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When You Can't Hold On

Mike would discover that in order to overcome despair, he would have to be willing to let go of the things he so feared losing.
— Mark Galli

Michael Wells stood in the kitchen looking at his wife, Joanne, who had just said she needed to talk. Her eyes — sad, fearful, almost panicky — were filled with tears. She started shaking and blurted out, "I don't think you realize how unhappy I am!"

Mike's body turned cold. "What do you mean?"

"I'm thinking about moving out."

The words echoed off the dull tile counters. A heaviness settled on Mike, and his mind went numb. As a Methodist pastor, he had heard parishioners tell him what he thought were clichéd reactions to shocking news. Now they weren't clichés: This is not happening to me, he thought. I'll wake up any minute, and it will be a horrible dream.

"Why didn't you tell me? I didn't know you were unhappy."

Joanne had been seeing a therapist for a year. Mike had asked her what she talked about in her sessions, but she had always answered vaguely: ...

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October

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