A couple years ago, Denny and I were speaking at a church, and at the end of the night, we opened the floor to questions. One young woman asked, “Why is it that depression sometimes feels like a friend?”
It took us a minute or two to get to the heart of the question, but there was a poetry in that pain. “Why is it that I cannot separate myself from the very thing that is taking the most from me?”
It reminds me of the show LOST and the character Hurley, who had a “friend” named Dave. Dave didn’t want Hurley to get better. Dave told Hurley that if his counselor or family really loved him, they wouldn’t try to change him.
I think there is truth in the value of knowing what makes you “you”—identifying the aspects of your essence that the world needs more of. That being said, life is progress. Life is change. Life is a dance. We enter the world as infants, already changing and growing day-by-day into toddlers. That line blurs into childhood, which gives way to adolescence, tween, terror, teen, legal, adult, mid-life, old-timer… Nature is a trend toward change.
You deserve the opportunity to change, and sometimes that means separating yourself from the things that hold you back. I know that isn’t easy, and it may feel like a break-up of sorts, but your life is a song that is worth the fight.
Your eating disorder—it doesn’t love you.
Your drugs and your drinks—they don’t love you.
Your misplaced pride and status—they hope you never change.
Your self-injury—it doesn’t give a damn about your heart.
Your depression—it takes no stock in your potential, in your dreams.
Your abusive relationship—it fears the day you find your voice.
We want you to change. No, we don’t mean “change who you are because it’s not good enough.” But take ownership of this life and one day live with less fear. You can stoke the fires of courage in others. You can take the moments that “should have been gold” for you and polish them for someone else.
We stand in the gap, just on the other side. We are waving you on to safe passage. Rest is not found in us, but we find fight and beauty and inspiration and springtime and laughter and warm embraces and stories in you. We see in you a great potential for change. This isn’t just about “getting better”; it’s about turning pages in your story. We are reading with our noses inches from the page, enveloped in you and all you have to offer.
So join me in saying to Depression, Addiction, Self-injury, Suicidal Thoughts, Eating Disorders—“Take your troubles solo. This is the end of you and me.”
Those two words “Dear Emma” take me away to another time when we used to write to each other after Mom and Dad died. I used to tell you about my new friends and my new life. And you used to tell me about the grand time my mom and dad were having in heaven.
Sometimes I start thinking about you. and it all hits me at once. I’ve never shed tears over something like this. The pain of seeing you hurt and wanting so bad to save you from the misery you seem to be in. I can’t explain this pain any other way than to say I feel helpless. Not only that I can’t help you, but that If I could, I still feel like it would amount to nothing in your eyes. I can’t help the feelings I have for you. I’ve tried to hide them, cover them up, substitute them with other emotions and/or feelings for someone else. But nothing this world has offered me seems to suffice for the times I’ve spent close to you. The single time I held you late at night in the Warehouse was the single time I felt an emotional peace in my heart.
I need you to know that even if I don’t know what to say or how to act for you to get better. Even though I don’t have your answers, I’m going to stand by you and I’m never leaving.
Tonight, I finally told the girl I always talk about how I felt… I’d love to tell you that my life was just like one of those chick-flicks people watch. But if I did, I’d be lying. Ya see, in those movies… when the mediocre looking guy tells the gorgeous girl how he feels, the girl typically realizes how happy she is when she talks to him and how happy she could be in a future with him. But not in this story, folks.. In this story, the gorgeous girl realizes that the guy that just confessed his feelings for her is really kind of a piece of shit because he drank his sorrows away and sought out comfort in a growler of double IPA (9% alcohol content). And she took his own advice and decided “never to settle for some guy, because she deserves much more.” So yea…. I wish I had a more interesting and happy story for you but unfortunately, This blog is about real life………….
I just don’t know what the hell to do with my life anymore. I DON’T want to go to school. But as we all know…. that’s “frowned upon” and it’s difficult to get a job unless.. So i just feel like I’m in a pickle. I’m also thinking about the military but I’m worried that when I get out, It might be too late to find/start a family. :/