Down and Alone


#1

I know this may be somewhat silly, but I’m just feeling depressed right now. Just got back from Lancaster Pennsylvania, already miss it, especially the Amish who I admire so much. But I come back and find my pet rat dead. Her name was Shadow, she was black. She was 2 years old. I dug a hole, petted her for a while, then buried her. I know she was just a “rat” but she was awesome. I used to give her ceral, fruit, and yummy treats everyday and she always looked forward to it. I miss her.

I don’t even know why I’m writing this, I just feel overwhelmingly sad about hundreds of things, and I’m tired of it, so tired of it. I don’t know who to talk to, I’m so confused with my faith, I miss God, and I feel abandoned. Lonely.


#2

I’m sorry to hear about the death of your rat - pets are always tough to lose.

Re: your current state of mind - all I can say is to keep the faith and pray. I have been through some dark times, and the one thing that kept me going was my prayers. God listens and will give you peace.

I will pray for you.


#3

Hello FindTruth7 again…I am dreadfully sorry for you in your loss of Shadow:grouphug: . I am a pet lover too and know they wonderful and true, faithful and understanding, insightful presence they can be…just how much one can love them and with that love generously returned. The loss of them is a true loss of a loved confidant and friend. My heart goes out to you in your loss of Shadow. May St. Francis of Assisi welcome Shadow into Heaven and pray for your consolation and comfort with his prayers speedily answered by The Lord.

Loneliness is a terriable trial indeed especially when coupled with feeling abandoned by God. I hope it just may bring you some comfort and consolation to know that especially changes in location that are permanent it can be a major life stressor, and is one of the three major stresses we can experience in life - the others are death, divorce and major life changes. You are experiencing two of these major stresses: death of a loved one and major life change (location) - and divorce too since you are separated from Shadow and the Amish whom you loved and admired. In other words much of what you are experiencing can be expected and as a psychological reaction that will pass. Time cannot wipe out memory very often, but it can bring healing of the acute and all embracing pain…but it is a painful journey of pain.

When we do undergo major life stress and accompanying anxiety, it is not unusual to also feel that God has abandoned one too as all other known securities and comforts in life seem to have gone out the window.

I hope and pray:gopray2: …that as this thread unfolds you will find comfort and consolation through other CAF members…that you will find people that you can ‘talk’ to - the internet and discussion forums like this and also those instant messaging facilities can make the world a very small place indeed and the internet has become in many cases a main source of friendship and a cure for loneliness. It is a gift of God…sadly this gift can be misused as many of His gifts to mankind can be. I am praying that friendship and consolations will come into your life and soon by whatever means The Lord may choose.

Blessings and my heartfelt prayers…Barb:)


#4

Hi Barbara. You know, you are making me weep, even as I type this! :slight_smile: Thank you very much for the kind words.

Yes I feel abandoned by God, in so many ways do I feel abandoned, seperated, and it hurts. It hurts because I have tasted His goodness before, walked with Him before, and was happy. But now that’s gone. For almost a year I’vd felt complete darkness. There are many things I could say. There are even times I nwish I just didn’t exist, not in hell, not in heaven, just gone.

I feel like I’m being selfish so I’m sorry.


#5

Dear FindTruth7,

I live about two hours away from Ohio Amish Country, and feel as you do about it. I would happily give up television, and I think could even be persuaded to give up the computer and even my digital camera, if there were a Catholic community that lived out in the country close to nature like the Amish. Family and neighbors looking out for each other, farming, living honestly and simply, being around horses … wow.

Click on this link if you like. It will take you to a picture I took of Amish country two years ago.

flickr.com/photos/95994086@N00/201390571/

Sorry to hear about the loss of Shadow. Pets have a way of getting into our hearts in a special way and becoming trusted friends.

Despite what’s going on around you, God loves you and wants to grant you new blessings in the future.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,. plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:22). …

If you want to talk about the Amish, feel welcome. :slight_smile:

~~ the phoenix

… also known as CountryDreaming
on the Flickr photography website


#6

Dear FT7…While it was not my intention to trigger tears…tears can be very cathartic. They are the expression of an emotion, like breaking things can get out the anger…all emotions have their way of being expressed exteriorly and this is cathartic or brings healing - a resolution process is triggered. You are not being at all selfish, rather sharing of yourself and this is truly a precious gift that we can give to one another and to be treasured. “Bear ye one another’s burdens” You are hurting and feeling totally alone in it all and this is sadness and sorrow and a time to weep.
Sometimes you know, it is ok to feel sorry for oneself (not to say that you are!!! - a general comment only). Feeling sorry for oneself at times is a place it is ok to visit when things are crashing around us - while we don’t set up permanent residence there. Or such is my philosophy. In fact, I have found that if I cry in sorrow for myself, it triggers anger at myself…and pretty soon I am yelling and screaming at myself - all this is psychologically positive and pushing along the process of healing. Because when things do crash around us, it is frustrating of our hopes and plans, frustration triggers anger and anger is a part of the process of grief at aloss. Anger turned inwards unacknowledged and unexpressed becomes depression - it is most often anger turned inwards. (trained as a counsellor and worked for a while as one prior to my own illness).

