Each of us is prey to the stresses of life. Some of us make it. Others of us do not. What is it? How is it that two people, bombarded with similar strife and vulnerable periods of lifetimes take two different turns? Why can two people experience a similar hell without similar outcome? Why does one survive while the other remains emotionally fragmented? Is it metabolic, familial, or environmental? Is it all of these? Is it none of these?

The survivor is wounded and scarred, yes, but remains whole and steadfast. The non-survivor is lost – lost in the chains of emotions and addictions and fears. Wherein lies the difference?

Healing begins from within. A noted consultant, lecturer, and author of alcoholism studies, in a lecture, nonchalantly labeled the success of the survivor versus the lack of success of the non-survivor as the “X-factor.”

I like to call this unknown factor   -God’s faithfulness to a prayerful human being. I call it God’s compassion. God’s reaching out to a person who has chosen to reach out to Him.

Consider the Serenity Prayer that reads:

“God grant me the Serenity to Accept
The things I cannot change . . .
The Courage to change the things I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference”

Consider the 12 Steps (#2) of the Alcoholics Anonymous Program:
“We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Find Courage and Hope in God’s Word:
God has not given us the spirit of fear but of Love and of Power and of
a Sound Mind. II Timothy 1:7

I have told you these things so that in me you might have Peace . . . In this
world you will have troubles. But take heart. I have overcome the world. John 16: 33

What is emotional turmoil but lack of peace? Faith in God’s presence and power promotes a will to go on. His love is the only force powerful enough to combat the broken human spirit.

Find Strength and Renewal in God’s Word:

I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. Peace I will leave with you. My peace I give unto you- not as the world gives give I unto you. Let not your
heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.   John: 14:27

And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your minds and hearts in Christ Jesus. Philippians: 4: 7
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord God is everlasting strength.     Isaiah 26: 3,4.


“How wonderful that the reality of His presence

is greater than the hell about us.”                    -Betsie Ten Boom, to her sister, Corrie

“Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content,

A Mind content, both crown and kingdom is.”

The quiet mind is richer than a crown           – Robert Greene


Psychiatry, being the unfinished science that it is, has its distinctive place in the ever-evolving healing process of emotional illness but above all, God in His infinite mercy and love can do the seemingly impossible if we but yield to the wisdom of His ways.

Carol Ann Castagna