Sometimes it can be difficult to be thankful when you feel miserable. People often remind you should be thankful that you are alive, have family, and that God loves you. However, being told how you should be thankful only makes the misery worse. So, let me offer a prayer of gratitude just for all who struggle with depression or any other physical or emotional condition.
Thank you for giving me the courage to get up and face another day and the stamina to continue working for health.
Thank you for holding me close when plagues with thoughts to end my life, and for holding close others who did end up dying from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or any other mental illness.
Thank you also for understanding when I couldn’t get myself out of bed to go to mass or feared confession because the very thought of facing my sins only made me feel more unworthy or triggered panic attacks.
Thank you for providing the ability to hold up my head when people judged me, gossiped about me, or backed away during the times I became ill. Likewise, for granting me patience and understanding when those who saw me at my worst could not accept my health and so treated me as if I were still “fragile.”
Thank you for teaching me how to carry my cross for love of you, focusing on you rather than my specific pains. I know I don’t do that perfectly but you only care that I try and for that I am most grateful.
Thank you for modern medicine, competent therapists and spiritual directors, and understanding clergy, friends, and family.
Thank you especially for those moments, days, and sometimes months of remission when joy and a clear head return. To me these are a foretaste of what heaven will be like and I will do my best to fully notice and enjoy those times rather than focus on all the crosses I have endured and am enduring.
Most of all thank you for accepting my offering of my imperfect, broken, and sick self and responding by feeding and strengthening my soul with the Eucharist.
For all this I praise and thank you. Amen.
Picture: Woman praying in Cristo buen Viaje Church, October 19, 2016, Wikimedia Commons; this is a re-post