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To the People Who Leave When a Loved One Struggles With Depression

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I got sad, and you left. I wish I could say I don’t know why you did it, but the ugly truth is I do. I got too big for you to handle.

Maybe you’ve never met someone like me — someone who seems so “normal” one day and the next is staring blankly at the world. Maybe you’re too busy holding yourself together to hold me together, too. Maybe I shared too much and you got scared.

Whatever the reason, you left.

I wish I could say I don’t understand how a person could do something like that, but I do. Believe me, if I could leave myself, I would. Because it’s the worst when I’m by myself, when my own thoughts keep attacking me and the whispers to do something about this just won’t stop. When sleep won’t come and I feel like everything in the world is sitting right on my chest. When I cry so hard I can’t breathe, and I pray someday someone will come and pull me out of the hole my life is now. I thought you would be that someone. But you left.

And I won’t say it didn’t hurt because it did.

But I’m not mad. 

Because for every person who leaves, there’ll be a person who won’t.

There will be a person who sticks by me even on my worst days because they know how it feels. They’ve been left before, and they wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

They stay because no one stayed for them when they needed it most. So they see what I’m going through, they see the hurt in my eyes.

And they stay.

My message to the people who leave is this:

I don’t know why you left. But I do know I don’t need you to come back anymore. I stopped missing you. But if you ever need someone by your side, if you ever need someone to just stay, I’ll be there.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: August 10, 2016
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