This quote that The Phoenix has shared with you:

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,. plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:22). …is beautiful - especially in its entirety:

[quote]

11

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. 12 And you shall call upon me, and you shall go: and you shall pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You shall seek me, and shall find me: when you shall seek me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found by you, saith the Lord: and I will bring back your captivity, and I will gather you out of all nations, and from all the places to which I have driven you out, saith the Lord: and I will bring you back from the place to which I caused you to be carried away captive.

It can happen in life that a situation has a psychological explanation…be that as it may and be it so, it is the events of our ordinary everyday lives that The Lord uses to bring us to perfection - to allow trials and tribulations as well as the times of blessing and joy…and as it says in Scripture - if I take blessings from the Hands of The Lord, must I not also take sorrow. This time of suffering and of abandonment will come to a conclusion and happily so and I know and can promise you that. But the path to that conclusion is one at the moment and could continue for a while as a path of suffering…travel it with hope and as much as you can muster, though you may seem to have to drag it up out of the depths.

My ex director and at a time when all was going wrong for me sent me these words “sometimes our plans fall apart and our dreams seem to fall away a little at a time. Be of good spirit…hope is still there - somewhere deep in the heart”.

There are even times I nwish I just didn’t exist, not in hell, not in heaven, just gone.

I know what you are saying, I have been there…though no person can walk in another’s shoes exactly…just wishing I did not have to wake up at all the next day and the sinking feeling when I did just to have to face another day.

Try not to isolate yourself! Try not to just sit and be alone. I am hoping that since you have returned, it seems, to a previous residence that you know people in the area…or have a car and can get out of just four walls. Perhaps there is a convent near you and you could arrange to have a talk with one of the sisters - or monks and brothers…or perhaps the parish priest. It is very important that you (and if necessary force yourself) do not isolate yourself in four walls. It just might pay you too to visit your doctor, and ask if perhaps anti depressants could help you at this time. Whatever you do, force yourself to make a decision and then force yourself to carry it through to not isolate in four walls.

We have as much obligation to strive to alleviate our own sufferings as we would the sufferings of others. “love others as you love yourself” and it is through learning how to love our own selfhood and cherish and respect it that we learn how to give it to others. We give thanks and praise to God for the gift of our own selfhood by taking jolly good care of it without giving into narcisistic self indulgence of course. You will be in my daily prayers for consolations and quickly.

God’s blessings and quickly His Peace and consolations…my regards…Barb:)

Actually The Phoenix’s invitation to talk about the Amish if you wish is a really good one…and you can do it in this thread…I would love to learn more about them too. I dont know much and only from reading and TV - and I’d love to know more.
[/quote]


#7

God’s Answers
You say: It’s impossible.
God says: With Me, all things are possible. (Luke 18:27)

You say: I’m too tired.
God says: I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: Nobody really loves me.
God says: I love you. (John 3:16 & John 3:34 )

You say: I can’t go on.
God says: My grace is sufficient. (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: I can’t figure things out.
God says: I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: I can’t do it.
God says: You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)

You say: I’m not able.
God says: I am able. (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: It’s not worth it.
God says: It will be worth it. (Roman 8:28 )

You say: I can’t forgive myself.
God says: I forgive you. (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: I can’t manage.
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

You say: I’m afraid.
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: I’m always worried and frustrated.
God says: Cast all your cares on Me. (I Peter 5:7)

You say: I’m not smart enough.
God says: I give you wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: I feel all alone.
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)


#8

#9

Would you think I am silly if I admit I miss my guineapig. She was 8 years old when she died. I cried over her. Her name was Pia. I looked after her so well too. I understand about the rat. They get very devoted and are comforting…so I understand how you feel the loss of this little source of God’s goodness.

Faith can get confusing, and Jesus felt abandoned at one stage, but you’re not abandoned, Love; and feel free to talk to us about things.

