Dear Friend

Posted 24 January, 2017 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in musings

Edit: I wrote this in the darkness, hit publish, and went to bed. When I woke up three hours later I regretted hitting the publish button – thinking this would be too alarming for friends and family, or that it would come across as attention-seeking, overly dramatic, or just plain ridiculous. Apparently though, those who did have the chance to view this in those three hours didn’t feel that way. I’ve gotten a number of emails that this meant something to some people. If I can shine a light in the dark to anyone, then I need to do that. I owe that to others who face similar demons and might possibly benefit from this.

–April

Dear Friend,

Perhaps you’ve never known anyone who has suffered from mental illness before. Perhaps you were never close with them. We have become close in recent years. All the same, I’m not sure you understand who I am at my worst.

At my worst, I am sad. But I am also more than sad: I am hopeless. This might seem like semantics — meaningless words, I promise you to me, it is more than that. When I say I am hopeless what I mean is that I live every day of my life with a low grade desire to die. Am I suicidal every day of my life? No. Not really. I don’t have a plan. I have no desire to readily accomplish hurting myself. Would I be upset if a truck hit me or lightning struck me? No. This is not a normal sentiment, yet it is what I live with. All day, every day. I’m not living the dream.

At my worst I tear up in my office. By the time I reach the point of tears, especially tears I show you friend, it’s too late. At my worst I tell you how lonely I am, but it feels like whining. Most days I smile and do my job as effectively as I can. I go to court, flatter opposing counsel, charm court staff, return to my office – close the door and cry a little.

These feelings verbalized, terrify most people. I don’t verbalize them very often – even to myself. I understand that they may terrify you as well. Stick with me, please.

I don’t have cancer, I don’t have diabetes. I wish I did. These diseases are understood, accepted, embraced by doctors – by citizens. No one tells a cancer patient to suck it up, get out of bed, and go to work. No one tells the diabetic they should be ashamed for taking insulin.

I’m okay. I’ll continue to be okay. But it’s a struggle for me. It’s the same struggle that millions of others live with every day. I know I’m not alone. And neither are you.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

7 Comments/ : ,

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  • ((hugs)). I am familiar with this struggle, though it’s different for everyone. Thank you for shining a light on a struggle so many of us face but so few talk about openly. This post is important.

  • No, you have to keep a post like this up. It makes it so people like me don’t feel so alone. You are out there kicking butt in the world and some days that gives me the hope I need to get out of bed.Trust me, I feel your pain. It is so hard to verbalise, but you’ve done a great job here. I think it is so important for people like us, who battle with depression, to stand up and let the world know what depression looks like. We can help each other and we’re helping someone out there who we don’t even know.

  • Kelly Massry

    I wish I could brighten your outlook a little. What would help?

  • LyndaT

    I wish I didn’t know what you’re talking about, but I do, all too well. I haven’t (quite) made it as far as suicidal ideation before (yet), but years after my first bitter taste of anxiety and depression, I have a better understanding of why people have those feelings.
    What it all comes down to is, I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way, and I wish there was something I could do to help.

  • So glad you left this post up because many others will benefit from your sharing. I did and will continue to think about you when I’m at my lowest. No desire yet to die, but some days are really dark. I suffer from chronic pain and have been in such pain the last year I can’t sit at my office desk in my ergonomic chair. Instead I work from my recliner and occasionally, the bed is my favorite place to be. Those are the only two places I’m pain-free. People don’t understand chronic pain either because on the outside you look fine. I understand your struggle.

    From the use of the words “opposing counsel,” I assume you’re an attorney. I worked in a law firm for almost 38 years, and I know the stress that lies therein. That doesn’t help your emotions much either. I don’t have the ability to give you advice, but I can certainly power up and send as much positive energy as I can spare.

  • I’m sorry that you’re going through this, but I agree with everyone who things you’re doing a great thing for others by sharing how you feel. Thank you. I’ve interacted with someone who I believe is depressed, although perhaps not feeling quite as hopeless as you are. In that case, I don’t feel there is much I can do to change how they feel. However, like Kelly, I’d love to help and if there’s anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Leonie Clarkinaus

    You should always hit the publish button
    Nothing you say is useless or worthless
    You are so much more than the blog
    And dont forget it xxx
    Thinking of you
    Leonie