To My Internet Friend With Depression, From Someone Who Believes in You
To my friend,
I don’t know you in real life, and you don’t know me either, but that doesn’t really mean much in the world of the internet. We are friends through a virtual world, one where we post the best parts and sometimes the worst parts of our lives. I know you are a beautiful woman, with a gorgeous family and I can tell by the posts you share that they mean the world to you.
I am so thankful you have been able to turn to me, to let me see the tiredness in your smile too.
You asked me today about what helps soothe me in my really bad moments. You assured me you know it is not an easy answer, but I can tell you are desperate for any kind of hope. You told me about the struggle you have to get through each day at the moment, and that you are exhausted, lonely and feel isolated. You expressed guilt that you rely so much on your partner for support, but you feel sure you have have no one else to turn to. You asked if I have friends or if I have found that people turned away from me when I started to crumble.
I’m no expert, all I can share with you is my “lived in experience.”
In the bad moments, I soothe myself with sleep. I go to bed and I pray when I wake up, the worst of the storm will have passed. I pray for help and guidance and I hope I will make it through. I take long, hot showers and I walk with my dog. I draw. I talk to my husband, I may email my psychiatrist or message a friend. Sometimes I just sit and cry — often, I just sit and cry. The bad moments pass, I know it doesn’t feel like they ever will, but they do. The intrusive thoughts that tell you over and over again that you can never get through this, they are lies, symptoms of depression itself. Please don’t listen to them, you will get through this, I know it doesn’t seem possible right now, but you will.
That guilt you feel when you rely on your husband, you should never feel that. I know you will, because I still do too, but I am here to tell you that one day you will be able to repay him. I was once told trying to hide my feelings from my dear husband to worry him was pointless. I was told if I opened my eyes and really looked, I would see there was a man who was beside himself with worry already! I’m sure your husband is the same. He is your best friend, let him be there for you. Let him love you and grip your hand firmly on the bad days when you fear you can’t hold on alone.
As for friends, I have some really close ones now, but for a long time, I felt as though I had no one. I was very isolated, and it felt impossible to ever be accepted. The friends I had seemed to pull away when I needed them to be there for me. They seemed to feel that my seemingly sudden breakdown was for attention, not because I had finally fallen apart so much that I couldn’t keep up the act anymore. I found friends through my Christian worship. I looked for the ones who were alone with few to talk to, and I made friends with them. Oh how I need them, and I love to know they need me, too. We nurture and cherish each other.
Loneliness is debilitating. I found it consuming me. I cried all the time if I saw someone out with a group I knew. It felt as though everyone had turned away from me. I just needed to find the right people, they were there, they were waiting. It will be the same for you, in the meantime, until you find your “real life” friends, I will be here for you. And even once you do, I’ll still be here!
Thank you for letting me in. Thank you for being that brave. Please continue to hold on, I would miss you if you weren’t here anymore. Your family will miss you. You will get through this depression, one day it will get better. Let your husband hold your hand and pull you through. Rely on those professionals who have years of knowledge to help support you, too. One day, you’ll be having this conversation with someone else, trying to nurture their tired soul and you’ll see hope for yourself.
Thank you again.
Someone who believes in you
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo via oatawa.