Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

God’s Love Is Enough

dove miracles.jpeg
Most of the time I’m perfectly happy to be as transparent as I am online and in print. I have great days like the one last week when the mayor recognized me at a coffee shop and told me his wife loved my book and I returned home only to read an unexpected kind and supportive note from my neighbor.


But I also have days like yesterday, when what I have said in print and online comes back to bite me in a big way, hard enough to leave teeth marks. Not even 30 minutes after a well-intentioned but hurtful conversation with a friend, I received an email from a producer of one of those afternoon TV shows that showcases people’s pathetic lives, asking if I’d like to appear as an overwhelmed mom. Apparently when you Google “overwhelmed mom,” my photo and bio appear.


Now I realize I have made my bed.

I can fully appreciate why, after watching my “Me On a Bad Day” video, someone might think, “Eeesh. Do I really want to leave my daughter with her?” Or “There ain’t no way this one is serving on jury duty.”

So it’s on days like yesterday I want so badly to recall every copy of “Beyond Blue” that is in print, erase every blog post, and never ever disclose a personal shortcoming again on the thing that Al Gore created.

After plenty of tears and trying to retrain the persistent broken-record, “Can you blame them for thinking you’re unstable?” I went to Henri Nouwen, of course, where I always go for a reminder that God’s love is absolutely enough….


God loved me the day I almost crashed the car because my hands were shaking with anxiety. God will even love me if it happens again.

God was with me the afternoon I sat the kids down in front of the TV and hid in our bedroom closet until I could stop crying and be a responsible mother. And God will be with me if it happens again.

God is with me on the good days when I receive a wonderful honor for my work in the field of mental health. And God is with me when Google connects my name with “pathetic mom” or “white trash not to be trusted.”

God is with me and loves me regardless.

Moreover, if I claim my identity not as a mother or friend or writer or wife, but rather as a child of God, then neither blame nor praise will hold power over me.


Writes Henri Nouwen:

Once you have claimed [your true identity as a child of God] and settled in it, you can live in a world that gives you much joy as well as pain. You can receive the praise as well as the blame that comes to you as an opportunity for strengthening your basic identity, because the identity that makes you free is anchored beyond all human praise and blame. You belong to God, and it is as a child of God that you are sent into the world.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • bird

    Very, very helpful, Therese. And well-expressed. Thank you! Wendy

  • Ingrid Oliphant

    Well said and well lived!

  • Elizabeth

    Dear Therese,
    I am sorry you sometimes suffer so much in your mission.
    I personally believe that you are doing many many many people much good *because* of your being so transparent online and in your books.
    I can see how at times, you must feel though– so exposed and vulnerable.
    I don’t think you’re pathetic at all. I think you’re awesome!

  • Robyn Quinn

    It is only those who are secure enough to disclose their own personal faults and weaknesses. People love it when someone discloses their mistakes because then they feel freer to disclose their own mistakes. So many people in the world are so scared of themselves and of their past and cant get past their past!
    You must keep doing what your doing…you must also move forward and past all of the negativity because whether you are doing good or bad, there will always be people who want to cause drama, make silly comments, or are just flat out jealous and want you to really know it!

  • Kevin Keough

    Funny thing about the “you on a bad day” video: you shined ! Rather than worry about entrusting my children (nieces and nephews at this point) it was evidence of your strength, integrity, stability (yes)insight, beauty in your emotional nakedness (quirky humor), and nothing you believe it showed.
    Now, on to a more pressing matter: “white trash who can’t be trusted”. Please supply me with the contact information for the confused soul who needs to be educated.
    If you were white trash you’d be OUR white trash and we love you; nobody gets to call you that but us. But,that one is just plain dumb. Hell, you attended college at Notre Dame (kind of), live in Annapolis with all the middle-upper middle class new agers—how can you be white trash ? Let’s hate you for the right things for God’s sake.
    As for being untrustworthy—-you are a writer. As Walker Percy noted writers are a devious lot never to be trusted. But he wasn’t referring to trusting writers with kids. And he wasn’t talking about your readers being unable to trust you.
    The “pathetic Mom” is a perfect cover. It’s like playing country dumb. Eventually, Pathetic Mom is going to expose detractors for what they are—vacuous soul-less whiners. And it will all be done with a loving heart and a warm smile.
    One minor critique: you failed miserably on the “Don’t take anything personally” agreement. I’m telling don Miguel Ruiz on you so you are not allowed to go to his next seminar. You must be held back a few grades (dark humor and Therese, if you are laughing then I don’t have to report you).
    Wow, “white trash”, that takes the cake. I thought you were a spoiled rich white girl who can’t have problems.
    People are funny.

