Some thoughts

I was gutted by the news of Robin Williams death tonight.

How could someone so vibrant and filled with humor be hiding such sadness and darkness? But the truth is, it’s not altogether unfamiliar to me.

I know this isn’t really Possessionista-y of me, and I’m not in any way trying to capitalize on the death of Robin Williams. But what I do want to say  to each of you is that depression isn’t a condition. You can’t just fix with with a pill, or a spray or some deep breathing and clean eating.

Depression is a war.

I know because I’ve fought it my whole life.

But depression is also a secret.

And it’s my secret.

I remember hiding my Zoloft from friends in high school, or watching my best friend hide her copy of Prozac Nation under her mattress. I remember crying on the floor of my sorority alone and again on my closet floor a few months ago when a close friend came to town because I couldn’t bear to leave the house.

Depression is a war.  

If you follow me on Facebook than you’ve already read this, and I’m sorry for being redundant, but it’s time to stop keeping this a secret.

When you struggle with depression every morning you wake up preparing to go to war. Every morning you anticipate an impending firing squad. Sometimes it attacks you. Sometimes it lurks in the shadows. And sometimes it ambushes you when you least expect it.

Depression is a war

And the only way to fight it is to build yourself an army. Surround yourself with people who love you, and support you and understand you. And fight for you.

Every day I fight this war, surrounded by an army of people that will fight for me when I feel like I can’t do it myself.

Since posting my story, thousands of you began sharing your own stories on Facebook. Or just telling me you love me. Or offering your support. And I started to cry.

You see, we are all loved more than we can possibly know.

So, I promise you this. If the day ever comes where you find yourself on the front line and it feels like it’s all too much to bear, I will be your army.

Depression is a war.

But I will be on the frontline with you.

Suicide is never the answer.

And you are not alone.

 

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing. You explained it beautifully!

  2. Thank you for your bravery, Dana. Depression is a war, and depression lies.

  3. Kimberley says:

    Hi Dana,

    I commented on your Facebook post but I wanted to say thank you again. Your comments touched me very deeply and truly brought me to tears. It was something I needed to hear – to remember I’m not alone. I know you don’t know me and that I only know parts of you but I will be your army also. Thank you again for your words!

  4. Anonymous says:

    You’re amazing… Posting about this is so brave of you! You hit the nail on the head.

  5. I struggle with depression as well, and even though I’m doing okay right now, I’m always scared
    I’m going to back to that scary place. I hope you’re doing okay now.

    “Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a different battle.”

  6. Jenessa S. says:

    I love this post, and that you were willing to share it. I hope it will reach someone out there who needs to hear it.

  7. Such important words, beautifully said.

  8. I have followed you for years and have always been impressed and awed by your wit, humor, and internet-searching skills :) Thank you for sharing this with us, and please know you have a huge army behind you that will fight for you as well.

  9. Speaking about it is so important!!

  10. What a wonderful post… Thank for you sharing and for fighting! If YOU ever feel like you are alone, I will be your army.

  11. I’m reading this at work and tearing up because everything you have written is something that I have experienced. It’s just so hard because it seems like everyone is so happy and so even-keeled so your post is truly a gift. While surrounded by people who love me they are also people who don’t “get” it – who tell me to go off my medicine because it has caused me to gain (so much) weight or tell me that I’m self-aware enough that I can clearly keep it together so why do I need a pill? This is a battle.

  12. As someone who works in the mental health field and has her own battles, thank you for posting this. *hugs to you*

  13. An incredibly moving and personal statement on a very difficult subject. My brother is bipolar and I know that it’s very hard to speak out and feel safe. Thank you for being so vulnerable and human in your own way. It’s important for all of us to understand. Very best to you.

  14. I never realized in high school or before that anything was awry. You seemed cheery and gregarious most of the time (at least to me). Granted, I was dealing with a lot of family issues including my father’s severe manic depression, his substance abuse, and a whole host of other issues. Life wasn’t easy and as you probably remember, I rebelled. Unfortunately, I didnt have a support network and felt very alone when the reality was I desperately needed folks. As time has passed, I have worked hard to create that network (or army). For my dad, depression was completely debilitating — and each day was a struggle. At some point, I hope to write a memoir about all of this — but for now, I’ll just say that I read your postings here and on FB — and wanted to say I hear you and appreciate your thoughts.

  15. Thank you so much for this. I struggle daily with keeping positive and not going to that dark place, I had a horrible upbringing, lots of abuse of every single kind you can experience, alcoholic mother and father, drug addicted father, and rampant depression in all family members. I tried to end my life when I was 7, by drowning. Didn’t work fortunately, and from that moment on I promised myself that I would get away from my family as quickly as I was able to and never be around anyone abusive or negative again as long as I lived. I emancipated myself at 15, went to college, got a medical degree, and am now about as content as a person can be who micromanages and controls every aspect of their life for fear of allowing someone in who will cause it all to come crashing down. It’s a scary line to toe, I am alone most of the time, except for at work, I just don’t trust anyone and do not open up to anyone, ever, which is a bummer. But at this point, at 30, I can’t risk getting pulled down into that place again. Seeing good souls like you out there who struggle also, and have found a way to trust and open up and speak out, gives me hope that I can someday get this figured out for myself and maybe lead a normal life one day. Love you, keep your head up.

    It’s so funny, I love your blog because you are off the chain funny and have the same sense of humor I do, and when I am around others at work and socially, they always remark about how funny I always am and I am so “happy” all the time. It always makes me think of what the judge told me, in chambers, when I was getting emancipated, cracking self deprecating jokes the entire time to shift focus away from what was happening. He looked right at me and said something to the effect of “Those that make us laugh the most are usually fighting the biggest demons”. Hit me like a ton of bricks, and immediately made me fall apart when I heard the news at work last night about RW. God rest his soul, I hope he is finally at peace. Suicide isn’t the answer, but at this point, I just pray for comfort for his family, and peace for him.

  16. Thank you for making me laugh everyday but more importantly, thank you so much for this heartfelt post… Xo

  17. I’ve always been a huge fan of yours but this post means more to some of your followers than you may ever know :) so much respect for you and for having the courage to speak out.

  18. Love that you shared something so deeply personal and sadly is still taboo. Mental illness/depression is a serious and often silent killer. You explained it so well and and beautifully. Know how much I respect and appreciate this post! You are loved!

  19. Powerful story! You have reached many people by sharing it. Thanks on behalf of all of us!

  20. Dear Dana,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and inspiring others to get help when they need it. I battled depression a few years ago and it felt like it took forever to heal. Your blog gives me and I know, many others, something to look forward to each day. Your Bachelor in Paradise quotes are especially hilarious. Thank you again for opening up and sharing your strength with your readers.

  21. Thank you for sharing this in such a poetic way. Blessings to you. :)

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