What’s it like living with someone who suffers from depression?
It’s a question that I was asked, and one that I’ve been thinking about ever since. It’s a hard one for me to answer, because everything I see is coloured by the fact that I’ve been there too… but what’s it like for someone who hasn’t been there? Someone who doesn’t know what it’s like from the inside.
Only recently did I realise that the fact that I suffer from depression doesn’t actually change how hard it is to deal with others who are consumed by the same condition. It’s still hard. It’s still a challenge. So what is it like?
I knew someone who had depression. It took away all her spoons, left her with no energy to get up in the mornings, no interest in doing the things she used to love. And when she was well things were wonderful, but when she wasn’t…
It’s hard to live with someone who just hasn’t got the energy. It’s hard to see them lying there and to want to do something to make them better, but you can’t think of anything that will spark an interest in them. It’s hard to want to help and not be able to.
I knew someone who had depression. It took away his emotions. It left him feeling empty and alone and unloved, no matter how many people gathered around him, and how much they cared. It left him unable to show people how much he cared about them, because what’s the point? Why would they care if he cared? It’s heartbreaking to want someone’s love, but know that right now they can’t give it. They can’t feel it.
I knew someone who had depression. It took away her stability. It gave her highs and lows, and you could never tell which way she’d feel today. It’s confusing, living with someone who can react one day with tears of joy, and another with rage, and all to the same little things. It’s hard to know what to do.
I knew someone with depression. It took him away. It took away his ability to keep in contact. It took away his desire to keep up contact when I made it. We still talk, and I know how good things can be when we’re together, but it happens less and less. And it’s hard. I know it’s hard for him, but it’s hard for me too. I miss him.
I know so many people with depression. It’s why I write this blog. It’s why I try to help people to understand what they’re going through, and what others are going through. Because when depression has taken your energy, and your emotion, your stability, your very self… When there’s nothing left inside you and you can’t believe in what’s outside you… When all that’s left is the will that says to you “hold on”…. That’s when it means the most to find out that that’s not all there is. Being there for someone with depression is hard, and confusing, and heartbreaking at times… but it’s worth it. It’s worth it for the good days, when they enjoy life, and are their old self again. And it’s worth it for the bad days too. The days you never see. The days when they’re so messed up, so confused, and it isn’t just the will that holds them on… it’s you.