If you haven’t had it, you can’t possibly understand. Don’t tell us that you do.
Don’t tell us to snap out of it.
Don’t tell us to look at the bright side.
Don’t tell us to be positive.
Don’t tell us about all the starving people on the planet or homeless veterans or all the people that have it worse off than us.
None of it matters.
If we could will ourselves out of the pit of hell that is depression, we would.
We don’t want to be there. Just like you don’t want us there.
But if you have never walked through it yourself, nothing you can say will help us.
Get that through your head.
We know you are only trying to help, but what you’re really doing is pissing us off.
You’re making us feel weak.
You’re making us feel like we’re horrible people who don’t care about our families or friends.
You’re making us feel like outsiders.
You’re making us feel even more alone.
Depression isn’t something that can be turned off like a switch. I know my husband wanted his wife back. My kids wanted their mom back. I wanted myself back. But depression wanted something else. It wanted to hurt and destroy and fill me with guilt and pain and self hate. It lied to me and told me my kids would be better off without me and that I should just end it all and save everyone all this misery.
So what would have helped?
Thankfully, I got the help I needed from a team of professionals that got me on the right medication and into the right therapy. I still have bad days, like everyone else. When those days come, I’d be lying if I said I don’t get scared. I fear the day that depression might return and drag me down again.
So I keep taking my medication as prescribed. I keep all my doctor’s appointments. I talk with my therapist about my problems. I talk with people who have been in depression and have walked through the same fire. I help others who are in pain.
If your loved one is suffering, you can assist in every way possible, but remember this: In the end, it’s up to the person to be responsible for her own recovery.
I'm just a traveler, a dreamer, like you.