You can’t fix us. You can’t wish us better. You cannot MAKE someone well.
It’s an inside job. An internal individual struggle and healing process.
However, there are things you can do to help us. Sit with us. Have a listening ear that doesn’t offer advice or comments. Watch a funny movie with us. Hold our hand. Stay with us even when we don’t want to stay with ourselves. Pray for us. Invite us places even if we don’t participate. Take us for a long ride in the car, listening to music, with no agenda or set place to go. When we smile or laugh, don’t pronounce us ‘healed’ or ‘all better’. Don’t dismiss our feelings or thoughts. Support us. Send a text message. Make a phone call to let us know you are thinking about us. We can’t just ‘get over it’. We can’t just ‘decide’ to get better.
I have had depression my whole life. I was first hospitalized at age 13 for ‘general malaise’. I had another depression period around the time I was 18 or 19. I had what I call my ‘mental stroke’ starting in December of 2002 when I was in the psychiatric hospital 5 times in 6 months. I had to reevaluate everything I thought I knew, get rid of the things I knew that were not good for me and learn how to start healing all of me.
I was extremely fortunate to find the right combination of doctor, therapist, psychologist, medication and treatment that were consistent for many years. They were my place to sit and survive when I wanted to give up. I have worked extremely hard for many years to heal myself from my childhood trauma, emotional and physical abuse.
I didn’t want to die. I just found it pointless to continue my life in so much emotional and physical pain. If this was all there was to life, I didn’t want to live anymore.
I’m now LIVING my life. My depression is still here. Some days it shadows everything I do. Other days it’s a fog that envelopes me.
I am better now, but I am still not completely ‘healed’. It is a work in progress. I now have more days of joy, peace and fulfillment, many less days of darkness and pain.
I have learned strategies to help myself LIVE with my depression. I have coping tools that I use to help me through all my days, good and bad.
If you are depressed, please don’t give up! There is help out here. If you can’t reach out for yourself, ask someone to help you. One treatment, doctor or medication does NOT fit all. You need to find the combination that works best for you.
You have to work – and rest – and fight. But it is WORK! You won’t be better until you begin to incorporate wellness and healing into your life, removing the toxins that are hindering your progress.
There is hope, always hope. Recovery is real.
Thank you for listening.