Please be aware this is not an easy read. If you are feeling vulnerable skip this post please.

For those who haven’t guessed already I manage depression. I also manage suicidal thoughts. The usual point of view for me is as the patient.

This week I’ve been the carer. The friend waiting and praying.

I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to watch someone you love struggle to fight their demons.

And it is shit. It hurts.

I’ve cuddled my friend’s four year old son and coaxed words out of him.

“Are you feeling sad?”,

“Can you tell me why you feel sad?”.

Thinking of my four year old son as he whispered…

“I miss Mummy”.

I’ve replied to texts where it is so clear depression is making my friend unable to SEE the world the way it really is.

“I’m so sorry Nat, I know you think I’m a failure”.

“I understand if you don’t want to be my friend anymore”.

Oh how this hurt to read.

Because I have been there. I KNOW those feelings intimately. The bullshit whispers in your ears

“worthless”, “burden”, “better off without you”.

I KNOW the feeling of believing those words are true and not being able to see any other perspective.

Curiously, the hardest thing has been listening to people who have never experienced mental illness or suicidal thoughts talk. Phrases like…

“Just think of your family”

“You have so much to be grateful for”

Made me feel physically sick to hear.

Do they not realise she IS thinking of her family?

Do they not realise when you are suicidal generally you BELIEVE you are doing your loved ones a favour by going away (even if it is utter bullshit).

That’s how I felt. That if I died my husband would be free to find someone better. That my kids would have a new Mum that was able to give them what they deserve. In my warped view I was helping my family by getting rid of a burden. Me.

When my friend asked for help and went to the emergency room my response was…

“I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Thank you!”

For some reason I got strange looks for saying this!!

When someone scrapes the courage together to drag themselves into the doctor and admit they want to die it is courageous.

It shows they love you.

It shows they are considering you.

It shows they are trying.

It shows they want to get better.

It shows they are willing to swallow their pride for you.

It shows they are giving you a chance to help them save themselves.

Take a whole minute to think and you’ll realise they could have said nothing.

Be grateful they gave you this chance and grab it with both hands.

It has taken my own experience to understand that when someone says…

“I am sorry, you must think I’m such a failure”

They aren’t fishing for compliments or attention.

They need a reminder that their view of the world is skewed by their illness.

It doesn’t take much to say…

“No. That is what your depression thinks. That is not what I think. You have nothing to apologise for. Nothing you can do or say will EVER make me see you as a failure. I love you”.

I just want my friend to be ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Experiencing depression from another point of view.

  1. A beautiful, brave blog post, Nat. Thank you for sharing. I love that you say you manage your depression, because I know people can, and do, recover from mental illness. Sometimes that means managing symptoms. You and your friend are in my prayers. She is lucky to have you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the prayers and kind reply ❤.

      I like the idea of ‘management’ too. Often I hear people talk about fighting mental illness. Fighting is exhausting and makes me feel I’ve failed. So now I manage 😊.

      Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Incredibly courageous, Nat. I am a teacher. I teach teenaged students English in a college in Mumbai, India. I know how much depression maims and mauls. I know how much courage it takes to come out and speak to someone about it.I am reaching out to you, with words and prayer. Here’s my hand, across the distances of time and space. And here’s a hug, across countries and climates. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful thing to write to a stranger. Thank you for taking the time to read let alone to comment and care. I appreciate it.

      Wow you have the hardest job of all. To guide and teach our future. I think your students are very lucky to have a teacher who understands mental illness. The younger we support people who are struggling the better the outcomes. Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nat, there’s another something I have posted for you, a minute ago. It is about a street child, traumatised, victimised, hurt in every possible way…who has decided that he will not let his humanity die, no matter what. He runs a small cafe now thanks to a kind benefactor and he looks after, educates and houses other street kids so that they won’t suffer the same fate he did. I am proud to call him my friend and I take my students to meet him.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Of all my posts I think this one is my most vulnerable. Suicide is such a difficult topic I hope you never have reason to refer to this experience.

    Like

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