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I had been working myself to death, my blood pressure was at a dangerous level, and I was on medication for it, but the stress was too overwhelming for the medicine to keep it under control. I would try to stay awake all night (not that I could sleep) because I didn’t want to face the morning. When five in the morning arrived, a feeling of dread would take over my entire body. I was in a constant state of depression, bringing me at times to tears. An hour later, I would drag myself out of bed, take a shower and drive the thirty-five minutes it took to get to the store I was manager of. The drive to work was really the only calmness I had in my day, but pulling into the parking lot ended that calm evaporated.

Before I even put the key into the door to open up, a feeling of dread would overcome me. How did the store look? Did the night crew do what needed to be done? Will I have to work by myself again, or will I have to work another sixteen-hour day because my assistant manager or another employee either called in or didn’t show up?

Six days sometimes seven, this was my life from about 2005 to 2012. I couldn’t even enjoy a full day off or even take a vacation without getting a phone call about a problem or someone not showing up for their shift. I WAS ON EDGE when I didn’t get one, waiting for my phone to ring. A phone I had to have with me and answer even if on vacation. It caused friction between Nancy and me because I would have to leave and go back to work many times.

Nancy was afraid I would have a heart attack, and truthfully so was I. Panic attacks were a common occurrence. I was too proud to look for another job; that made me a failure, and I was too proud to fail.

Eventually, in 2012 it was taken out of my hands when I was brought into the store’s backroom by my boss and was told that I had to be let go. I knew it would happen at some point, and when it finally did on that April 1st, a sense of overwhelming relief swept over me. I was angry because I knew that the position I was placed in was an impossibility to succeed.

The only problem was that I had to let Nancy know that I was no longer going to have a paycheck. When I called her on the way home she was dissapointed and scared but she was also relieved. She didn’t know what we were going to do but we would figure it out.

That time in my life a decade ago, was one of the lowest times in my life for seven years I was in a constant state of anger nd depression. I went front being one of the top managers in our district which contained twenty-seven stores, to being fired in one hour. Something that had never happened to me before.

Looking back over those seven years, I’ve often thought about how was I able to survive, how was I able to motivate myself to get out of bed and do what needed to be done? How did our marriage survive those years, because I was impossibe to live with, in a good mood one minute then becoming totally depressed the next? The depression lasting much longer than the good moods.

During those years I gave very little thought to God, I didn’t have time, my mind was getting in the way of my heart. It was if I was hiding from him, afterall he couldn’t have been looking after me. I felt all alone. In other words I was feeling sorry for myself.

I now realize that the reason I made it through those times and many others throughout my life he was with me. He was protecting me. He was giving me shelter from the storms. He knew that on my own I would not have survived and even though I had left him, He never, ever left me. There is nothing that I cannot accomplish or survive knowing that he is my refuge and my strength and for that I am eternally grateful for.

I hope the words from my past will reach even one person who is struggling or has struggle with depression and anger. That it will be an inspiration for all.

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Click the link to listen to a short devotion. Thank You and God Bless!

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