When I read your blog post about keeping the light on in the darkest and hardest of nights I re-wrote my comment more than 9 times. Your words were brilliant and moved me deeply into feeling suddenly “with” someone. My hesitancy was because no one knows I struggle with depression. Or if they do, they have not said anything about it.
Depression is a silent killer that starves the life from you one minute at a time. Slowly and painfully and sometimes while you are unaware of what is happening. It can stalk you for weeks before it makes its move. It is a patient predator. When it does finally leap towards you, Lord help you.
10 months ago I made a promise to my bones.
And 8 months ago I made a promise to you.
We would stay.
We both would stay.
That is our deal.
We talk about light a lot.
The Sunrise, the sunset, candles, lamps, all a sign that we are holding a living vigil for each other. A lighthouse of love that stares into every scale of our dragons poison skin and says, No. You can’t have her. Not on my watch.
Last night I stayed up with you till 3am not saying anything. My phone light flickered bluish silver as I imagined you sitting on the floor by your bed. “My light is on- my phone is on. Stay.” I wrote. A minute later you replied with, “Leaving this message open. Holding my phone close. Because I need it.”
Those who don’t fight our war don’t know how much those words cost us. Just saying we need help feels like a surrendering to the very thing that holds us captive.
“We stay.” I said. “That is our deal.”
In the last few days the Internet has exploded with Theology and opinions about the stuff that goes on in our minds and bodies.
Everyone has something to say.
All I can say is Fuck.
Fuck them, Fuck depression, Fuck everyone who has not ever spent an hour with someone in silence, in the dark, in the terror, in the waiting, in the minute by minute battle to take a breath and then another.
Fuck everyone who fails to recognize that waking up in the morning is worth celebrating, who fails to acknowledge the strength it takes to get out of bed, Fuck everyone who can look at Pajama clad human being as anything less than beautiful. Some days my pajamas are the outfit of a Hero.
Fuck everyone who fails to see us.
Fuck everyone who sees us and walks on by.
Fuck everyone who says we are selfish.
Fuck everyone who views us as a disease they might catch, a sin we can taint them with, a sinner who just hasn’t quite figured out Jesus yet.
Fuck every arm that refused to hold us. Every ear that listened to our “Fine” Every question that says, “What can we do?” Instead of running to us and sitting in the dirt, or on the floor of our bathroom, the side of our bed.
Fuck every hand that writes prescriptions without making eye contact and every dispensary that gives us our bottles without emotion instead of taking our hand in theirs and saying, ‘you are strong- It’s not your fault- you are not alone.’
Not every solution or plan of action, or coping skill we learn is going to be enough in itself to keep our dragons away.
Fuck everyone who doesn’t pick up the phone.
Fuck everyone who doesn’t call.
Fuck everyone who says it’s no big deal.
Fuck everyone who is tired of hearing about it, because we are tired of living it.
But we do.
Some of us, a lot of us,
More of us than we realize.
We live it. And we live it as bravely and as strongly and as unburdening to our friends and family as we know how.
Being sworn at might offend some people but this isn’t really about them.
You and I both know that out of all our skills at coping swear words weigh our bodies down the least.
It is hard to live with invisible dragons.
It is damn hard.
But we have a deal, you and me.
We are fighting this same war. Both of us tired. Both of us scared. We both are wondering if reinforcements will come in time, and when they do if it will be enough. We both know what it is to stare into our dragons eyeball and not flinch. We have won this fight before. It isn’t our fault the dragon doesn’t die, but we are so tired of its presence.
It still strikes me as odd how the ones that know the darkness best are the ones who walk into it with others.
Sometimes I wish I could kill the Internet. I wish I could fight for you in more ways than with words. But if words are all I have, Hell, I’m going to use them.
Today I keep texting you telling you I love you, telling you I’m here, and that it’s not your fault, reminding you of our deal. We stay.
(You can’t have her. Not today. Not on my watch)
I am hoping to get a reply soon, maybe a picture of your eyeball or the print on your pajamas, the tile lines in the ceiling or the number of times you’ve counted to ten.
I can’t wait to see it, whatever you send.
And whatever it is, we are going to celebrate.