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Anger Management Institute

Unhappy with Everything in My Life

as published by Women Today Magazine © copyright 2002 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC

Dear Counselor,
My parents had a bad divorce when I was seven, and since then, my dad has not been there as a father should. Over the past month or two, I have really been struggling to keep going, to stay optimistic about my life. The reality is that I have been depressed for a while now. Sometimes I just start crying out of a deep sadness.
I’ll be in a really high and positive mood for about a day or so, but then the depression sets in again. I took your depression inventory and I know I am not severely depressed, but I am truly unhappy with everything in my life.

I don’t have any friends that I consider trustworthy enough to talk to about anything this personal. I’m surrounded by acquaintances who don’t understand who I truly am. I really need help.

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Dear Friend,
Thank you for taking the time to write in to me. I wonder what the reasons behind your depression are? There are so many causes. It sounds to me like something is truly underlying this, whether it is a loss of some kind, low self-esteem, abuse, an eating disorder, hidden anger or even dealing with the reality of disappointments in your life and your parents’ divorce.
May I suggest that you read my story God’s Plan for Success in which I write about how I came to Christ and about how the divorce of my parents affected me. That was a crisis in my life but, God also used this

What will make the difference in your life? Maybe you could ask yourself… if my life were all of the sudden to be so much better… what would need to happen? Would you need to change something? Would others need to change something?

May I suggest that since it is difficult to count on other people changing… then, start with you and start with God.
What is it about yourself that you want to change? Your appearance? Your status? Your social life?
My bet is that none of those things would bring you happiness or contentment – but, a good dose of self-confidence would. I encourage you to begin to work on your self-esteem and issues from the past. Get the book The Search for Significance by Robert McGee and learn about the false beliefs you probably have which are holding you back and making you unhappy. Or order The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Les Carter, Frank Minirth or Learning to Tell Myself the Truth by William Backus or Putting Your Past Behind You: Finding Hope for Life’s Deepest Hurts by Erwin Lutzer .

What are you saying to yourself? People are usually unhappy because they are telling themselves that they are “not good enough”, “don’t measure up”, “worthless”, “damaged goods”, “failures”, etc. But, that is not how God looks at us.

Jesus Christ loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. So, no matter what the circumstances are, Christ can change us from the inside out and give us a new perspective on life. Take a step towards Him and learn about how He can change your thinking and perspective. Begin to look at the ways the you are blessed and provided for.
Another recommendation I have is that you begin to build your friendships. You don’t trust people and thus, everyone is an acquaintance so, you feel isolated and disconnected. God made you to be part of His family and to be in close fellowship with other believers. Do you have a youth group in your church where you can get involved in some small groups and begin to make some closer friends?

Expressing Yourself: You need to take the risk to let others know you. You are not trusting people because of your parents’ divorce and you fear that others will abandon you like your Dad did. Because of that, you have no one to express your feelings to and thus, you stuff them inside and the result is depression. Once you are depressed you can’t feel anything else — any good emotions. Expressing yourself to others (a couple of friends, a relative) is important so you can break the cycle of depression.

Won’t you try to do some of the things which I have suggested above? And talk to your Mother about going to counseling. You can call Rapha’s hotline for a referral to a Christian Counselor in your area at: 1-800-383-4673. If she can’t afford it, then, maybe you can see a school counselor. Or talk with a leader in your youth group. Don’t keep isolating because you will only feel worse. Let me know how you are doing.
In Christ, Lynette Hoy, NCC, LCPC
 
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Lynette J. Hoy is a Marriage and Family Counselor in private practice in Oak Park, Illinois. Lynette regularly presents seminars on: women’s issues, assertiveness, “What’s Good About Anger?”, stress and conflict management, PREP’s “Fighting for Your Marriage”, grief and divorce recovery. Lynette is a National Certified Counselor and the Chairwoman of CBWC: Chicago-land’s Connecting Business Women to Christ. Contact her for seminars, articles or counseling needs at counselor@hoyweb.com or 630-368-1880. See web sites: www.counselcareconnection.org .

 
 

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