Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Mindful Monday: Words of Hope for Despair

candle light 2.jpg
I wrote this response to Beyond Blue reader Kate after reading her despondent comments, but I wanted to republish them in case any of you are in a similar state.

You say that no one could understand your despair. I have no doubt you feel completely alone in your battle. But I’m pretty sure a few readers have known similar pain.

I, for one, recognized your plea to God: “Why did you create me if all I want to do is die?” I asked that same question (with a few fillers) for at least a year. I pounded my fists on my bedroom floor with such rage that I nearly fractured my bones, and I threw books like “What Happy People Know” and “Authentic Happiness” over the banister in a temper-tantrum of sorts.


That was a good sign. It meant I hadn’t given up. Like you. I was still in the game. Ticked off, but still playing.

I can tell you’re a fighter. For starters, it comes with your name. If Kate is short for Katherine, it means “pure.” That’s why I named my daughter Katherine. After her grandmother, who was one of the strongest women I know, and after all the Kates in my life who are colorful, passionate, determined women.

I think I’m spending too much time with my New-Age in-laws, because I want to tell you to tap the life force within you. It’s there. And call on your Creator. Cuss him out. Yell at him. Say whatever you want. But don’t stop talking. Because as long as you are saying something, you’re communicating, and that means you are in a relationship with him. He can’t give up on you.


You know those 12 steps I wrote about? Scrap them. Just do this: hang in there. Because this really will pass. Even if you never find the right cocktail or the right doctor or the right support group. It will get better. And you will be there to reach out to some young Kate along the way, maybe a relative or maybe a stranger, and you’ll convince her to stay, too, because you’re starting to have a little fun.

God bless you.

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.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Selby Bateman

    For Kate and for all who deal with despair, thank you so, so much for these words! Hang in there. Get better. Reach out. I am sharing this column with several dear friends. God bless you!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GLOVE

    Kate , stic in there. At times I ask myself why I am here what is my function in life. I get depressed and fill with dispair at times, But as soon as i recognized the signs of depression and despair coming over me I say to myslef ” I AM IN CONROL I WILL NOT LET MY MIND GO THER.!!!! I SAY LOUDLY NO NO NO NOT TODAY. I force myself to thinf of something positive in my life and I keep thinking about it over and over again until the depression and despair just automatically disappears. I hope this will help.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dawn

    I’ve known this despair. The second time I decided to end my life I stood in the shower, and heard myself say, “I want to end the life I am living”. Over and over I said this until it sank in. The life, the way I was living I wanted to end, not my physical existence. It was at that point I woke up. I didn’t like my life. What did I want to do I wasn’t doing? I started to take note of all the desires I had in me, and how I wasn’t living the life I truly wanted to live.
    I aligned my life with my desires, and my despair started to fall away. I started to live! Don’t give up! Just listen to the truth of your inner self. Dawn…new beginnings…time to wake up!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Razz2

    There is no feeling quite so desolate than that of thinking there is no hope. Without hope there really is nothing … but oddly most of us must hang onto a teeny-tiny sliver of hope or we wouldn’t reach out. We wouldn’t keep trying to make sense of what we’re feeling, we wouldn’t keep trying to find something that feels better.

    I too have found myself raging at God, the universe, and even the dog at what I see is the unfairness of it all and yet why should it be fair? What is fair? I determined once when I was feeling that my life had no purpose what so ever and that I could not take any more, that I was just plain to tired to live that I would be giving in to the very thing that was making me feel that miserable. Some kind of stubborn streak was reawakened, something deep within me understood that I had a purpose and that I was not going to surrender to despair. I was not going to let it rule my life, I was not going to roll over and give in. Where did this come from? From that teeny-tiny sliver of hope that God places in our hearts. Just a pin prick of light, but enough to follow until we’re out of the darkness.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Carol Winikoff

