I felt the weight of the phone in my hand as I took it away from my ear. The feelings of worry started to creep in. I replayed everything that had happened over the past year and the positive impact this will have, as well as the hardships this will bring not only for her, but also for her family and myself. The voice of panic, heard just moments before was on repeat in my head; “My Mom is taking me to the hospital.” I took a deep breath, and continued driving; thinking of the road we had ahead of us, as well the one we had come from.
My experience with depression is going to be different than that of the norm shared here on the desert daisies blog. My experience and view comes from the loved one. The friend, the family member, the significant other, or whoever else may help with the battle of depression. Throughout my senior year of high school my best friend suffered from major depression, and I walked the journey right along with her. I saw the highs and the lows, and just about everything in between. I saw the thought processes, which led to the spirals into the dark abyss where you would wonder if they would ever find their way back to the surface. I was on the other side of the line during those late night phone calls when there seemed to be no point left to living, pleading with you to just wait one more day. I was the one tasting the victory when you realize just how far you have come, and you look back to see the battles you have won. I know depression is real. If there is one thing I learned from my experiences with depression it is that. IT IS REAL. As once said, “You’d never say, ‘It’s just cancer, get over it!’ So why do we say that about depression?” Depression is something people do struggle with, and as Hannah once said, “if left untreated it can literally be fatal!” So to those of you who struggle with depression, and those of you who know people who struggle please don’t tell them to just get over it, because trust me, it doesn’t work.
Now, for those of you who struggle with depression or anything like it, the first thing I want you to know is that WE LOVE YOU. I don’t care how ugly, fat, boring, stupid, you think you are we love you. No matter how unlovable you think you are, I want you to know that you are loved. There is someone around you who loves you more than you could ever know. It does not matter the mistakes you have made, or will make. We don’t care about the silly things you some times say, or how much candy you eat. We love you and will always love you. Do I need to say it again? WE LOVE YOU. We know this battle isn’t easy, but we will be there to walk it with you. So reach out to us and let us help you.
Now for those of you, who are the loved ones, LOVE YOUR PEOPLE. I don’t care what they said or what they did. They need your love, just as badly as you need theirs; actually they probably need it more. SO LOVE THE CRAP OUT OF THEM. Send them an encouraging text, give them a phone call to tell them how much they mean to you, or go out of your way to do something nice for them. I know this road is not easy for you. It may be hard for your loved one, but it is hard for you as well. I want you to know that it’s okay. I want you to know that it will all be worth it. I want you to know that you are loved as well and that is why they have reached out to you, so take their hand and show them how to come up out of that dark abyss. One of my favorite quotes come from a speech given at BYU by Terry Warner says, “The telling blows against evil are struck one act of love at a time.” So strike your blows in this battle.
I know this is probably stuff you have heard before, but I wanted to add my voice to those who have already spoken out for depression. It is a passion I have developed and it is real. It is a struggle. It can be helped. Yes, it is a hard road to travel down, but when you can look back and see the distance you have traveled, it somehow pushes you to go a little farther.