Warmly, Trishie


#10

Talking to people (psychiatrists) and medicines do not really help. Only myself, or God can lift this. Later I may explain the grief, if any wish to hear. I just don’t want to feel like I’m being “poor me” Though it would just be nice to actually get it out.

What would you like to know about the Amish? I’ve learned alot since I was down there.

Great that you can identify what it is that will actually help you (not everyone can)…and of course God will lift it - in His Time, His Way and for His Reasons - but lift it He Will! I am really joyful deep down that your Faith is so very strong under stress … Hope is to invest in what Faith tells you! And as St. Paul tells us, if we could see what we hope for, there is no need to hope, because it is there. Rather Hope is to Hope for what we cannot see.
Paul to Romans, Chapter 8
*

21

Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. *

22

  • For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. 23 And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.

24

For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? 25 But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. *

Yes, I would like very much for you to share your grief…this gives us the real honor and priviledge, a great blessing to us and Grace offered to us, of hoping to be able to “bear another’s burden” and to express real care and concern for a brother…and to actively hope and pray for your consolation not only with prayers but in our ‘actions’ too. On the psychological side of things…and no way can we divorce ourselves from our own psychology…I personally find that if I talk about what is worrying me, I find that I actually talk myself into my solutions. I’m one of those people that needs to express myself and ‘hear myself speak’ and to hear what I am actually saying. This is quite common. However, for my posts which amount almost to books so lengthy are they, this is a distinct fault of mine - who uses so many words for what many gifted people can say in three sentences!:o
I would really love to hear about the Amish people…I have a mental image of horses and carts, simple barn like structures and women and men in hats and bonnets…children too. I hear they are overwhelmingly hospitable and entirely gentle people in all things. A people of overwhelming and outstanding simplicity…which is something that I really love though it is a great challenge to me personally and I very much admire the many people I know marked by overwhelming simplicity and humility.

The two subjects of grief and the Amish people and sharing your knowledge of them are within the subject of your thread which is feeling “down and alone”. I only say this because of the CAF rule to keep a thread on topic. And if sharing with us your grief and your loss of the Amish people, your knowledge about them, maybe helpful in your disposition and aloneness, then it is within the subject of your thread.

But please dont, isolate yourself in four walls. Do get out at least once every two days, if only to go for a walk - even only for 10 minutes round the block - if my other options I mentioned are not feasible for some reason. Try and see all there is to be seen on your walk and give thanks and praise…or if you just want to think, do so - but do get out and about. And if you dont feel at all like doing it, simply make a decision and the date to carry it out and then force yourself to do it on that date.

Do read carefully too BeckyMarie’s Post. I am going to copy it and keep it on File as well as print off a copy to put up somewhere here. Her quotes from Scripture are what Faith tells us, invest your Hope in those quotes.

Just had a look at your Profile again. The expression of your religion as “Whatever is TRUTH” is really quite beautiful though a quite lonely phrase it struck me. I picked up a saying somewhere “Truth without love is only a half Truth”. So when we Catholics bicker and argue over theological questions as we do so very well indeed at times, if in the arguing we are nasty and cruel to each other, then that is only half Truths being discussed. If we are polite and respectful to each other - then prick up your ears and listen well to what is being said…we are speaking the Truth. To disagree, to my mind, simply means that Truth is still working itself out between the disagreeing parties. Just my thoughts.

God bless and keep you and grant you Peace and consolation…until we speak again…Barb:)
PS The Phoenix of course too would like to discuss the Amish people and seems to know a lot about them as well.


#11

Now is the time to go to Mass, read religious material, and wander around your local mall, or downtown area, just to be around others. Years ago, when I was overseas, depressed and feeling lost, I discoverd The Imitation of Christ. It was so very consoling. I’m convinced we all must endure many ‘long nights of the soul’, because that’s life, and a consummate meeting with Christ, one-on-one. Hang in there.


#12

It would definitely be cool to compare notes between the Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish with FindTruth7 and to share with you, Barb, and the others on this thread.

To my mind, the more you come to know the Amish, the more you can identify and empathize with the grieving process that goes on when you have to leave … Even when things are going along just fine in your life, you feel that you’re leaving behind a people and a very special way of life that doesn’t exist just anywhere.

A former pastor of mine once mentioned the Amish in a homily and asked, “How come it’s just the Amish in our society who have a reputation for honesty? What about us Catholics? Shouldn’t we live in such a way that we earn the same reputation?”

