Sometimes it can be difficult to be thankful when you feel miserable. That misery usually becomes worse when well meaning people remind you of what you should be thankful for. So, let me offer a prayer of gratitude for all who struggle with depression, or any other mental or emotional condition.
- Thank you for giving me the courage to get up and face another day, and the stamina to work for health.
- Thank you for holding me close when I have wanted to end my life, and for holding others who did die from depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.
- 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 of love.
- 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 don’t care and for that I am most grateful.
- Thank you for modern medicine, competent therapists and spiritual directors, understanding clergy, and Saints who had mental health difficulties. These can bolster my hope, lessen my sense of isolation, and even make me healthier.
- Thank you especially for those moments, days, and sometimes months of remission when joy and a clear mind return. These are a foretaste of what heaven will be like after I have finished fighting the good fight in faith and hope.
- Most of all thank you for accepting the offering of my imperfect, broken, and sick self at mass and responding by feeding and strengthening my soul with the Eucharist.
For all these things I thank you. Amen.