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To the Person Who Feels Like They're Drowning in Depression

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It’s hard to stay afloat in a “sink or swim” world. When the storms of life hit you, hurricane after hurricane, taking and taking until nothing remains. It leaves you an empty shell, raw and gutted open.

You are resilient. Oh, you’ve been fighting these waves all of your life. As the gloomy waves churn and crash relentlessly into your mind to spread the darkness like poison, you begin to wonder if maybe God was confused because even you have a breaking point.

Then, when that breaking point comes in like a violent tide and washes the ground from beneath you, you find yourself dragged out into open waters. You are lost at sea. Now it takes every ounce of strength in your being to keep breathing, an autonomic process becoming a remembered habit.

You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. You can’t escape the dark water as it envelops you, slides down your throat as you gasp for air. An ominous tsunami wave looms in the distance.

As the sun droops low beneath the horizon, so does the strength you once had to keep fighting. All you want is to be someone who matters enough to be saved. All you want is for someone to give you a reason to withstand this hurricane you are constantly in. All you want is for someone to understand.

Many who pass by, in sturdy boats, have not struggled in dark waters. When they see you below, they toss out a life preserver of shallow consolation, but you’re too far away. The tide is too strong. After a few tries of trying to reach you, they leave, consumed in their own concerns, unable to see the distress in your eyes. In these fragile moments of uncertainty, you sometimes feel it would just be easier to let yourself sink and watch the sunlit surface fade from view.

But you are not alone in these dark waters. I am here, and I see you.

I see you beneath the waves, silently thrashing for help, though no words escape your mouth. I feel the struggle behind your eyes and the darkness that consumes you, that consumes me. I understand the strength it takes to survive each day, and I know the weight of the burden you carry. Yes, I see you. For I am no stranger to this pain. We are one in the same.

This is my open invitation to all of those who have felt or feel like they are drowning. In the chaos of the oncoming storm, I will fight for you. I will listen to you, cry with you and offer what strength I have left. I may not find the right words to say. I may not be able to say anything at all, but I will tread these dark waters with you until the storm passes.

Whatever walk of life you come from, no matter where you, I will swim to you. I will remind you how to keep breathing. I will be your reminder that you can and will survive this, even if you feel like you cannot face another day. I will remind you that you matter enough to be saved.

Originally published: August 25, 2016
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