To my friend
I don’t know you in real life, and you don’t know me either, but that doesn’t really mean much in the Land of the Internet. We are friends through a virtual world, one where we share the best parts and sometimes the worst parts, of our lives. I know that you are a beautiful woman, with a gorgeous family – I can tell by the posts you share that they mean the world to you. You have a sense of humour, and are gentle and kind.
I am so honoured that you have been able to be brave and turn to me, and let me in on your struggles – the ones you hide behind that beautiful smile.
You asked me today what do I find that helps to soothe me in my really bad moments – you assured me that you know it is not an easy answer, you are desperate for any kind of hope. You told me about the struggle you have to get through each day at the moment, that you are exhausted, lonely, and feel isolated. You expressed guilt that you rely so much on your husband for support, but are sure that you have have no one else to turn too. You asked if I have friends, or if I have found that people turned away from me when I started to crumble.
I’m no expert, all I can share with you is my “lived in experience”.
In the bad moments I soothe myself with sleep. I go to bed and I pray that when I wake up, the worst of the storm will have passed. I pray for help and guidance, and I hope that I will make it through. I take long hot showers, and I walk with my dog. I draw. I eat something sweet, or sip a tea and watch chick-flick type TV shows. I talk to my husband. I may email my psychiatrist, or message a friend. Sometimes I just sit and cry – often, I just sit and cry. In the bad moments you do whatever you can to survive!
The bad moments pass, I know it doesn’t feel like they ever will but they do. The intrusive thoughts that tell you over again that you can never get through this, they are lies, symptoms of depression itself. Please don’t listen to them, you WILL get through this, I know it doesn’t seem possible right now, but you will. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, more deserving than you can ever accept – you deserve to be happy and joyful, and one day I hope you can believe that for yourself.
That guilt you feel when you rely on your husband, you should never feel that. I know you will, because I still do too, but I am here to tell you that one day you will be able to repay him. I was once told that trying to hide my feelings from my dear husband so as not to worry him was pointless, I was told that if I opened my eyes and really looked I would see that there was a man who was besides himself with worry already! I’m sure your husband is the same, he is your best friend on earth, let him be there for you. Let him love you, and grip your hand firmly on the bad days when you fear you can’t hold on alone.
As for friends, I have some really close ones now, but for a long time I felt as though I had no one. I was very isolated, and it felt impossible to ever be accepted. The friends I had seemed to pull away when I needed them to be there for me, they seemed to feel that my seemingly sudden break down was for attention, not because I had finally fallen apart so much that I couldn’t keep up the act any more. I found friends through my Christian worship. I looked for the ones who were alone with few to talk too, and I made friends with them. Oh how I need them, and I love to know that they need me too, we nurture and cherish each other.
Loneliness is debilitating, I found it consuming me. I cried all the time if I saw someone out with a group I knew, it felt as though everyone had turned away from me. I just needed to find the right people, they were there, they were waiting. It will be the same for you, in the meantime until you find your “real life” friends, I will be here for you, and even once you do, I’ll still be here!
Thank you for letting me in. Thank you for being that brave. Please continue to hold on, I would miss you, your family will miss you. You will get through this depression, one day it will get better. Let your husband hold your hand and pull you through, and rely on those professionals who have years of knowledge to help support you too. One day you’ll be having this conversation with someone else, trying to nurture their tired soul, and you will be seeing hope for yourself.
Thank you again for being so brave.
Kat – Someone who believes in you!