Is there anyone really there for you? Is there anyone who really understands what you are going through? Does anyone care?
I went through this thought process over and over and over again in my mind during my deepest, darkest, depression years.
What usually ended up happening is that someone would “sort of” befriend me, but in the end the person couldn’t handle me. I was very needy. I needed someone to care. I needed someone to be attentive to me in my loneliness. No one was around during the hardest times of my life. I was alone a lot.
I was alone during the suicide attempt. I was alone in the aftermath of the suicide attempt. I was alone when I cried. I was alone at work. I was alone at the grocery store. I was a nothing in the world.
Oh yes, I was married. But a husband can only take so much. He tried to be there. But when a person is depressed, there is not enough someone can give you to fill the void of sadness and despair.
Eventually anyone who cared for me at all had to remove themselves emotionally because I was literally sucking the life out of them. Other people have their own issues, and there is only so much someone can do for you when you are depressed. So, the friends and family in my life had to separate themselves away emotionally in order to keep themselves healthy and happy.
I get it. I got it. I understood. I understood with resentment. Finally, after I was tired of being sick, I understood with acceptance.
One day I woke up and told myself with boldness and internal conviction, “I don’t need anybody. I can rely on myself to take care of myself. No one is coming to save me. I have to do it by myself, for myself, or continue to live in Hell.” It was my choice.
That was about 11 years ago. Have I been depressed since that day? Yes I have. I would love to tell you that once you make up your mind, it all goes away forever. But it doesn’t. You have to work damn hard daily.
I still have cycles of depression. The difference is that I can get through them without losing my friends, frustrating my family, and falling so deep into the sadness pit that I can’t stop crying.
Today when I’m depressed I can still get out of bed and do the things in life that need my attention. I don’t want to kill myself anymore. I describe the depression more as being “blue” now instead of the debilitating illness I suffered with for so many years.
I’ll tell you the main secrets to my success:
- I do what the doctor’s tell me.
- I do the hard work in therapy just as the therapist prescribes.
- I take the medication the psychiatrist gives me.
- I take responsibility for my daily behavior.
- I am accountable and don’t make excuses.
- I do what I say I’m going to do, no matter how sad I am.
- I don’t whine.
- I became teachable.
- I stopped resisting.
- I became humble and decided that I didn’t know anything. Perhaps someone else in the world knows better than me so I should start to take advice from credible sources.
Lastly, and most importantly:
- I serve the community.
I am positive that I cannot maintain my sanity if I don’t do something for someone else that benefits mankind. It’s the most crucial part of my recovery. It’s not big….the service I do…..but it’s enough to know that I’m worth something and I am needed in the world in some capacity.
All this takes time. It’s accumulative and it builds on itself. As the years passed I noticed that I was starting to be okay. Not perfect and not symptom free, but okay more days than not okay.
Once upon a time I had a despair of loneliness. My desire to be relieved of the pain through death had turned into an okay sense of worth and value in the world.
I had to decide to get well and set my mind to it. Then I had to act on it consistently.
Finally, one day after time had passed, I noticed I was not doing so bad. The hardest time of my life had finally passed!