Hi, my name is Josie Barone. I am a common creature of the female variety who is passionately in love with Jesus Christ. He is my life. He is also my lifeline. You see, I struggle with an invisible, often debilitative, autoimmune disorder, which resides just under the surface. This disorder is the epitome of an alter ego.   Actually, she is more of a leech of a persona, much of the time slowly sucking the very livelihood from my lungs. For years I would paste a smile over this character flaw within, hoping this tactic would resuscitate some oxygen back into my being. But, the results were only temporary at best. So, instead of attempting to hide her away from existence, I decided to allow her to speak for herself.

So, without further ado here she is:

Well, hello there. While I have official names for my disposition, I usually prefer my nickname, ‘Sadness’. I have resided in Josie for as long as she can remember. I could bring down the best of her days. Sometimes she would fight back, but you see, I am relentless. And even though Josie has attempted in vain to rid me, I refuse to leave. You know, there are such things as squatter’s rights, right?

And over time, she offered less resistance to me. But, I think this is where I may have not have realized a certain strength also resided within her. And this strength encouraged her to dialog her depression to help others realize they were not alone in their dark times instead of attempting to dismiss.

I guess am okay with this, because that fake toothy grin of hers only aggravated me which caused my skin to crawl begging for a more appropriate reaction to the truth within.

This crazy lady believes somehow we can coexist. She feels that we can work together for a better good even when we do not feel so good. She believes there is such a thing as abundant life, even in the midst of despair. She says that is true joy. You see, she says true joy is found in the strength of her friend and savior, Jesus Christ.

I am not certain she is correct, but, I must say, I feel a bit better about myself now that I am out of the dark closet she used to confine me in.

Maybe a name change is in order. Instead of Sadness, how about calling me Melancholy?

What about you?  Is there an altar ego hiding within that attempts to suffocate your livelihood?  Instead of burying her, how about bringing her to the surface for some air?  Maybe the two of you can work out new living arrangements…

Remember, God can use all things for good, even alter egos, for HIS greater purpose.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV

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