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Lincoln and Depression

Here are two things Abraham Lincoln wrote, in different seasons of his life.

During a dark period  at the age of 32, he wrote: 

"I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally  distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully  forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be  better, it appears to me."

Reading those words and not knowing who wrote them, we could well fear that such a person would never find the resources to escape the emotional morass in which he found himself. In 1863, however, this very same man wrote these words as part of the first Thanksgiving Proclamation:

"The year that is drawing toward the close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. These bounties are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come."

Comparing these passages from different eras of Lincoln's life teaches two things:

1) No emotional state is forever.  The seasons of our lives do change.  Given time,  patience, faith - and, sometimes, some skilled professional help - people can and do emerge from winter, eventually, into spring.

2) Thanksgiving is not dependent on circumstances.  It's a spiritual discipline that can be practiced even in lean times.
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