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When Someone Says to 'Find the Silver Lining' of My Depression

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Find the silver lining. Find the good in any situation. There is a reason for everything.

When you are experiencing any kind of pain, it is almost impossible to not scream at the sound of any of those sentences. When waking up is all you can muster to do that day, there is no silver lining. It is sometimes impossible to see an end, especially to heartache and emotional pain. Minutes feel like days, and yet the world goes on as if nothing has happened, as if I’m not going through a devastating trauma.

The problem with emotional pain is it seeks and survives in solitude. It hugs you in its cocoon and shackles you with every memory, every broken promise, and every insecurity until you are drained of any desire to break free. It feels like you have been left alone for years. It feels as if you are a painting and the hands of time slowly and painfully rub off the colors until you are a faded shadow.

This is the intention.

The intention is to have you in solitary confinement until every last piece of you shatters into nothingness. Pain takes over your body and mind and starts to carve out the scars that will remain. Pain, I’ve learned, is a liar — a convincing liar. And while it takes time and patience to heal, the healing process starts once you stand against that comfortably painful solitude.

Sometimes, it is OK to not hold yourself up. The healing starts once you take your very weak and vulnerable self and lean ever so slightly against someone who you anticipate will care. As the pain starts and the panic runs through your body like an angry sea, you reach out and declare a state of emergency. You’re unsure and skeptical. Is this OK? Am I a bother? Do they get it? And then the most unexpected revelation takes place. These people who are around you aren’t just there for when you are whole. They are also pillars that will hold you up and together when you are wounded and scared. It is OK. You are not a bother. And they might not fully get it, but they don’t have to. Their presence alone distracts pain and drowns it out. And then, when you least expect it, you are picking up the shattered pieces. It’ll take time, to fully heal, to trust again, to move forward, and to try something new; but pain, while it remains in the background, will not get to win.

So, here’s the silver lining to my latest battle with pain. The silver lining is there are some really amazing people in my life — people who take time off from work, people who call and text every morning from 3000 miles away and people who invite you over for a hearty home-cooked meal and good conversation. They are the good in this situation, and you will never know how much they can help until you reach out and let them.

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Thinkstock photo by awhelin

Originally published: November 14, 2016
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