The Goodbye Letters, Part 2.
It was just a couple of years ago when I wrote to your other half, Anxiety. But I know how connected the two of you are, and it was only a matter of time before you heard from me too. It’s like you guys just can’t take the hint.
I wish I could say long time no talk, but we’ve been flirting for a while now. Since 2011 to be exact. A whole ten-year relationship I never even asked for. But you just kept insisting, didn’t you?
After all the times I’ve tried to lock you out, you somehow still sneak in. Ready to suck me dry and empty me out till I’ve got nothing left.
I mean, I get it. You feed on my sadness. You’re full when I’m hungry. You’re satisfied when I’m starving for love and for purpose.
Well, find a new diet. Because this is getting old.
I’m sick of this crippling dialogue where you tell me I’m worthless and I just say, “You’re right.” You tell me I’ll never amount to anything and I say, “That’s true.” You tell me there’s no bother dreaming because my future’s looking bleak. And again I say, “Makes sense.”
I could sit here and talk about all the times you’ve brought me down—and oh, how you’ve brought me down. Clawing into my chest, making me walk around like a shell, wondering, “Will I ever feel good again?” I could talk about your conniving little plan to derail my happiness, to keep me stuck, hopeless, and scared. I could talk about how alone I felt, how it seemed like no one understood, and how it just seemed like the end.
But that would give you a big head. So instead, I want to talk about the ways I rose up out of your stifling grip and proceeded to bring YOU down.
Well, there was really only one way. And His name is Jesus Christ. A God whose very specialty is conquering giants like you. A God who sent me more comforters than I can count. A God who led me to the right professional who rewired my brain, gave me a safe space to talk, and a toolbox of ways to cope. In other words, a God who actually cared.
“He turned my mourning into dancing, removed my veil of sadness, and surrounded me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11)
You think I’m sitting here wallowing in sadness for myself, but in reality, I’m sad for you. It must be exhausting stealing people’s joy. I guess it’s true what they say: “Misery loves company.”
It’s not that I don’t ever feel you anymore. I do. I know you’re there, even after seven years of therapy. But the difference between me now and me ten years ago is that I’ve learned to ignore your voice…and zero in on God’s. I’ve learned how to dodge you when you’re coming full-steam ahead. I’ve learned to hand you over to my God instead of trying to defeat you myself (good luck with that, I hear His hands are the strongest). And my favorite? I’ve actually learned to dream.
Let me say it plain and simple: I am not empty. I am not broken. I am not any of the things you’ve told me out of your lying mouth.
What I am is a child of a King who has prepared a feast filled with all the things you starved me of. And that’s more than I can say about you.
Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or anxiety, it is important that you seek professional help if you need it—it does not mean anything is wrong with you. God has created these resources for us. We are also here to provide you with a listening ear, earnest prayer, and a list of resources to help.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.