    My son was feeling bad for several years and I did not know it until I started getting e-mails and phone calls from family and friends about an e-mail “cry for help” he sent out. This was in the spring of 2008. He was hearing voices telling him that he was worthless and needed to end his life. As soon as I found this out I immediately got an appointment with his pediatrician who then put us in contact with a therapist that my son still sees. My son is 17 now and is doing much better through his medication and therapy as well as me getting the root cause out of our lives in 2010. I continue to pray to God for his healing touch on my son and will add anyone else to those prayers.
    To all those that are suffering from depression, please do reach out to others for help and don’t hold it in – it is not worth it but you are worthy of living and being with people who love you.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tony

    These are kind words of wisdom. Kate, do all you can to hang in there. Try to find an anchor holding you in this life, even if it is a small anchor. Just hang in there.

    Thank you Therese for writing this.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tracy

    When I was ready to end it all a friend of mine gave me a ‘wake up call’. He told me that no matter how bad I was feeling, it wasn’t near a bad as how some people would feel if I was gone. It made me realize that I DO MATTER and I MAKE A DIFFERENCE! You were put on this earth for a reason. YOU DO MATTER KATE! You may not realize it but you DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of lots of people! Don’t deny them the special gift of YOU! Just hang in there.

  • Alexandria Davis

    Thanks for this. I struggled with suicide for a very, very long time. I remember being a young child, about the age of 6, and wanting to die. I remember it very vividly. I would sit under my favorite tree. It was a cedar tree and I used to climb it a lot, but there was a cinder block under it and at times I would just sit there. If any of you know anything about cedar trees, you know that they area great place to hide. Under that tree was my spot, and it was there that I first asked God why. Later in life the feeling never went away. I was about 8 and still the feeling weighted heavy on my heart. By this time we were in another town and I had no tree. I could not even hide in my closet as I did in my old house. By the time I was 15 I was seriously contemplating suicide. I got counseling for about a year, but you know how that goes when you are that young and parents just don’t understand depression and say “What do you have to be depressed about? I have provided a good life for you.” I shoved it all down and my 20’s came around and that was that. The drinking and drugging was way out of control and death was the only thing I wanted. I have been in and out of the mental hospital for the last 11 years. Last year was my first “real” attempt at suicide, and still the thought would never go away. Thankfully, I have an awesome therapist and an awesome God. Between the two we have prayed away the suicide. I have been suicide thought free for a few months now and it is awesome. The hurt and the pain is still there. The sorrow and the grief is still there, but the hopelessness is not, and for that I am grateful. I never quit talking to God. He has always been my rock, my one and only constant in the roaring sea of life. I said all that to say it is possible to find a place of contentment. I cannot really say that I am happy, but I am okay with where I am currently at and know that it can continue to get better. The meds may still need to be tweaked and the mania and the depression still come, but it is okay. Sorry for getting so long winded. This post just really means a lot to me. Thanks so much for sharing. We all need each other too!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Deb (oldflygirl)

    I am so touched by the encouragement & life affirming comments made here. It is our Creator who gives us life and the one who gives fellow sufferers the compassion to offer the hand of hope to eachother. As so frequently mentioned here, hope is our anchor, and that anchor is tied tightly to the rock that is God. As said, keep municating through that lifeline that is hope and you WILL get through the tunnel of darkness back into the light. I can tell you this because I have 40 yrs of practice! I began the battle with depression when I was 20 yrs old. It was only 7 yrs ago that the right mix of medications came into my life and Hope & Joy became more constant companions. Never give up! There is no need to let go of that lifeline because an answer will come in one way or another that will give you the reasons & the tools you need to enjoy life again. In my darkest hours, clinging to hope is always what saw me through. May God bless all of you for continuing to reach out with encouragement.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nancy

    Wonderful words from one who’s been there and back. I suffered such deep dispair in my last fall, suicide seemed the only way out but Jesus wouldn’t let me off that easily! He was with me no matter what I said to Him, told Him, begged of Him, or called Him. In silence, He was there. He CANNOT leave you because you are a part of Him. Give Him all you can, He will get you through anything.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nancy

