Depression. It’s a very serious affliction. And I’ve been suffering it for years. The good news is that there is medicine to help with it. But sometimes life overpowers even the best of medicine.
In church yesterday, the pastor talked about the veterans and how they sacrifice everything for the rest of the country. These men and women (and their families) give up everything for others, Many lose their lives for us. The rest give up portions of their lives for us. They deserve our respect and support for those sacrifices.
And yet, NFL players think they have the right to take a knee during the anthem, in protest of Lord knows what. Maybe they don’t even know; surely some feel pressured to do it by their peers who berate them if they don’t agree with the “popular” consensus of their teammates.
This is the perfect symbol of what is wrong with this country, politicizing their disagreement with the way the country is going by showing complete disrespect to the country and those who gave their all is the epitome of the self-serving attitudes that permeate our society. And yet, they don’t realize that what is wrong with the country is exactly what they are doing: thinking only of themselves.
The pastor’s sermon really struck a chord with me and, afterward, I was talking with my friend about it. It’s hard to remain a giver in a world of takers. The pastor talked about helping those veterans, helping those fellow Christians who need help. He talked about not putting ourselves first, but putting other people first.
As my friend and I discussed, how is that possible? The givers give and the takers take. There is no fair balance for the givers and I’m not certain there is a chance for the takers to see the errors of their ways.
While I don’t want to become bitter and change who I am, this problem creates an emotional unbalance within me. I am, after all, a giver.
There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished. How many times have you done something to help other people and it bites you in the rear end? How does a person remain sane when this happens over and over and over again?
To make matters worse, when you are feeling down in the dumps, there are people who like to kick you so that you are no longer on your knees but face first in the dirt.
I know there is Scripture that I should refer to, Scripture to make me get up instead of give up. But depression doesn’t always work that way.
And some people delight in knowing that.
When I had cancer, I did my best to be brave and positive–for me but also for other people, people who were close to me. Some people took advantage of that. A few weeks ago, I was looking for an old email. I happened to find a string of emails from friends and strangers mixed in with emails from another person. While the strangers and friends sent me emails of encouragement–best wishes, prayers, love–this other person was constantly asking me for help with a self-serving project. Over and over and over again. Seeing it in black and white like that was shocking to me. I think, at the time, I had become immune to it.
Another example: On a recent Morning Coffee Livestream, I spoke about the woman who flipped off President Trump’s motorcade. A 50-year-old woman who, as a result, was terminated. The mother of two children. She became the poster-child, in my opinion, for the values that are being taught to our children. Rather than apologize and taking responsibility for behaving so poorly, this woman is speaking out in support of her action and people are rallying against the company for terminating her, rather than applauding the company for having morals and reprimanding one of their corporate citizens for engaging in moral turpitude.
So here is my question. When did our country begin losing civility? Manners? Concern for other people? Respect? I believe it happened a long time ago when society lost sight of people’s roles. Instead of it being about taking care of each other, it became focused on taking care of oneself. And as those adults had children, that is what became the norm in those households. Think about yourself first and screw how you hurt other people.
This is a terrible lesson and, for me, it’s very, very distressing.
But there are other things that add to my distress. Little things that have knocked me down on my knees. People who pass judgment without knowing the facts. Fathers who abandon their responsibility for their children, especially because they just want to inflict pain instead of being concerned about their child. Children who never say thank you or show appreciation. Courts that are unjust and, at times, completely nonsensical and unfair. Parents that let their children dictate life changes to them–without a thought for who they are hurting in the process. People who have no qualms about stabbing others who helped them. Life that doesn’t let up on giving us a break from time to time.
So that is why I haven’t been doing Morning Coffee. Sometimes I share too much and, when it’s not positive and Sarah Sunshine, I get negative emails and messages from people. The way that I am feeling right now, I knew that I couldn’t be Sarah Sunshine, but I also knew that I couldn’t handle hate messages. So I’ve taken a step back to regroup.
I thought that being in Florida would help me overcome the depression. It’s only gotten worse. The plans that we (my husband and I) had for this winter have changed, thanks to some unscrupulous people who selfishly did a number on us. I know that it has only delayed the good times that are ahead, but it’s painful in the meantime. And a lot of unforeseen hard work which, after so many years of giving, giving, and giving while sacrificing on our own part is a tough pill to swallow.
Anyway I promise that I will get up and not give up. But I need some time.