If posting this doesn't help me, I don't know what I'll do


#1

To start this off, I’m 16 and I’m a practicing Catholic. But my life seems to be falling apart right now. I feel far away from God. I don’t often feel like praying and although I want to grow spiritually, I cannot ever seem to get it right. Basically, I just REALLY need God but I can’t find Him anywhere. I can’t remember the last time I felt Him with me or honestly felt that deep love for Christ. I need direction. I need some hope.

Also, I am extremely discouraged about life outside of my faith. I’m shy and quiet around people, but I want so badly to just be real with everyone. I just physically cannot be myself around anyone except for my immediate family and a few of my friends. Even people like my aunts, uncles, and grandparents I can’t talk to and it makes me so upset. And, my best friends all have other people in their lives now that they’re closer to than we are. I just feel so lonely at times. If things keep going this way, I fear I might slip back into the depressive state I used to know. I’m desperate and completely lost.


#2

I’m 42, and I was in a severely depressive state for at least two years (I contemplated suicide several times a day during this time). I know what you’re going through.

Please, don’t despair! The Lord is with you! Take comfort in Psalm 23:
*
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.*


#3

Pray the Rosary!!! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet!!! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

The more you pray these prayers the harder it is to feel alone, away from God, and limits your ability to sin.

Don’t dispair. Pray often ( even informally (e.g. God I really need your help right now) ).

– Cadian :knight1:


#4

Please do not despair, for the Lord is with you. Remember, it is said when you cannot feel the Lord’s presence, it is during that time He is closest to you. (Someone may be able to expand that further.) I will be praying for you. God Bless
Jacob


#5

I have suffered major depression for a few years now (I was diagnosed a few years ago but I feel that I have suffered from it for much longer). I know what it is like to feel lonely and depressed. What I would recommend is that you get out and get involved with some groups at your local Catholic parish. Make some more friends who can support you during your dark times. Also, ask your priest to pray for you. Light a prayer candle for your intentions so that others may pray for you as well. Receive the Eucharist as frequently as possible and above all, don’t give up! I am praying for you.


#6

Yes, as Holly3278 said, receive the Eucharist as much as possible! The Lord is truly with you, no matter what. For He is with us, even until the end of time.


#7

Ask your priest to guide you to a spiritual director.


#8

Just go a quite place and say the rosary over and over again, the repeatician of each prayer slowly clears out your mind, concertrate on each mystery, each person in the life of the lord. feel their pain and joys. How would you like to be with Jesus for the first 30 years of his life as Mary was, you can when you say the rosary…! Right, make it a project, keep praying the hail mary over and over again to clear your mind and soul of everything. feel refreshed.
Your aunts and uncles have experiences that they really don’t want you to have, and they don’t know how to explain them to you without it sounding like a lecture.
This is a great prayer to start with , good luck
catholictradition.org/Mary/litany10c.htm


#9

God has given you gifts, sometimes you just don’t realize it. God did not create you so you would hide your gifts… He wants you to share yourself with others.therefore don’t be afraid of stepping out there and talking to new people. And if you make a mistake, so what? Everybody makes mistakes and it’s not the end of the world. Console yourself with that thought and the fact Jesus will always be your biggest fan, no matter what, and you’ll do fine.

Jesus would not have died for you if He wanted to hide from you; He loves you.


#10

cmbertrand - I can relate to being very shy, even around close friends and family - it like this invisible barrier or a sudden shock of self consciousness that prevents me from truly connecting with people. Its okay, God know what to do with the talents and gifts of all his people, even the shy ones. What you may not realize at this age is that your meekness is giving you gifts you didn’t even know could spring up like the power of good observation, listening, and creativity. If you were busy yapping you probably wouldn’t have time to develop these things.


#11

Hi, try to not judge your relationship with God based on feelings. Sometimes He lets us feel His presence, and to feel near Him, other times He seems far. But in those times He is still with us. He allows this cause He wants us to grow in faith by still choosing to love and follow Him in the difficult times. There is little merit in loving God when you feel near Him…we can’t help but do that :slight_smile: it’s in the ‘dark nights’, that’s when we really grow. Try to pray anyways, even if you don’t feel like it, and your choices will please God. Remember He cares more about our choices… not our feelings… those come and go. In Heaven we would live in perfect union with God, but here on earth, it’s often a struggle

Also, I am extremely discouraged about life outside of my faith. I’m shy and quiet around people, but I want so badly to just be real with everyone. I just physically cannot be myself around anyone except for my immediate family and a few of my friends. Even people like my aunts, uncles, and grandparents I can’t talk to and it makes me so upset. And, my best friends all have other people in their lives now that they’re closer to than we are. I just feel so lonely at times. If things keep going this way, I fear I might slip back into the depressive state I used to know. I’m desperate and completely lost.

aw I know how you feel cause I’m sort of the same way… :hug1: remember it’s not the quantity, but the quality of the friendships that count. Don’t be soo hard on yourself about this. I know it’s tough to feel lonely… remember that we can be completely ourselves with Jesus and He understands us from the inside, He already knows everything that’s in our hearts, but wants us to talk to Him about it anyways :slight_smile: try to open up to Him and make Him your Best Friend.

Try to trust God, remember how much He loves YOU.

“Tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your Best Friend, is listening to you” (Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Also, sometimes it helps me to read spiritual books, like by the Saints :slight_smile:

God bless


#12

Its okay, God know what to do with the talents and gifts of all his people, even the shy ones.

that is very true :slight_smile:

we’re often told that being shy is a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be. I think what makes it hard is that sometimes it’s misunderstood and we feel lonely or get hurt. Also sometimes shyness comes from fear or something in a person that perhaps needs to be healed…and sometimes only love, God’s love, can heal it… it’s not a sin though at all. For some it’s a cross to carry. Remember that God loves you exactly as you are. And He is willing to work through you in others lives just as you are (shyness included ;)), as long as you are obedient to Him. That’s all that matters in the end :slight_smile:

Also I found sometimes feeling shy or lonely has brought me closer to God cause it’s helped me to appreciate how loving and understanding He is more. He is the one person in the world I KNOW I can be totally myself with. The more we understand how much we need God, the more we come to Him with trust, the easier it gets to love Him :slight_smile:


#13

I know you said, you are almost Catholic, but I have one suggestion. Consider picking up a bulletin (that’s the weekly church paper) from one of the closest churches and see if they have a youth group. And see if they have an activity that you can tap into. Maybe it’s to volunteer somewhere on a service project, or an open gym night or a teen mass or even an outing. You will gain a circle of friends that might link you to a life long relationship, not to mention a great youth minister who is going to welcome you with open arms. Try it. I will pray for you.


#14

I too suffered from severe depression for a period in my life (i had been depressed for a long time, but i would say i was only “severely” depressed for a year or so.

The only real answer I can give with full honesty is this: Keep trying. It is important to remember that even saints go through periods of not feeling close to God. Some people claim that God intentionally removes himself from some people to test them, I personally am more in line with the belief that it is the fault of the individual to a certain degree, but perhaps it is both. But the reason doesn’t matter all that much as far as how to deal with it.

The important thing is to just keep trying to pray, and to immerse yourself in religious things. Go to bible studies, adoration, listen to religious music, get involved in church related activities, etc. Just keep going and trust that the Grace of God will see you through and I can promise you, you will get through it. And on top of that, you will be a better person because of this period in your life. Always remember that we learn best through pain.


#15

Stories like yours make my heart ache. First, it’s a myth that you can “make” yourself grow spiritually by just trying hard enough. I can tell from your message that you are growing spiritually right now. The thing is, in this world, we are not in the perfect state we will be in after the Resurrection, so our spiritual “senses” are often unreliable. Here is why I think you are growing spiritually: You can never remain spiritually the same over time. You are always either growing or shrinking, getting closer to God or else getting further away. If you are reaching for God, as you are, you are getting closer to Him.

Sometimes spiritual “dryness” is a means God uses to help us grow. It teaches us to rely on Him and gives us the privilege of walking with Christ on His passion journey.

I want to let you in on an important secret. The words “hope” and “despair” each have two different meanings. The first is as an emotion: optimism and pessimism. The second is as a virtue. When I was profoundly depressed, I learned the difference. I lost the ability to feel hope. I felt only despair. Yet there was still something there, some certainty that all was not lost, even though I felt that way. The “something” that was still there was the virtue of hope, which God will never take from his children, even if the emotion of hope disappears. It was the virtue of hope that got me through that period. Let me also assure you that the virtue of hope is not something you “earn” if you are “good enough.” None of us is good enough. It’s God’s virtue, not our virtue, and we know He will give it to us because He promised to do so.

Now for some actual advice. Along with others, I encourage you never to stop praying. Others have recommended specific prayers such as the Divine Mercy chaplet and the rosary. But you can also pray by just talking to God freely. Picture God the Father as your Daddy, and Jesus as your brother. They are crazy about you. If it helps, picture them and also your Mommy, the Virgin Mary, putting their arms around you when you feel most lonely. Tell them your frustrations, thoughts, and feelings, from the serious to the silly. Remember Jesus is human too, and he can be silly. God invented silliness. God told Abraham, who was a very old man, that he and Sarah, a very old woman, would have a baby. It was such a silly idea that Abraham laughed—so God named Abraham’s child “Laughter” (Isaac). That’s why I say God invented silliness. And in God’s silliness there is always goodness.

Also, go to Mass and receive the Eucharist every single weekend. If you can go on weekdays, even just once in a while, do it. Go to Reconciliation even if you are not in a state of serious sin. If you have Eucharistic Adoration nearby, go to that, even just for a few minutes. The sacraments are literally our lifeline to heaven.

Here’s my other piece of advice. Find a counselor you can talk to. Depression affects your spirit, mind, and body. Talk therapy is still one of the most effective treatments. The TV ads will make you think that all you need to do is take a pill to fix a “chemical imbalance” in your brain, but that’s only part of the story. Medication is only part of the story and it has its downsides. Finding a trustworthy counselor has no side effects, and it can teach you coping skills for the rest of your life. You’ll have to ask your parents and/or school counselor to help you find a therapist. I recommend something called cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches you how to recognize and conquer bad thoughts, and is proven to work by many studies.

May God be with you, and best of luck. You have an army of prayer warriors for you here.

+Robyn


#16

Thanks you all so much for your words of encouragement and prayers :slight_smile:

Today I went to the chapel for an hour with one of my friends. It was wonderful. I feel so much better and I hope it lasts. My friend and I decided we’d go to the chapel every day after school.

This paragraph spoke to me a bit. Feelings get in my way alot and I know I need to remember that faith is not a feeling.

Each of your replies along with some prayer time have brought some understanding to me. I know that being holy is not something that I alone can achieve. It is through God and God alone that I come to be closer with Him, and happier too. Sometimes this understanding slips from me, but I’ll just keep praying and trying to give life my all!


#17

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