May 22 is the feast of St. Rita of Cascia. She is known as the patron Saint of impossible causes, abused wives, and widows. She could just as easily be a patron Saint of mothers who have lost their children to death since her two sons died of dysentery at a young age.
There is no mention of St. Rita ever having been depressed. This is pretty amazing considering her husband, whom she was forced to marry out of obedience to her parents, abused her and was unfaithful (apparently many times) during their 18-year marriage. He was then murdered by members of another family. Feuds between families were common at that time. What is equally amazing, especially because of the sociological norms of the time, is that St. Rita publically forgave her husband’s murderers and bartered a peace between the two families.
Marriage distress and depression go hand in hand. In the future I will do a post on how depression affects marriage and vice versa. Here I want to provide resources for troubled marriages. These are Catholic and non-Catholic. They do not include self-help books. Hope it helps for those of you having marital problems.
Celebrating your child’s successes is like eating an apple that keeps depression away. First, it focuses your mind on someone besides you. Second, it honors your child’s hard work. The success can be a kindergarten picture, spiritual milestone, or a failure that your child was able to turn into a positive learning experience. It can be winning a sporting championship or being a gracious loser; or it can be graduating from kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, or college.
“So young, what a shame.” “If her parents raised her as a good Catholic (Christian) this wouldn’t have happened.” “That’s her second, and by a different man.” “The guy left her. If she got married first she wouldn’t have that problem.” “Young people have no self control these days.”
These are some of the whisperings I have heard when it is discovered that a parishioner is now an “unwed mother.”
And this is what I read this week:
“Women with unintended pregnancy are four times more likely to suffer from postpartum depression at twelve months postpartum, suggests a new study published May 8 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.” ScienceDaily, May 8, 2013
“But because I have told you this grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.” John 16:6-7
Three years roaming around with Jesus and then poof that time is gone, never to return. The apostles may have been told better days were ahead but they were hard pressed to imagine it in their loss.
Most of us don’t like making personal adjustments even when brought about through positive changes. If we are the pessimistic type we tend to look back and focus on the loss rather than looking forward at the next opportunity.
Out of habit your sleepy body begins to stretch. You hear the birds chirping and the morning light oozes through the side cracks of your shades into your half opened eyes.
LIGHT?! OH NO, I OVERSLEPT!
It is 6 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. Right now the coffee is getting sipped only because it is too hot to drink. As soon as it cools off it will be gulped. The time used to sit with scripture has already gone by the wayside so God will have to be happy with me quick typing this blog post while listening to the sounds of the morning in gratitude. Remember, gratitude. No need to beat yourself up when you oversleep. We all do it and sometimes you just need a little more sleep. Here is a quick prayer I taught my very active children when they were very little.
Good morning God. Thank you for another day to work and play. Help me to do my best today. Amen.
Don’t forget the play part ;)
“They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing he was dead.” Acts 14:19b
When a person goes through a depressive episode it can feel like being pelted with stones. You try to get up, get away, and find a safer place but to no avail. Truly the struggle can leave a person half dead.