Some blog posts are planned far in advance while others spill from my mind and into my keyboard immediately for you to see. This one is spilling. This one is for the people who feel stuck. This one is for the people who understand depression.
Depression is real. Your pain is real. It is all valid. Please, listen to me: those nagging thoughts of worthlessness, don’t let them too far in. Your pain is valid, but those nagging thoughts aren’t true.
I know this all too well. I understand your pain. The self-doubt creeps in. The worthlessness creeps in. It can feel like the most real thing in the world. It can feel like the only real thing in the world.
All the pain can make us forget that hope is real. We forget. We get covered in all the bad. Sometimes the bad can smother us. It can make us forget the good. It can make us forget the potential for good. This type of smothering forgetfulness terrifies me.
Please, always remember: everything is temporary and hope is real. During depression the badness can seem unmovable and debilitating. But the bad is temporary. The bad will pass eventually. Good will come. The best part: when the good comes, the bad will fade away. The depression and worthlessness will become a fleeting memory. What seems unmovable now will be easily forgotten later. The fog will eventually lift, and there will be sun.
Eventually when the fog lifts, please remember: be kind to yourself. I know and I understand. I understand the shame spiral that follows depression. You don’t deserve that spiral. I understand. I understand if you haven’t showered. I understand if you’ve been ignoring calls and messages. I understand if you haven’t eaten well in weeks. I understand if you’re sore from staying in bed all day. I understand if you had to miss work. I understand if you turned to a bad habit to ease your mind. None of this is your fault. Something happened to you. Something completely out of your control. Depression happened to you. It isn’t your fault. Please, be kind to yourself. Once the fog clears, you deserve to pick yourself up and move on. Please, don’t fall into a shame spiral over something that isn’t your fault. If you need help, reach out for it. If you need time for yourself, take it.
For today, promise me that you will not give up. So much can change in a day. So much can change overnight. Depression and goodness ebbs and flows. If today is tough, hold on: there is amazing potential that tomorrow might be better. You are not alone.
Have I written this letter for you, or for me? Both. The idea came to me just now, as I looked at the tree in my front yard. Today the tree is beautiful and green. Yesterday it looked a little depressed and not very green. It has been a hard winter, especially for that tree. It sat naked, colorless, and cold for months. But today, it didn’t let any of that hold it back. When the time came for it to turn green, it didn’t look back at the lonely winter with shame. It moved forward. This is what I hope for us. When the depression passes, I hope that we can hold our heads high and step into the sun.