“When you're surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you're by yourself.
You can be in a huge crowd,
but if you don't feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody,
you feel like you're really alone.”
― Fiona Apple
A close family member that I love is battling depression.
As someone who's been though the fog twice, I spent last night assuring him he's not alone, not crazy and all the thoughts in his mind that he doesn't want to share- I've been there and I promised him he'd be happy again, that he would feel like himself again someday.
He wanted to talk about it... so we talked.
It's nothing to be ashamed of (although I could tell a few others in the room were a bit uncomfortable).
His questions of "why" when nothing horrible has happened I think is what is most upsetting to him. He can't understand it.
I told him there are many questions in life and not enough answers.
I said all the things that were in my mind while depressed but I never expressed, like all the real thoughts I had but never shared because I didn't want to scare anyone (he nodded in agreement). How one day I was okay, and the next it was like a train had hit me and I couldn't understand how it could come on so strong and so sudden (more nods).
I called him today and talked about medications, things I'm currently on and how I also feel like a bit of this is in our genes. I think it runs in the family. It's not his fault. (He is very active and healthy and I do believe that drugs can and do help people suffering from depression.)
I told him it's hard to go through the fog of depression once and come through thinking you'll never experience that again... and then you do- and it's a whole new experience accepting that you can't control everything.
He said after he came out of depression awhile back, he never thought he'd feel this way again... I said it's a hard to accept, but that he would be happy again.
This person has years of life experience that I don't. I love him, and I worry about him and I hope one day soon... he will feel true happiness.
Today I looked back in an old journal of mine when I was battling depression in 2009 and here's just a small excerpt.
I think it's good to remember.
February 17, 2009
"Joel had to work a double. I waited until Jack went to bed to "fall apart." I had and still do have a major migraine. I took a hot shower to relax and cry. The shower is the one place I feel safe enough to let all of my emotions out. And although it feels good to release it... I start to wonder... why am I sad? Why am I upset? I have everything I ever wanted...
I feel guilty for my ill feelings and thoughts...
Is this really a mental illness? Sometimes I'm not sure... how do you know? And how do you know when you've overcome it? I keep thinking I'm finally healed and stop my medication only to find myself in the same old rut.
I keep making excuses so I don't have to see Dan (my counselor). I know he's helping me but it just seems like too much energy...
Headaches are becoming all too common lately. I feel like I can't "quiet" my mind. My thoughts are so random and sometimes I forget my original thought that sparked my fifty trailing thoughts."
*If someone you know is battling depression, here is an article of 10 things to say and 10 things not to say.
*And if you are battling depression, I urge you to talk to someone. The first step is always the hardest. And if talking seems unimaginable, I suggest writing a letter to express yourself. You will be happy again, I promise.