I think so often we focus on the sadness of depression. The weightiness and the overwhelming despair and hopelessness that people feel. While all of this is true, we can’t ignore the wrath that is raging war on our soul. I had a therapist, tell me once that Depression was anger turned inwards. At the time, I didn’t really understand it, but these words really ring true. Our anger and sadness are so intertwined that we don’t even see it. The anger leads to the sadness, and the sadness leads to the anger. A vicious cycle that must be broken.
The anger isn’t always so obvious, and other times you can’t miss it. For me when I went off to Baylor, I had a lot of anger, that I didn’t realize was just sitting at the surface waiting to explode. In high school, everyone knew my story for the most part, I had a huge community of friends, a church, and plenty to keep me busy. College was completely different. I was starting from scratch. In some ways, that was wonderful, and in other ways, it was a constant reminder, that my life was different, I didn’t look like everyone else. At Baylor, I was surrounded by people with the typical nuclear family. I was surrounded by people whose life had followed the “path.” You know the normal one, the one where everything works out, your life comes together in chronological order (childhood, college, marriage, kids). Well my life didn’t look like that. I had lost my dad and having to explain that everywhere I went was gut wrenching. You wouldn’t believe the awkwardness of telling people I had lost my dad to suicide, especially at a Christian school.
I made people uncomfortable, and so did my story. To be honest sometimes I took pleasure in people’s discomfort. They had no concept of anything outside their box, I was jealous and I resented them for how easy life had been. This was the root of my anger. Jealousy. I didn’t choose this path, my dad did. My dad’s decision changed my entire life in a matter of minutes. From a “normal” nuclear family, who was happy, to now a single mom, working two jobs and going back to school, and me the girl whose dad killed himself. All within a blink of an eye, and all out of my control.
Anger eats at you, it destroys you, just the way, jealousy, bitterness, and hate do. The key is it only eats at you. I had to forgive my dad for changing the course of my life forever and most importantly I had to allow myself to be angry at God. All you have to do is read Psalms to understand we aren’t alone in our anger. David had anger, but it was always followed by worship. Anger is good, and it necessary, but what you do with your anger is where the problem lies.
What I’ve learned over time is that no one’s life is really “normal”, no one really follows the path, and even those that look like they do, things aren’t exactly what they may seem. I’ve learned that Christ never called us to a life of perfection and/or a life of comfort. Had none of these things happened, I wouldn’t be writing to you today, someone on the other side of anger. I forgave my Father and ultimately realized that God’s heart was broken over my father as well. I mourned and raged with my Heavenly Father, which ultimately taught me so much about who God is, a loving, and strong Father.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13