I want to say I know what it feels like because I’ve been there; unable to move from my bed, unable to stop the tears from streaming down my face at the single thought of something. The words, “are you okay? Or “how are you doing?” made me collapse to the ground hopeless. I know what not being able to eat feels like and lying awake in bed throughout the duration of the night with the smallest ounce of hope in my heart that things will be okay.
I know what all that feels like, but I can never compare myself to you.
We are two totally different people, with different mindsets and recovery time.
I want to say I know how you feel, but I know for you it’s not the same.
I know for you it’s impossible to control the depression you’re feeling. It just creeps it in and takes over your life. You can’t push the thoughts out of your head no matter how many times people tell you to ‘just think positive,’ like it’s that easy.
I’ll encourage you as much as you need, but I won’t be naïve, either. I won’t tell you everything is okay when you’re still awake at 4 AM crying in your bed because at that moment I know nothing feels like it’s going to be okay and those words won’t help.
But trust that they will be in time.
I’ll be there for you every step of the way, as long as you want me there. I won’t barge myself into your life when you just want to be alone, but I also won’t let you spend the whole day in bed beating yourself up. I want you to want me to be there, but there will be times when I come without being asked because I know too much time alone can be dangerous, even if you can’t see that now.
I’ll never judge you for crying in front of me or anyone else. I know you can’t help it, I know there are certain triggers that just break you down into pieces and it’s okay. I know there will be moments when we’re driving in the car and a song will come on that makes your stomach knot. I know there will be words and memories that send tears running down your face. I know all that, and I want you to know it’s okay.
I want you to know it’s okay to be vulnerable. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for being who you are. Some people will never understand depression; they will never understand how you can go from being completely fine to feeling so empty. They will tell you to ‘cheer up’ and to ‘get over it,’ but I know it’s a lot more complicated than that.
I know this is something you’ve struggled with and you will continue to struggle with, but I want you to know I will always be there. I will respect your wishes and boundaries, but I will step in when I know you need me, even if you don’t think you do.
I know that everyone heals differently and I won’t rush you, I will let you take all the time you need to not only get better, but also to heal.
I know you can’t promise much right now, but please promise me this – promise me you’ll hang in there because I can promise you things will get better.