  • Sunstar

    I just wanted to comment on how helpful your Honesty is.. It helps me sooooo much. to know there is some one like me. Forget what that producer said. Those shows are not helping anyone. and your web site is, that is the reason you are so blessed.keep doing what you do..

  • Tracey

    Thank you for sharing. “God’s love is enough” is my morning mantra alongside my ‘thank you’ prayer.

  • Caitlyn

    I think you are the bravest, most courageous, generous and beautiful person there is. You are sacrificing your privacy for us, for people who really really need to hear your story, your words, your wisdom. I can’t thank you enough for making yourself so vulnerable and for exposing so much. You have truly helped me in a way even my therapist and best friends cannot. I am very thankful to God for you and for your openness. Don’t stop following this path. You are changing lives and saving lives.
    Light and Love!

  • Meg

    On those days when you feel like you’re not good enough, when you doubt your self-worth, when you feel crushed by people who have hurt you with their actions and/or words…remember that GOD loves you. Sometimes it seems easier said than done, doesn’t it?
    I’ve sent you e-mails before. I know that I, as your devoted reader, could never convey to you how important you are and how much your story has changed my life, but it has…and YOU have. Please don’t doubt that. I know my life has not been the only one you have so positively affected. Think of how many people’s lives you have saved, literally SAVED, because you were brave enough to step out of the shadows and be vulnerable to the world. And those are just the people that you know about! Never stop writing. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Joanne

    Your love and God-like spirit shine through your transparency and truthfulness. You express yourself so well, no matter how vulnerable you feel, and you do it in a way that brings all of us into solidarity with you. I wish I could do the same! It would probably sound like a piece of smashed-up gobbledy-gook, even though I like to write, whereas you have a gift of saying just the pure-and-simple, right thing. I would not be surprised if others echoed my thoughts. Be blessed, and you keep on, keepin’ on!

  • Hyacinth

    I was raised as a Catholic. My children who are now in their 20’s were raised to think spiritually but with no church affiliation. They have been questioning the last few years the benefit of believing in the reality of God. I haven’t been able to describe to them what it feels like for me and have wondered myself was it the indoctrination of Catholic schooling that has me still clinging without question to the idea of God? You’ve given me something I can show them to illustrate what I feel.

  • Linda Connolly

    I am writing to tell you that I reviewed your “Me On A Bad Day” video when I saw the link on this post, and I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for the way you share your experience, your feelings, your fears, and your strengths. You are brave and strong. Your posts are compelling and full of wisdom. Thank you so much.

  • Joanne

    I often wonder why God made us with so many imperfections? It is a daily battle to overcome my humanness. God’s opinion of me is really the only thing that matters but it is so difficult to overcome the sense of love lost when I am not approved of by everyone. I guess it is a place to go in prayer. Therese, you are not alone in your feelings. But you truly are a disciple of God, helping to bring us all closer to union with God. Do not be discouraged for God says, “you are my daughter, with whom I am well pleased”

  • Althea

    After reading this post, I am reminded of the definition that Brene’ Brown uses for courage: (and I paraphrase) Telling your story with your heart.
    If you haven’t read or heard her speak, you might find her very supportative of your courage with being out loud here and the many other places you are present.
    I have great appreciation for your courage and am grateful for “finding” you. Not only do you have courage, you have much encouragement for those of us who have been fortunate enough to be your fans.
    Thank you.

  • barb

    i know that when you feel that way, it makes you feel like the scum of the earth. well, you are not alone! i used to think that when i felt insecure, or depressed or something, that i was the only one in the whole world who must feel that way, until i told my therapist one day, and she told me that was normal, that everyone felt that way one time or another. NORMAL??? ME??? that was my reaction. and the bottom line, like Henri says, is that God’s love is the bottom line that matters. You are not alone!!! it took me quite a while to realize that. but, you are NOT alone. you have more people on your side than you know. you’re a trooper, a warrior, and one of the most important people in my life. and i am sure the majority of your readers feel the same way. we all love you, trust you, and depend on your writing like breathing air. maybe i only speak for myself, but something tells me that i am not the only one who feels like that. hang in there. you are loved.

