The sun was shining so brightly for that time of the season, so brightly that I needed my sunglasses. Thankfully so, because my eyes were swollen and puffy from crying and lack of sleep. From worry.
I was good though, really good. I had it all together. It had been almost seven months since my brother's suicide. The second in my family. The first being my dad when I was just 18 years old. Now I feared it was creeping back into my life with yet another depressed family member.
I faced and called it by name.
The silent killer that stole my father and my brother from me.
The one I looked square in the face & said, "No! You can't have another".
It's the one I recognize and fight with when I see it creeping into the life of another that I love. I know it's evil ways. I've seen the way it sleeks silently into it's victim's life - picking away at the very being of it's intended target.
I am the strong one. The one who protects. The one who works to be sure everyone has what they need to feel strong and secure, and that they are keenly aware that I am here - I am available. I am someone that they can come to when they feel helpless, alone. The person I wish my dad or my brother reached out to when they needed to talk. When they were scared and lonely and didn't know where to turn.
I had dressed, as normal, for church that Sunday. I had the children dressed, my husband was ready. We drove in silence. It was best. I was stretched so tight I was ready to snap, but I was holding it together. Dealing with the stress of another person in my life, struggling. Praying that I could be their savior. The person they will come to. Scared to death that another person that I love would dissolve into themselves and disappear before my very eyes. I, the strong one, would hold them together. I would save them - help them to become the strong, functioning adult I knew they were destined for.
I walked along, child on each hand. I detoured to the bathroom where I saw my good friend who took me down with three simple words.... HOW ARE YOU?
It was at that exact moment, all the emotions from the past year and current situation flooded over. I collapsed into her arms in a flood of tears. Helpless to the world unfolding around me.
Stripped of my sword and shield - powerless to fight the one thing I needed to save my family from.
It was that moment I realized I couldn't do it alone.
I can't take on depression. It's too big for me to deal with alone. Even if I am the strong one.
These are the thoughts of the "Strong Ones." The ones, like me - left behind.
The other victims of depression.
The ones who don't suffer the disease, that IS mental illness, but are the collateral damage. The ones who also suffer in silence along side the depressed - battling the thing that people know, but don't talk about.
The Strong, Silent victims to the other side of depression.
If you are suffering from depression, or think you may be - please get help. You are not bad, or weak, or foolish, or over-reactive, or weird - you are taking preventative measures!
Reach out - you are loved, you are worthy and you are important!
Other Resources at USA National Suicide & Crisis Hotline: http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html
Don't ever give up on you!
Thank you for reading my blog!