I’ve struggled the past few days to find the right words for this. I’ve been angry, hurt, and disappointed in my friends and acquaintances. While I have no doubt that the cyber world is tired of hearing about depression, especially after the past week, I am about to bring it up again. No, I won’t be discussing a celebrity. I won’t be name-dropping to grab your attention. This is about us. This is about your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family. This is about the silent sufferers.
As a young girl, I suffered greatly from depression. I never talked about it. My friends never posted encouraging pictures to lift me up. My classmates never stood up for me.
“That’s so stupid that she doesn’t eat her lunch.”
“She thinks HER life sucks? What about all those starving kids in third world countries?”
“She just wants attention. She’s fine.”
“She’s just kidding.”
I can’t count the number of times that I actually said the words, “I hate my life,” and no one took it to heart. But the day a celebrity devastatingly ends his or her life early, suddenly everyone is a depression expert. Have you ever thought about how that makes your suffering friends feel? Someone you don’t even know commits suicide, and suddenly you’re posting inspirational picture after picture and links to a suicide hotline and saying that you’re always there to listen if anyone needs a friend. But were you really there?
“She’s not depressed. She just wants attention.”
I’m not belittling anyone’s urge to help. Posting links to forums and hotlines is a noble thing to do, and offering to be there during someone’s darkest time is a great feat to take on. But be there for your next door neighbor. Be there for your best friend. Be there for your locker buddy. Be there for the people right in front of you.
Tonight I did witness something beautiful on Facebook. A celebrity who will remain nameless posted earlier this evening a heart-wrenching status update. Basically, it was a suicide note. Fans were there ready in arms to take hold of the situation. Cops in numerous states were called, messages were left with managers and booking agents.
This whole community came together for a person they hardly knew and actually managed to save a life. Fans were posting constant updates and flooding the page with heartfelt love and concern. This individual was found. They were stopped in time.
Now think if that was someone that you graduated with. Someone that you played a sport with. What if that was someone you had known your entire life? Would you take them seriously? Would you make every effort to save his or her life? While depression is a roaring epidemic in Hollywood, it’s also in your backyard.
While it sounds cliché, every person really is fighting a battle you may know nothing about. Make the effort to fight on their side.
Show the hurting people right in your grasp the love that Christ has given them. While I still have my bad days, I found my way out. Not everyone is as lucky. I had a church and my God to depend on, but not everyone knows His mercy and forgiveness; His redemption and the salvation He promised.
Depression causes a warp of the senses. We twist words around; we let Satan overtake our thoughts; we focus on every hurtful thing every said or done to us. Be mindful of how you speak. Let God radiate through everything you say and do. Why? Because we are MORE. We are RADIANT. We are BEAUTIFUL. We are WORTH IT.
If this message blessed you, be a blessing by sharing with others.