  • Kathy Q.

    Thank you for your blogs. But more importantly the other day I thought how difficult it must be for you to struggle with your illness but how God has inspired you to help those of us who either suffer in silence of may not have the six friends to call. Hugs.

  • kate

    I can only but agree with everyone here! Come back and read these comments again when you doubt yourself…which we all do and sadly is a feature of our illness. You are brave and strong and courageous…and human! We are none of us perfect and you certainly cannot please all of the people all of the time. I seem to base my self-esteem quite externally…so every day i want people to like me…talk about building your house on shifting sands!!! Please take extra care of yourself til you feel a little better xx

  • christie Dunn

    Keep plodding Dear THERESE….there hasn’t been anyone that has lifted me, given me the validity for my own feelings in this disease like you have. And you continually inspire us with Christian inspiration thru the sages you have read and studied.
    By the way, big fan of Henri Nowen who I think, suffered from depression…his story really moves me. You could tell that one some day, a good course in .humbleness.
    I think being “normal”‘ living the unexamined life is really overrated. Whatever the cross u happen to carry. Thank you for the guts to be transparent. I am writing my memoirs, in the hopes it will serve others,too. thanks to you for inspiration! Your “beyond Blue” is a great read as well.

  • cee

    Consider this: probably 99% of people who Google “overwhelmed mom” are overwhelmed moms themselves and need to see and hear your honesty and vulnerability so they know they’re not alone. The other 1% are jerks that would never be able to show a fraction of the strength you do every day.
    I wish your blog had existed when I was bringing up my son. Talk about overwhelmed mom; I was a bipolar mom trying to cope with a bipolar son. The worst part was that neither of us knew what the problem was until many years later.
    I cried along with you in your video. You are so right when you say you can never tell when depression is going to drag you down. Even knowing all we do about the chronicity of bipolar, we still blame ourselves for having caused it. Most times for me that is the hardest part.
    Don’t give up, you do more good than you’ll ever know. God bless you.

  • Kathy L

    Dear Theresa,
    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. You are a beacon of light in the darkness. I am one of your readers who has never before posted, and I suspect that there are many readers who do not post. I suspect that for every person who might have a negative comment about your writing, there are thousands of us who feel very grateful to have the chance to read what you have written.
    Many, many thanks,
    Kathy L.

  • The Wise Woman Built her House upon the Rock

    Hi Theresa
    I’m like Kathy L, I never blog and say thank you for efforts but I’m grateful that I discovered you (and all your wonderful ‘commentees’) in a dark period of my life last year. Henri Nouwen is so on the money and it’s sustenance stuff to know where our identity lies when we stick our heads above the parapet. You are planting seeds Theresa in a ground-breaking effort to expose prejudice and ignorance about depression. Go Farmer Theresa! And there will be a reaping (like the agricultural metaphor?) Lastly, go Kevin Keough’s brilliant comments: quirky and whimsical rules !

  • Laura S

    I am an atheist who subscribes to Beyond Blue. You are a wonderful writer and you post very helpful and inspirational essays, plus excellent links to other writers and websites.
    Your honesty may have led one of the god-awful (sorry, couldn’t resist) afternoon-show producers to call you up, but it’s also what keeps your readers coming back.
    Thank you.

  • John

    Powerful message here. Well done on conveying a subject that I believe is underwritten about. Spirituality and depression do have a common link. One site I found that also offers good advice on the topic is:

  • Brenda

    Don’t give up!!! You help me each and everyday and don’t even know who I am . . . how remarkable is that??
    Grateful for you!

  • http://Hello Redbird09


  • Jenny

    It’s interesting that when you try to share from your heart the deep struggles of life that you are wrestling through that people can’t handle it. Rather than empathize with where you’re at (and admit that they’ve been there too) and to see the little victories and signs of hope amidst the chaos, they just want to gawk as if they were watching a sideshow at and circus. Rather than looking for answers, perhaps they just want to be entertained.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.