Coincidentally, the same day that Robin Williams died, I was having a very bad day. Not your normal bad day, a very depressed and anxiety riddled day. Some people think that depression is just a frame of mind. For some, it is. It's a passing phase. For others, it's not at all passing. It will come and go sometimes, and sometimes it will always be there. And sometimes, even with medication, it will still lurk in the shadows waiting for a moment to creep in. For me, it's never fully been gone. Managed, to a point, maybe, but not fully gone. I function; I get out of bed, I get dressed, I get my son ready for school, I eat, I run errands, I talk with others, I play games, etc. All while depression lurks, taunting me, goading me, harassing me. Yesterday was different. Yesterday, it took over. I could barely move. I could barely speak. I somehow managed to take a shower in the morning, but the rest of the day was spent in bed. It got to the point where my husband had to lift me out of bed, pull me up the stairs, remind me, more than once, to drink the Gatorade in the glass in my hand that I could barely lift to my mouth. He made dinner and honestly, I'm surprised he didn't have to feed me. I could barely keep my eyes open and all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep again. It was, a very, very bad day.
I don't like talking about myself like this. It's easy to say, "Yeah, I was depressed", but it's completely different to describe how it affects you. BUT, people need to know this. People need to understand that this is a real disease, not a choice. The way I've explained it to my six year old son is that my brain is broken. Literally, it may not be in pieces, but it is NOT functioning on a normal level. Can you tell your brain to stop you from feeling an irrational fear of something? Not really. You might be able to practice ways of calming the anxiety that comes from the fear, but the fear doesn't really go away. Can you tell your leg to stop hurting if it breaks? Can you tell someone that has cancer that they don't really need chemotherapy or treatment? Have the sniffles? Stop having a cold. Sneeze every time you're around a dog? Stop being allergic to dogs. Your brain not taking in serotonin correctly? Stop being sad.
Doesn't make any sense, does it?
You know what would help? Don't ignore it. Don't ignore the person suffering. Don't forget that they ARE suffering. Don't tell them to get over it. Don't tell them that God made them this way. Don't tell them there's a higher reason. Don't tell them it gets better, or easier over time. Don't tell them what they should or should not do.
DO be there for them. DO offer them a hug, or two, or twenty, or a hundred. DO physically help them if they need it. DO get them something to eat/drink. DO spend time with them. DO try to talk with and understand them. DO compliment and encourage them.
Don't say there's light at the end of the tunnel, BE the light IN the tunnel.
Do you really think I chose this?