    The stars are the brightest when the night is the darkest.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris K

    I too have known the despair, the darkness. This past January I overdosed in a futile attempt to end the pain in my heart and spirit. I saw God working through me and in my life, but now … 6 months later … the darkness is descending again. Although I have new skills to make it through this time, I made several promises to myself before.
    1. I will NEVER go to the er again for mental health problems. They stripped me of all my dignity.
    2. If I ever hit rock bottom or below, I will do my best to hide it. People are tired of my depression and don’t understand why I can’t just “snap out of it”
    3. I will not go to a psych floor in NC again. It was a waste of time and money. No one there wanted to work so the staff caved to those folks.

    but most importantly …
    4. I will turn to God to be my anchor. Always.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Serena

    Even though I am not out of the despair yet, I look upon your words as words of hope. I will hang this column up at my desk at work to remind me.

  • Cindy Bailey

    This is one of the best replies sent to someone in pain. It acknowledges their pain and lets them know, without telling them their pain is not unique, that there are others out there who feel like this.
    I, for one, have been in the temper tantrum mode a few times. And after the tantrum I felt more in power of myself. I fought back. I still fight back. I will not let it win.
    Thank you so much for these words and I hope Katherina can find her way.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment carol


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Stacey

    I read this blog every morning. I suffer from major depression and live with three boys that don’t understand. I have never found the right cocktail, but lately I have been exercising and it does help!!!! It helps you get through the day with more clarity. Please keep this blog going it helps all of us who are suffering. God Bless You!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Spiritcare

    As I read these comments I see how many people turn to God to help them through the tough times. After years of being severely depressed, then manic-depressed, I began to turn to Goddess in all of her love and compassion. She makes me want to be a better person so that I can live my life and work in Her name. I still struggle mightily with manic-depression (bipolar) but it greatly helps me each day to openly, in writing and out loud, thank both Goddess and God for my life and all of the blessings in my life.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bev

    I struggle with depression and haven’t been defeated yet.
    I made a life decision; I had a full knee replacement 3 weeks ago.
    The pain is still intense and I think of ending it all. I pray to
    God for my pain to get less each day. I am doing the P.T. but have
    a hard time pushing through the stiffness and pain.
    Everyone says it will get better every day. I look forward to the
    day I see that happen.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jean

    I stay in a depressed state because I can’t secure a job, am stuck in a dreadful neighborhood with loud barking dogs,and desperately want AWAY from a family member with dementia who gets on my last nerve every time. Just keep dreaming of faraway beaches and a peaceful existence…..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cb

    I am so happy to see the validation offered when you say “…call on your Creator. Cuss him out. Yell at him…” I’ve done just that, on multiple occasions. The last one being the tsunami that hit northern Japan in 2011. My son teaches within relatively close proximity to where the tsunami wiped out an entire community. I thought he was dead. I railed at God for allowing such a calamity. My son made it through. But as I was screaming I was reminded of other times when I’ve been prostrate on the floor in grief.

    I also want to say how sorry I am that Chris K. had such negative ER/psych floor experiences. However, based on my history, it’s NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO HIDE IT! I’m still here after all. I think successful suicide attempts occur because things are kept secret. I’ve had one trip to the ER and one stay in the psych ward and I benefited from both.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment fred philip

    my name is Miss fred philiph, I’m from uk. I want to share my testimony with all of you.
    Prophet zambar gave me the possibility to start my new and
    happy life with jane. The commitment and Marriage
    spells worked beyond my imagination. 6th of June will
    be always in my memory as the start of our new life.
    We had the most beautiful wedding and I was in the
    seventh heaven from happiness. I am sure that this
    feeling will be with us during our whole life and it will
    never leave us. We’ll remain grateful forever. Please
    my friends if you need the help of this man just
    contact him true email

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.