Depression and anxiety do not discriminate. They do not have certain criteria for those upon which they form their parasitic bond. They aren’t divine beings who look at a crowd and say, “I choose that one!” In the words of Dexter, they are “dark passengers” along for the ride, ingrained in a person’s bits and pieces, creeping along in the nooks and crannies for a time unknown.
It’s important to have visibility, especially in a world where mental health isn’t taken seriously enough.
One of the worst things you can do to someone who struggles with depression and anxiety is close them off when they need people the most. People need people. Most people thrive on comfort of community and love. These are also the people who feel things on that much deeper of a level.
We don’t often let people in. It takes a lot for most people to open up and share what’s going on in their heads. You can be surrounded by so many people and still feel alone. That’s how it works sometimes. It’s important to be there for those who are hurting. To help them find the help they need, to be an ear if necessary, to simply sit in silence together and not talk but instead feel comfort in the purposeful quiet.
I’m one of those people who wants to take the pain away from those around me. If I could, I’d soak it all up from them and take it on myself. If they’re sick, I want to take their sick away. If they’re sad, I’d freely take that on. Give me their dark places, messy headspaces, illnesses, and everything else. What’s a little more sadness? I want to help people. Doesn’t matter who they are – family, friend, acquaintance, or someone else. I genuinely love, and I’ve learned that’s more of a flaw than a blessing.
Empath. Bleeding heart. Whatever other word there is for it. The only person I’m bad at being there for and trying to help is myself. I’m working on it. And it’s a slow road.
Never give up on that person who struggles with mental health. Understand that it’s not easy for someone to just “snap out of it” or “get over it.”
If you are someone who struggles with mental health or another invisible illness, know you aren’t alone. We have a community. We have people who care. I care. I’m here. You are worth everything and so much more.
The world is better because you’re in it, though you may not see that right now. You are not your illness. You are not your limitations.