Cry

A couple of days ago, I picked up a follower with a clever name. Alliterative, self-deprecating, suggesting an outsider’s perspective on the world. Her picture looked like the sort of person I’d relate to. Yes, this is a lot to pick up from a username and avatar. So, I checked out her blog.

I’m not going to name her, because it’s not clear to me that she wants or needs the attention, but her story certainly warrants a review.

Her post had a title along the lines of “You just need to cry.” Because I’d already decided that she and I had so much in common, I expected her post to be about the mayhem of Donald Trump. He makes me want to cry every day. But I’ve stopped writing about him because I no longer want to dignify him with real-estate on my blog.

Based on the title, her post might be light-hearted or melancholy, humorous or actually somewhat sad. I was unprepared. Her post started off as an upbeat story about her three little girls; it took an eclectic turn on recounting a dream; and then plunged into a thousand-word scrawl describing a life of profound depression.

I was completely blind-sided.

Last winter, I had a major depressive episode. It terrified me. I was confused, angry, fearful and paralyzed by the weight of the illness pressing down on me. It’s a sickness you can’t describe. Even people who have experienced their own depression don’t know what to say. Here I was, living in a house with my wife and two children, all loving and caring people, but I was all alone.

After reading her post twice, and mulling it over with an uneasy feeling in my stomach, I decided to send her a message through her contact form. “You have depression and PTSD. Please find a psychiatrist and therapist immediately.”

Finding mental illness in WordPress is like finding a blade of grass on a golf course. It’s so prevalent that it often bums me out that I’m just another mental illness blogger. I’ve read countless posts from people in the throes of depression, but in all of those posts, they seemed to have a handle on what they were going through.

This was different. A cry for help from an out-of-the-way corner of the internet. After a day, she wrote me back. She didn’t really need to hear from me. She and her husband had already put together a plan. The doctor appointments were already set up, she was already getting help.

Life is hard. Many of us are struggling to get by everyday with physical, financial, career, and relationship challenges. And then some of us have mental illness compounding the effects of whatever might be wrong in our life.

Please take a minute to inventory your friends and acquaintances. If you think they might be struggling with depression, take the time, make the effort to say something. You can’t solve their problems, but a bit of understanding won’t hurt.

34 thoughts on “Cry

  1. Geez! I hope she gets the help she needs! I don’t know if this person follows me or what her handle is- but if she does- please feel free to send her my way if I can help in any way. It breaks my heart how many people are suffering and are hurting and may not have the support they need. Beautiful post Jeff. You did the right thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Finding mental illness in WordPress is like finding a blade of grass on a golf course.” So sad, and so true. I also refuse to increase the digital footprint of our current President. He doesn’t deserve it.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m glad that your advice or warning was accepted so well from this woman. That’s not always the case when we want to help the people we love or care about. Most of the people I know, if not all, are severely depressed or even suicidal. I would be so happy if any of them had a reaction like this woman’s! But people just think that there is no point in seeking help because they feel helpless, they lack trust in psychiatrists, it’s too expensive to get this kind of help or they don’t want to go because they know that psychiatrists will give them pills and the effects of these pills are not desirable (weight gain, lack of emotions, etc), some therapists are unprofessional and make the things worse. There are a lot of things to be considered and some people wait to hit the rock bottom because they think it’s not so bad and they can still manage. I live in Eastern Europe and people here really wait until it’s almost too late. I did that too and I regret it. But we learn from our mistakes.
    I hope this woman will be fine. The important thing is that she Wants to get help. You heard her cry and you acted and that makes you brave.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m in tears and that is why I love you!

    No pressure but you’re mentoring me with each narrative on you’re real estate!

    Peace, love and everything beautiful, to you and yours.

    One of your biggest fans,

    Mel

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “It’s a sickness you can’t describe.” Well said, Jeff. I’ve dealt with chronic depression my entire life. I’ve tried to write about it but it always sounds trite. Or somehow completely lacking in conveying what it actually feels like to be numb and overwhelmed at the same time.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It’s kind of you that you did that, when a person is suffering from depression the foremost thing is for the person to have the knowledge that they are suffering from this. I am here from India it’s still a stigma here. People are not ready to accept it and if they do their family members don’t accept it or agree upon it this is currently happening with me where my father is suffering from depression despite of the knowledge he is not ready to take the treatment and that’s SAD!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe for a depressed person, it’s really hard to motivate one’s self to break the cycle. You’re already lacking motivation and then you’re expected to embark on the hardest journey there is, self-awareness.

      Like

  7. I think reminders to reach out are important. Dealing with Hurricane Harvey right now and I had a feeling I needed to reach out to a couple of friends who I know also experience anxiety, and I was right – we were all having a really hard time. They were relieved someone understood and cared and could help them talk through options, and we are all in a better place today despite now being in more severe weather than yesterday. Check on your people when you hear that little voice, that’s what friends are for.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It was kind of you to reach out. I have struggled with depression through much of my adult life. You never know what effect kindness will have on someone who is struggling. Sometimes it might not seem that the depressed person acknowledges the efforts to reach out, but it is always worth the effort to try.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done. I don’t think there is anything quite so terrifying as the realization that one is not able to trust one’s own mind, but that is the reality of depression. Our perceptions become increasingly altered until everything is skewed toward self-destruction. It’s a black hole to be avoided at all costs.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I often want to cut to the chase on this one, but find myself unwilling to ‘out’ myself that this is my day job. So I’m somehow heartened that you used your voice.

    Amongst all the well-meaning cliches of caring, the simple advice, “consult a doctor, find a therapist, seek help” are really the most (only?) useful things to say.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for getting involved, Jeff, and not just the usual response of “hoping she’ll be okay”. I wonder how many lives would be saved and/or find at least a little healing if more people were like you, reaching out with just a small amount of concern and help. I am sufficiently chastened by your humble actions. Thank you for helping me learn to be a better person.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Jeff, Thank you for this post. I am going to share it with my readers. I write about living with learning differences for which Depression and Anxiety attacks are the norm. I am so pleased that there are more people talking about this and truly feel that more education and empathy will bring about solutions for the millions of sufferers who end up homeless, incarcerated, or worse, taking their pain out on others.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Living with ADD-ADHD-Dyslexia: Depression - Living with ADD-ADHD-Dyslexia

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