To all my friends and family and neighbors fighting the battles you cannot see, you are not alone. I see you, I’m fighting them too, and I’m proud of you.
People who haven’t had clinical depression may think that it’s just sadness, tears, something you can snap out of, or change by thinking positive.
Depression is so much more. It’s painful, not just mentally but physically too. It’s waking up in the morning just to count down the minutes until you go to bed again. It’s tiredness, but not the “you need to catch up on sleep tired “ but the “you need to catch up on peace tired.”
It’s being surrounded by people but still feeling so alone. It’s saying I’m fine because you don’t want to burden the ones you love. This time of year is especially difficult for a lot of people. The pressure to show up to parties with a smile. The fear of letting someone down.
My hope is that we can find the compassion in our community to help lift up our friends, family, and neighbors that are struggling. To have empathy and understanding if they aren’t up to answering calls or making appearances that is something that should be respected and not taken personally, especially with the added stress the holidays bring to those who battle mental Illness.
Let’s meet people where they are at with no judgment. If space is needed, honor that by acknowledging that need but reminding our loved ones that we are always here for them when they are ready to talk.
Mental health is not black and white – everyone experiences it differently. It is a thousand shades of gray with no right or wrong answer. To my friends, families and neighbors struggling – I see you, you’re not alone and you are loved. Let’s lead with kindness in 2023.
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