I SAT IN my office, tears gathering in my eyes. "Not again," I said aloud to myself. "Not here." I blinked back the wetness in my eyes and tried to focus on my computer project. No luck. More tears. With a deep breath I headed for the ladies room, trying to keep my composure until I was safe within the privacy of a stall. Once inside I let the tears spill, dabbing them carefully with toilet paper. Sadness welled up from deep inside, snuffing out my normally upbeat personality. Why can't I keep my emotions under control? I wondered in frustration and embarrassment.
This scenario had become all too familiar in the last several months. I'd be enjoying a perfectly fine day only to be unexpectedly overtaken by sadness or hopelessness. Some days I even awoke feeling sad. These emotions usually overwhelmed me when I was alone—in my car, in my office, in my bed as I tried to fall asleep. While I'd always been an emotional person, this was different. I couldn't find any apparent cause for these emotions—which only made me feel worse. After all, I had a good job, dear friends, a nice apartment, a wonderful church. Nothing seemed wrong. Why was I crying so frequently?
WHEN THE CRYING first started, I tried some practical remedies. I drove around in the sunshine during my lunch hour, listening to fun '50s music or uplifting Christian songs. When I read dehydration could lead to sluggishness, I began drinking more water. I tried to eat balanced meals when I learned certain vitamin or protein deficiencies could affect moods. And I cried out to God to restore my usual joy in life. Yet no matter what I tried, my sadness persisted.1