Once we hit the 80-minute mark, it was time to hang up.
If you can talk to someone for longer than an hour without any awkward pauses, or if you look at the time and find yourself wondering where it went, hold onto that person as long as you can. It’s important to have people in your life that you can express yourself to, and vice versa. They can make you laugh when times are good, or maybe even when they aren’t particularly good. They can also cry with you when things turn south. They’ll be by your side no matter what comes your way, and it’s not a stretch to say that you need them as much as they need you.
With the call ended and the music playing, I took a sip of my coffee and began driving. We’d covered so many things during our call. I’d felt close to tears more than once, and I’m not sure what’s happening to me, but I’m more emotional now than I have been in quite some time. Maybe it’s this period of sobriety that I’m in. I seem to feel everything in my life, every moment, every emotion, it’s all much stronger than it usually is.
After receiving a concerned phone call from my loving stepmother, I’d like to clear the air: I’m not currently depressed, nor was I when I wrote that post. I’m not in the best mental state that I’ve ever been, but I’m a far cry from the days when I couldn’t get myself out of the house to go out and interact with the world, to go outside and live life. I’m not saying that I’ll never be in that frame of mind again, I’m just telling you that that isn’t my reality right now. I thank you for your concern, but it’s not warranted.
I wrote about depression because it’s too important not to address. My friend has been very candid about her struggles, and me about mine. During our call, I made an educated guess that her experience with depression must inform her work as a social worker, and she agreed.
“It’s not a prerequisite to be one, but it does help.”
That right there is the positive side of depression, if ever there was one. If you make it through and your heart is still beating, it means that you’re tough. It means that you possess the strength to pull yourself back from the edge, even if you’re not sure that life is going to get better. It also means that you can be empathetic. Making it through depression means you can talk to people who are experiencing unreal pain and agony, and that you can offer these people advice you didn’t read in a book. You’ve lived it, what they’re going through, and when it comes to depression, I’m not sure there’s a more powerful teach than experience.
There’s so much more.
Surviving depression means that you can recognize the symptoms in yourself if it ever strikes again. I hope that it doesn’t come back, that you only deal with it once if you deal with it at all, but that isn’t the case for everyone. When the dust does ultimately settle, it’s important to analyze the causes, to discern what got you to that miserable place in your life, once your head is a bit more level. You can figure out what sent you down that path, find out what your triggers are, and avoid an episode like that again. If you find yourself depressed once again, then you’ll be better equipped to handle it. You’ll know how you got out of it the first time, and hopefully you won’t feel so hopeless.
If you’ve ever been depressed and you’ve managed to beat it, you can take solace in the fact that you’ve already beaten it once. You’re no longer wondering if you’ll make it through because you know firsthand that this time will pass, even if it doesn’t feel like it in this very moment. You’ll know that you were strong enough to make it through once, and there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be able to do it again. You’ve got the blueprint: all you have to do is follow it.
Depression can show you who your true friends and family are. Some people will look at you in your funk and wash their hands of you. They won’t understand, and they won’t let themselves be dragged down. Some may leave, and this may make your condition even worse. Not everyone will answer the call. Some will resort to self-preservation and run, and as painful as that can be, I would rather know who is going to stick by me when I need them the most. I don’t want someone around me who can’t handle the insane things that life throws at you. I understand why people leave in these situations, but I don’t fully understand. I get it, you want life to be positive and full of good energy, but by avoiding or pretending that the horrendous things life can throw at you don’t exist, you’re only living half of life. You’re robbing yourself of a change to grow as a person, and the fact of the matter is, you may need someone to help you someday. People remember when others stay, and more importantly, they remember when you others don’t
Depression can be a teacher. I knew that the way I was living wasn’t working, that it wasn’t resulting in a positive mindset, and I knew that if I could just muster up enough energy, then I could go out and start making some changes. Depression keeps you indoors and saps your energy, but if you can summon the resolve to get up and start doing some things, it means that you can start to things right. You can change or get rid of the things that are holding you down and keeping you from living the happy and fulfilling life that you deserve.
It’s not all bad when it comes to depression. It’s not something I would recommend, and you don’t need to experience it in order to have lived a full life, but I think the biggest mistake you can make is not trying to learn something from it. If you just look at it as something horrible and don’t attempt to understand it, then you may find yourself back in it just as clueless as you were the first time.
Depression plunges you into the deepest despair of your life. You feel hopeless and alone, isolated and despondent, but you’ll learn so much about yourself, especially once its over and the storm has blown out to sea. You may feel like depression has taken a piece of you with it, but it’s made me a better and more compassionate person, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. What I’m saying is that you can do this. Stick it out, get help if you need to, and live the beautiful life you were meant to. Thanks for reading.