Several people have written to me lately to say they are in a debilitating depression and are running out of hope. I thought I’d share a message of hope with them and with everyone who is currently battling the beast.
Dear Depressed Person,
I know that you can’t feel anything. You might not even be able to read. But I want you to try to absorb these words of hope from one survivor to another.
You are in a dark basement feeling around for an escape out of the blackness. You think your experience of despair is permanent, that you will forever feel the weight of this unbearable anguish. What you don’t know is there exists a stairway to an upper level, where the rays of light shine through the windows.
Trust me when I say that you’ll get there eventually – to the steps out of depression. I can’t say how or when. It will probably happen from a combination of things – finding the right doctor, intense psychotherapy, self-care, and time. All you have to do is persevere for 15 minutes at a time and be as gentle with yourself as you would a scared child in the middle of a thunderstorm.
You are courageous and brave. Your battle is real and intense. Just keep going. One toe at a time.
Breathe deeply. You can do this from your bed. Count to five while inhaling and count to five while exhaling. Doing so will calm you down and quiet the alarm of panic.
Discern the whisper of truth inside of you that is heard in the stillness. It will guide your path to recovery and wholeness. Trust yourself and your own wisdom. Put down the self-help books. You already know everything you need to know to get better.
Surround yourself with people who love and accept you as you are. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Eat with them.
Revisit your strengths. Recall those moments in which you were most proud. Write them down.
Most importantly, hang on to hope. Repeat this mantra to yourself over and over again: “I WILL get better.”
You are in darkness right now. But you will soon be in light.