There’s a tiny little Amish farm that sells produce in the middle of nowhere, just outside of Berlin, Ohio, I think it’s called something like “Blessing Acres” or “Providence Blessing Acres”. While you’re there, the farm boys bring in the corn and onions from the field out back, so fresh that the dirt is still hanging from the onions and needs to be cleaned by the boys before the onions are placed into the bins.

Once I bought a whole bagful of groceries and the lady asked me to please weigh them and tell her the price. I responded that I’m not good at math so she was welcome to charge me whatever she wanted because I trusted her. The total for peaches, beans, corn, onions, etc. came to the incredibly low price of $6.50 … such a low price, and the bag was so full that a small, polite Amish boy carried my watermelon to the car!

There was some slight distrust of me at first when I promised to return, all the way from up near Cleveland, with a supply of plastic grocery bags and recyclable jelly jars, which they advertise they are in need of. But when I returned several weeks later, I was personally and warmly invited to a special event on the farm featuring free lunch. Very sadly, I had to decline because my parents were going to be in town and I didn’t think their physical condition would allow them to make such a trip, but the lady at the farm assured me that my father would be most welcome to sit in his wheelchair and enjoy the day at her farm.

On another visit to this same farm, I was delighted to overhear a conversation between one of the customers and the Amish family, in which the family was quite willing to teach this “outsider” a few words of their internal “private” language, based on the customer’s interest.

It basically comes down to respecting each other’s cultures as well as each person as an individual.

And to tie this in further with the topic of this thread, it sure seems to me that if you spend time among the Amish, it’s harder to feel down and alone … Perhaps because without the distractions and noise of the tv set, people spend their time instead more focused on God and each other, leading to joy and community, and appreciation of nature and the simple pleasures in life.

A romanticized view … you can say that, because I’m not talking about the negative aspects of Amish life that I’ve heard of, and of course the Catholic Church has the fullness of Christianity. Still, the Amish strike me as maybe having a little something in common with the Francsican charism? (And maybe even, to consider things within the realm of Tolkien’s Middle Earth … something in common with the Hobbits of the Shire?) :slight_smile:

~~ the phoenix


#13

I am so sorry to hear about Shadow. My son’s pet rat died only a few months ago and he had her for several years. He loved that little rat and grieved horribly over her death. People would probably find it hard to believe what wonderful pets they make. They are very intelligent and even affectionate creatures. Again, I’m really sorry for your loss.

I’m also sad to hear your suffering with such horrible darkness. I will pray for you and hope that you find the strength to trust in God to get you through this. He will not (has not) abandon(ed) you and is actually closer to you now than when you feel great consolations from him; he may be calling you to an even higher level of holiness at this time. Please try to perservere!

Your’e in my prayers!


#14

Keeping you in prayer right now!


#15

Thank you very much for sharin gthat, Phoenix!:thumbsup:

My eyes boggled at this:

The total for peaches, beans, corn, onions, etc. came to the incredibly low price of $6.50 …

It almost costs that just to get on a bus and get to the shops, let alone purchase anything …

…and as I read along in your Post it occured to me that this is what religious communities should be all about…a witness that they are giving and primarily perhaps to us lay people as what Catholicism is really all about that we too can give witness. Perhaps there are some religious communities that do, and I am unaware of them and I sure hope so!!! What a wonderful people the Amish must be…

To live the way the Amish people live, one really has to take it all very seriously indeed and quite prepared to make the necessary sacrifices and cost they would! There is a world of difference between seeking for intellectual Truth and on that level…and seeking for the Truth in Life and living, and living it out. It does call to mind how I think the way, similar, that the very first Christians would have lived - we sure have come a long way from that - very long way indeed. The very early Christians I have read were known as “The Way”… I sometimes really pause and wonder what we shall see in Heaven…
Mea maxima culpa…

Is there much difference between Amish communities in different states or places?..I had rather thought that their philosphy and way of living was the same right across the board everywhere - and uniform…

Thanks again, TP!:thumbsup:


#16

…me too:gopray: …


#17

.

PAGING FINDTRUTH7!..

…Are you ok, out there FT7?..Barb:confused:


#18

Also hoping that FINDTRUTH7 will return!

And to beckycmarie, many thanks for posting “God’s Answers.” I’ve forwarded it to a friend of mine.

~~ the phoenix


#19

You’re welcome. :slight_smile:

I don’t know who wrote it, but I saw it buried in tiny font at the end of an email. I thought it was a keeper.


#20

LOL, Hi Barb. Yes I’m alive still. Thank you for wondering. Since I recently got back from pennsylvania i have had loads of chores, but i’ll be back soon,


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.