The Best Text I Could Have Received for My Depression
If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.
If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.
I am very blessed when it comes to the support I have in my life, but lately I have been feeling incredibly alone in this fight. Throughout the last seven years of my battle with severe chronic depression and anxiety, I have received so many texts from so many people encouraging me in my darkest moments. But, last night, my old youth leader from back home sent me this text. And it was the best text I had received in months.
Whenever someone is struggling with a mental illness, people always tell you to reach out and find “that person” you can trust to talk to about it. But, it often feels like no one actually wants to be that person. Though I had a lot of support through my middle and early high school years, I never felt like I had that person I could just go to. I prayed night after night for God to put someone like that in my life, and my prayer was answered a year or two into high school. My small group leader at church, who also coached field hockey at my high school and lived down the street from me for a period of time, became that person for me. She saw me through my worst days. She would let me come over to her house to just sit; she would go on walks with me; she responded to my thousands of texts; she was the person I went to when I was about to attempt to die by suicide — she was that person. And I could not be more thankful for her. I have no doubt in my mind that I would not have made it to my high school graduation, let alone to my junior year of college, without her.
After I left for college, things became harder. We still texted and I still knew she was there for me, but it was just different. I felt like a burden and tried not to reach out to people as much. But every now and then, I caved. We got coffee earlier this summer, but I hadn’t talked to her much or seen her since. I was isolating myself and trying to drown my problems in alcohol and self-harm and starvation. Last night, I was talking to her because my disordered eating habits were back and I was too in my head to think clearly. We talked for a bit and she reminded me of the truths I was too lost to see. They were such powerful reminders that made me break down in tears upon reading. About an hour later, she sent me this text:
“Hey girl, what is the name of your dorm?”
Just for background, I go to school about an hour from home. And on a random Wednesday night, at 10 p.m., she drove down to my school. She knew I had been hurting. And so she got in her car. And drove. All the way to my school. On a random night. Just to be there for me.
And so I sat in her car last night, overwhelmed, thinking about all the conversations we have had in that car. We just sat there and talked. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do super well with verbally talking about this stuff, but I didn’t feel like I had anything to lose at that point. I had the opportunity to just be honest with someone who understood me, had been there for me, had seen me through so much, and who for some reason still cared about me. I was able to say things I’ve wanted to tell someone and just say aloud for so long, but haven’t been able to. I was able to be real and honest. And it was so relieving.
She talked with me through it. She gave me some things to think about. She prayed for me. But more than anything else, she was there. During a season I have been feeling so incredibly alone and hopeless, she was there. And she still cared. I cannot put into words how much it meant to me to get that text from her. I cannot put into words how much it meant to me that she drove here. I cannot put into words how much it meant to me that she still cared and was still there. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for her. Depression and suicide and anxiety and eating disorders and self-harm are some real tough demons to fight, but I’m being reminded that I don’t have to do it alone. And neither do you.
Photo by Julia Viniczay on Unsplash