Since I embarked on this journey of vulnerability and self-enlightenment, I have received much praise for my courage for talking about such a painful topic. This blog was started as a place for me to write out my experiences in an attempt to heal, and become more aware of myself. With that also comes a hope that my experiences will help someone else, someone in a similar boat.
With all the praise comes many questions. Many who I hold close to my heart have voiced concerns, sadness, and some guilt. I have heard from a number of these close people, “I wish I had known. I could have helped you.” I understand how they feel, I really do. I have experienced that feeling with friends in the past. If only I had known, I could have shown them I cared a little more often, and tried helping them get help.
It’s not that easy. I look at it this way, seeking out treatment for depression is a lot like seeking out treatment for addiction. I watch the show “Intervention” on A&E whenever I have a chance. Almost every episode I have seen (which honestly isn’t many, but it is a great show), the therapist talks about the importance of letting the targeted individual know how you feel, that you are there to help. They also tell them that even being forced into rehab doesn’t mean they will heal. The individual has to WANT help, and WANT to get better.
Of course I wanted to get better, but I did not want anyone to know about my problems. I didn’t want to burden people, and I also did not want people to think of me in a bad light. I did not want to be looked down on. I knew my friends and family would never do that for something like my depression, but when you’re in the darkness like I have been for years, those fears are there. Even though I pushed people away, I did not want to lose anyone. I did not want those closest to me to feel shame towards me. Shame is a hard feeling to live with.
To my friends and family, please know there is nothing you could have done that would have improved my situation. Many of you pushed back when I pushed you away, and that was all you could do. It showed me I still had people who cared and loved me for me, and did not feel ashamed of what I had become. This was something I had to come to terms with, and had to get over the fears and shame. I appreciate everyone that has stuck by my side, and love you all even more. Please shed that guilt you feel. It does not need to be there, because you all have been exactly what I needed when I needed it. That is all you could do, and I thank you.