Steven Hendrickson: When the Light Comes Back


A friend of mine posted the following reflection by her nephew in Group Beyond Blue, an online depression community on Facebook. I asked her if I could share it here because 1) I think it’s important to be reminded that life and light do return after debilitating symptoms, and 2) it’s refreshing to hear a male perspective on the experience of depression. 

When the Light Comes Back

By Steven Hendrickson

You think you’re tough, but you’re not…You think you’re strong, but you’re not…You think you’re a man, but you’re not…

You think you won’t cry, but you will…You think you can’t break, but you will…You think you can’t be touched, but you’ll be crushed…

You will want to beat yourself up, and you will…Your whole life will seem like it’s crumbling down on you and it is…

You’ll give into the voices…You’ll be trapped as a prisoner in your own mind…Your thoughts will bind you like shackles…You won’t know what to do, how to act, which way to go, or how to feel…You’ll be led down a long dark tunnel for what seems like an eternity…Everything you know, what you loved, and your life as you know it will disappear…

But light comes back and life carries on…When that light comes back don’t be tough, don’t be strong, don’t be happy, don’t smile, etc…BE YOU!

The rest of those things will come with time…

Be grateful life brought you to this point and be thankful/blessed for the memories and experiences you’ve had, cherish and remember them cause they’ve been some of the best of your life…

It’s time to work and focus on yourself and your needs…

Some people don’t get a second chance after their life goes black…

Live for them, experience for them, love for them…

They’re depending on you…

Lean on everyone: family, friends, coworkers, strangers, new people…

At the end of the day, everyone has your back in your life and wants to see you rise to the top.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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5 Responses
  1. Diane

    Refreshing to hear the male perspective as well as read the relief
    that one can feel as a depressive episode recedes. Sometimes there seems
    to be no end, no sense of glancing at that light at the end of the tunnel.
    However, each of us is the same person who is experiencing the horrific journey
    into depression as well as the wonderful human being living in balance. I sometimes
    forget that I am that same person who can love and smile and be content when the
    dark veil covers my mental state.
    We are God’s creations going through a really tough time, but still His children.

    1. mandy

      It’s so hard to remember that are component parts include the the hard and beautiful, the peaceful and destructive. Your words speak to this so well.

  2. Jeff Duggan

    Therese, Loved reading this. It is simple, clear, and real.
    As a guy who almost gave in to the dreaded “D” disease, I can fully relate to this short story. Personally, I would add a few lines from my life and insert them right after “It’s time to work and focus on yourself and your needs…..”

    “You won’t want help, but you do. Now is the time to build your support team and not be afraid to use them.”

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