Did you know that even Big Bird got depressed? The man inside Big Bird, I mean, Caroll Spinney (December 26, 1933 — December 8, 2019). He walked around in Big Birds feet for 49 years, retiring in 2018.
It was a challenging job to operate Big Bird. Spinney stretched his right arm up through the puppet’s neck to control the mouth and eyes. Can you imaging doing that for almost 50 years?! His left arm controlled both of BB’s. To not trip over a kid or another character on Sesame Street, Spinney wore a TV screen strapped to his chest.
As Big Bird, Spinney was cheerful and optimistic, but in real life, he suffered from depression, and even suicidal thoughts, after a divorce in the early 70’s. In a documentary about his life, called, “I Am Big Bird”, Caroll explains how he was able to overcome it. To anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, he said “It isn’t that bad. You will find a day that’s better. The sun will eventually come out for you.”
I’ve struggled with depression, myself, off and on, over the years. Prayer has really helped. Well, not just prayer, but the One to whom I pray, God. He has really helped me when I’ve cried out to him. Again and again, he has lifted me up, brushed the dust off my clothes, so to speak, and set me up on a higher place, sheltered safely beneath his wing.
“He will cover you with His feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
I feel comforted. In fact, God is called “The God of All Comfort” in the Bible.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV)
When I pour my heart out to Him, like Psalm 62:8 encourages us to do, I feel better. Even if I’m still depressed, I feel better.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8
God comforts, and has guided me to resources, like an article written by Dr. Erica Eliott. She is a physician in Santa Fe, NM, who discovered a link between gluten and depression. She explains:
In some people, gluten sensitivity can manifest as a neurological disease affecting primarily the brain, and can cause or exacerbate “brain fog,” profound fatigue, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar illness, schizophrenia and other mental conditions.”
I learned through research and trial and error to avoid gluten, sugar, and to limit pretty much anything that comes in a box, a bag or a tube.