Depression can be a seductive beast. It will hold you down and whisper lies to you until you can’t resist believing them. It will tell you that you are alone. That nobody cares about you or what you’re feeling. That you won’t be missed, and in fact, the world will be a better place without you. It will take everything you know and make you doubt it. It will chain you in darkness until you can’t remember what day it is or how long it’s been since you’ve seen the light. You might not be able to escape the dark cloud of depression, but if you find the silver lining you can survive.
This can be tricky, because depression can convince you that there is no silver lining. You have to force yourself to remember that there is. You have to MAKE yourself see it, even when it feels impossible to find.
Your silver lining could come in any form. Find the thing that will keep you tethered to this world and to reality when the raging fire of depression threatens to consume you. For me, it’s my mother.
There was a time that depression had me convinced that nobody cared about me and so I stopped caring about myself. I stopped functioning and started just floating through my days.
It got to the point that I was barely eating, drinking, or sleeping. I would lie awake at night and stare at the ceiling and just feel numb. I’d ask myself how me being here and being alive made a difference if I was so empty already.
My lack of self-care finally culminated in a medical emergency. I passed out in my bathroom floor and was rushed to the hospital and promptly put on an IV to replenish nutrients and rehydrate me. I lied to the doctors when they asked me what happened, because as much as I thought I didn’t care I was embarrassed. I didn’t know then that I was suffering from a mental illness. I didn’t understand why I felt so empty and wrong. I just knew that it wasn’t normal, so I didn’t tell anybody the real reason that I ended up in the hospital. But that didn’t matter.
In the middle of that chaos, I found my silver lining. My mother, who I had been convinced would be better off without me, was a wreck. She loved me and worried about me so much that, had I not survived, it would have destroyed her. It was still several years before I opened up to my mom about my depression, but she saved me on more than one occasion. I just wish that I had seen sooner that there was a silver lining to all the darkness. That I had been able to recognize that there was still a light there, even if I couldn’t see it for the cloud that had settled around me.
There are so many of us who never get to see the light again because our illness convinces us that it’s not there at all. So, please, keep looking for your silver lining even when you’re not sure that you’ll ever find it, and tell the people you love when you’re struggling because, at the very least, they may be able to help you find it.