The power of words to unite

3 Jan

As many of you know, I’ve struggled the last week with how I matter in this world. I still don’t have any answers, but I’m becoming more OK with that.

What I haven’t told you is this struggle was actually a major depression. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t recognize it as such at the time and also because it’s hard to admit you struggle with depression. It rarely rears its head in my life anymore. Anxiety is mostly what I deal with, and even that is greatly less than it was. Depression rarely shows up in me anymore, although I’m realizing that it happens more than I thought it did. It tends to happen around major events with my family (like Christmas) and it tends to happen to around major events that lead to natural let-downs afterwards, like Showcase.

Tonight, I didn’t go to the dance studio for group class because I have a cold. I think I’m still in the contagious phase, so I didn’t want to go breathe on everyone there. When I got home, I started to check a lot of the blogs I follow since I didn’t get a chance to do so yesterday. I saw this post from The Bloggess. She is normally one of the funniest, irreverent bloggers out there, and I laugh out loud at her every time I read it. But her post yesterday was about her struggle with depression.

READ THIS POST. She articulates so well what the struggle is like. Thankfully, mine isn’t a physical manifestation like hers, but it is a mental manifestation in a way. Mine results in me being super-hard on myself and wanting to just crawl in a hole and stay there and not do anything and not talk to anyone and eat bread. Like most people who struggle with depression, I’ve learned to hide it from most people when I’m going through it. Consider yourself a very good friend if you’ve ever seen me in tears in the lowest depths of it.

The Bloggess talks about how cancer survivors are celebrated for their bravery and survival, because they deserve it. But her point is also that people struggling with depression should be celebrated for their bravery and survival. We don’t do that as a society, and we should. Because living with depression is a battle too.

Read her post. And then look at the over 2000 comments she got in response, most of whom are from people like me who found her post to really resonate.

And in reading those 2000 comments, you’ll realize that there are a ton of people who go through this. If you’re one of them, those 2000 comments will help you see you’re not alone. Even when it seems like you are, and you’re afraid to talk to your friends about it because you don’t want to be judged or have it change how they see you, you are not alone. Many, many, many others struggle with it too.

And there’s power in those numbers. It helps immensely to realize that when you feel the most alone, you’re actually not alone.

Recognize that there are probably people in your world who struggle with this. Let them, and all of your friends and family, know that you’re there for them and you love them. Even if you think they’re totally happy and healthy. They may be, and hearing those words out of the blue is great. And if they’re not, those words will be powerful and incredibly helpful.

And for every place above that I talk about depression, substitute anxiety and reread it. The message is the same.

Help spread the silver ribbon movement and be a warrior against the stigma of mental illness. You never know which of your friends you may be supporting.

2 Responses to “The power of words to unite”

  1. GrowthLines... January 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    You are so right about the power of our words to unite. That’s one of the wonderful possibilities of the blogging community, to change ourselves and our world for better.

    I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. You can read about the award process on the GrowthLines blog at http://www.growthlines.wordpress.com in the Versatile Blogger post. Congratulations and thank you for your blogging voice.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly roundup « The Reinvented Lass - January 9, 2012

    […] to the blogiverse that my funk was really a depression episode and pondered how great it is to know others go through the same […]

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