Thank you all for your comments, emails, DMs and tweets in response to yesterday's post. It means so so much to know that you all are there and that you care.
I've written at least a dozen posts similar to that one, but I've never had the courage to hit publish.
What will people think?
No one wants to read that.
They come here to laugh. Keep it light! Keep it funny!
But what I should have realized (what was impossible for me to realize in my current state) is that I'm not alone. So many people are suffering from the disease too. Or they are a loved one of someone who is suffering and are fighting their own battle: to support, to understand, to love us in the times we feel unlovable.
So thank you so much, for being there.
I never could have imagined how much hitting "publish" would help. I never could have imagined the release I would feel in putting it out there. Not just writing the things I cannot say, but having others read it. And care. And relate.
No, it didn't make all the pain go away - that's another incredibly frustrating thing about depression, you have no idea when it will strike, how bad it will be and how long it will last - but it helped.
Bloggers often say we blog because it's cheaper than therapy. And it's true! It was easier to write how I was feeling than to say it. And it was easier to accept the support in written form than sit across from somebody and hear it. Because when I talk to people about my depression, my mind interprets their expressions and body language and the look in their eyes as judgment and disgust, but when I read their words my mind (thankfully) accepts them.
I write this not just to say thank you, but because I know I'm not alone. So many of you told me you also suffer, and so I encourage you: write about it. It doesn't have to be pretty or well-thought out or coherent. It doesn't have to be a blog post or a letter. It can be scribblings on a napkin or lipstick on your bathroom mirror. Just write. Write everything you feel. Write all the nasty things your mind says to you. And then let them go.
I'm not trying to oversimplify it. Believe me, I know releasing your depression is not as simple as watching a funny movie, or playing with puppies, or running through daisies. I know there are days you cannot get out of bed and it's a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other.
But when I wrote about how I was feeling and then shared it, I felt like (for the first time) I was fighting back.
I realize it is easy for me to say this today, when the weight has lifted and my mind is clear. But my hope, my prayer, is that when the darkness comes again, somehow, someway, I will remember the support and the love, and I will fight.
That is my prayer for all of you. That you keep fighting. Because you are worth it. We all are.