Earlier this week Adam, an old school friend, posted a quote on Facebook about depression. I clicked onto his wall and noticed that there were a lot of posts about depression and mental health. Adam was clearly sharing some very personal insights and reaching out to others. As I got ready to start my day, I contemplated whether I could reach out to him and share my own voice. I found myself frozen. I didn't want to "like" his post - what is there to like about depression?
And yet at the same time I wanted to say something, but I couldn't. I closed my laptop and went to work, but over the course of the day I thought about what he had shared and I felt like a coward and a fraud. For three months my personal world had been falling apart after the death of my Dad, every day I felt struck by the pain of his loss and yet I was pretending that everything was OK when really it wasn't.
The words he quoted struck a real chord: “Having anxiety and depression is like being scared and tired at the same time. It’s the fear of failure but no urge to be productive. It’s wanting friends but hating to socialize. It’s wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely. It’s caring about everything then caring about nothing. It’s feeling everything at once then feeling paralyzingly numb.”
That was me. In the evening when I got home, I immediately went to check to see if anyone had written a response or offered some words of comfort that I had been unable to write. And there they were: "This is more common than people think, I have this too and I know so many others who battle it on a daily basis. Just knowing you're not alone is a start x" These words resonated with me and I found the courage to share my own pain. I'm struggling too. You're not alone. Over the next few days I noticed more and more people reaching out to Adam, offering their support and acknowledging their battles with depression. This post is a thank-you to Adam for having the courage to speak openly about his mental health and well-being. We are not alone.