by the changing seasons and [reduction in sunlight]. They may feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Activity levels may decrease, and they find themselves sleeping more.

Some interesting facts about SAD include:

1. It is four times more common in women then men.
2. Although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn’t start in people younger than age 20. And older adults are less likely to experience SAD.
3. SAD is believed to be related to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of melatonin.
4. This is probably why it is more common the farther north you go. For example, it’s seven times more common in Washington state than in Florida.
5. Not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light. So in this case, it would be a good idea for people to get a reliable HVAC system to keep their home cool, where they can get this from services like River City Heating & Air for trusted heating service in Richmond.

SAD is treatable. If symptoms are mild, using light therapy has shown to be highly effective. Studies show that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months. For more severe cases, your doctor may also want you to try an antidepressant or behavior therapy.

For in-depth information about dealing with SAD, check out Norman Rosenthal’s book, Winter Blues.