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Jerry W. Engler

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Depression Can Help
By Jerry W. Engler
Last edited: Sunday, June 07, 2009
Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2009

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Recent articles by
Jerry W. Engler

• Conniving My Retirement
• Geo-referencing Soil pH for Liming
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• A Fair Love Affair
• Well, There's a Power Struggle
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Sometimes the insights that enhance life arrive at the moments of worst sadness.

All of life’s troubles got to me the other day, and I started wishing I
was a kid again.
But when I stood on my box to look in the mirror, there I was, an old
fellow with black circles around the eyes and lifetime wrinkles down the
How depressing!
I guess we’re all depressed, at least part of the time—although I caught
the butcher at the store whistling the other day, and two of my
grandkids are full of joy that they are riding bicycles for the first time.
County Commissioner Bob Hein even said this week that a Hillsboro
merchant told him his sales are up 15 percent for the past four months.
Baah, humbug, what does he know? Don’t they know this is the time for an economic depression as called for by the great minds of national
How can he be having a good time when those poor national banks have suffered so? How dare he find happiness when General Motors is taking bankruptcy.
Funny word, depression. It’s interesting how we change it to fit both
the economic depression and the emotional depression and the plain old, doggoned depressing.
In the nine years I have covered the Marion County Board of
Commissioners for the Free Press, every time our chief mental health
group comes to ask for money, they always say depression is Marion
County’s biggest problem. Apparently thousands of county residents
struggle with depression, and some of them end up needing help.
Depression seems to be highly entangled with fear. Remember when
Franklin Roosevelt said we have nothing to fear but fear itself? War and
economics can be depressing stuff.
Death and taxes are the inevitable things we cite that are closely
related to war and economics. Some of our county residents can have
legitimate reasons for some depression as they suffer the fears of
livelihood loss, estrangement, ill health and death of themselves or
loved ones.
But depression can lead to some of the best stuff in us, too. It can
call us to new levels of thought and sanity when considering it
emotionally, or it can call us “to pull ourselves up by our own boot
straps” economically.
My father died in December 2007, followed, as so often happens with the elderly who love each other, by his wife, my stepmother, little more
than a year later. The deaths of folks like these can bring on depression.
Instead, for me, their deaths have brought on contemplation. The
realization hit me at the funeral and dinner for my stepmother that the
only reason I knew many of the people there was because of her. She was our connection.
Without her, I most probably wouldn’t see many of them again unless I
chose to keep up on our relationships.
I do believe in a creator God who stands between us and death as
outlined for us by Jesus, and I don’t believe our relationships are
That can be a comfort to stave off depression, a balm for the weak who
can’t stand on their own as an agnostic friend would have it. But more
importantly it’s a great mental exercise and insight for our own
This would be true whether we are thinking about the trials economic
depression will bring us, or the trials of emotion, keeping our sanity,
worries about the environment, whatever is battering us now.
I am thankful for the depression that leads me to the joy of
Many of you know I write books, and have recently published poetry for
the first time. I am going to share a poem I wrote with you here. I know
from Internet count and correspondence, it’s the most read poem I have
written. It concerns depression and fear, and I hope it helps you.
My friend and fellow author, Mike Klaassen, tells me that, next to him,
I am the most shameless promoter of my own work that he knows.
That’s a great compliment. But I assure you, I am sharing this because
it came from my depths, and turned sadness to happiness.
The poem is called “When Dark Chaos Overcomes Me.”
* * *
When dark chaos overcomes me,
tearing deeply to open my breast,
then He caresses my weak soul,
and peace overflows me,
like a river in the flood
washing away the debris,
the overwhelming frustrations
of black, entangling clutter.

And when the flood subsides,
the channel cleared revealed,
great springs of purest water
well up from the depths
of the whirling spirit,
and there is joy overwhelming,
like lightning over the tumult
that bids the beast decease.

Creation released abundantly,
the happiness is rushing
in bountiful streams within,
of safety and security,
the deep water’s great
and caring Friend.


Copyright 2009, The Hillsboro Free Press

Web Site Jerry W. Engler

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Reviewed by Kathy Kopp 7/18/2009
Dear Jerry, Depression can help by contrast. Please put in a prayer for me that my depression will lift after over a year of it. Meanwhile, I have high's which enable me to work on my book when circumstances allow. The book, "Facets of a Sapphire" is together in one document. My eight illustrations and cover are done. All I have to do is the back cover with quotes from you, if that's still all right. THen the submission. I hope you're getting over the loss of your Dad (if one ever does).
Your colleague,
Kathy Kopp
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 6/11/2009
Superb poem. But depression can help. Those sad moments. Truly mentally ill depression never helps. It stops your life on its ass. But the milder form so many have with peaks and valleys is very common and does usually evoke an introspection as you have noted here. After all without the low valleys you wouldn't appreciate the peaks now would you. Very well thought out write. I believe that in the midwest where growth is slower than on the coasts and such don't dip too badly or go great guns either. Thoroughly enjoyed. Liz
Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 6/11/2009
Love your perspective, your thinking, your writing. Your bright light shines, warms and is unabated by time, distance.
Reviewed by Cryssa C 6/9/2009
Where do I even begin??
First off, your title made me giggle...that usual Engler humor... (bet you didn't know I had branded your unique sense of humor, did ya?) I smiled and even laughed as I read your article. Then...your poem... it stopped the giggles and brought tears to my eyes. It mirrored some of the emotions I was feeling as I wrote the poem that I posted today. Your poem differed in the ray of sunshine that you cast with your closing stanza...and brought a smile to my lips again. Refreshing... like a storm that refreshes the world, so to our trials of life can bring us refreshment as we overcome and delve into that world of self-introspection and arrive at different realizations.
Thank you for sharing, Jerry. I hope you never stop! I don't think you realize how much of a support you are to your especially! :~)
Reviewed by Regino Gonzales, Jr. 6/9/2009
Some who live in almost perpetual state of economic depression celebrate the rare coming of a hopeful event. Genuine happiness is felt while it lasts.


Books by
Jerry W. Engler

Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry: Just Folks Three

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Just Folks: Earthy Tales of the Prairie Heartland

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A Heartland Voice: Just Folks Two

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