This post is dedicated to the unsung heroes of depression. The people who live with sufferers of depression and other mental illnesses. Those that choose to stay in our lives during the highs and lows, as difficult as it may be. And it’s incredibly difficult. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. Both supporting those with this soul destroying illness, and suffering from it myself. It is a life long battle. Every day is different, and every day you wake up and hope to hell that today that black hole will give you a break. Just for one day.
But this isn’t about us. The sufferers. This is for the partners, families, husbands, wives and friends who choose to stay-through the good and the bad. The most respect goes to the ones who don’t suffer themselves. They will never understand completely, why we go from being okay, to crumbling into pieces, not wanting to face the day, sleep the day away, go numb or even cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason. But what counts is that they try. We are not easy people to live with; we are unpredictable and often lash out to those close to us. When I tell you that we don’t mean it, please believe it. As twisted as it sounds, we lash out at you because we trust you enough to be there when we’re okay again. Please don’t misinterpret this as us using you as punching bags.
You are our rocks, the hands that pull us out of the black holes that threaten to consume us. As much as you presumably and understandably often feel helpless, you are our reasons to carry on.
As someone who battles this horrible illness on a day to day basis, I live by the old adage that “this too shall pass”. And if I could give you any advice, you, the unsung heroes, should live by this too.
We love you, we thank you and even though depression is so difficult to understand-even to those with the illness, you are appreciated more than you will never know, and stronger than you will ever realize.
Lisa Lee is a writer and researcher for Body and Mind.