I know what it feels like to hurt; I know what it feels like to watch the one(s) you love hurt. I’ve lived (and still live) through that battle.
On August 31, 2013, I posted the above picture, chairs in a hospital waiting room, to Instagram.
I posted it with the caption, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
The story isn’t entirely mine to tell…
For me, the story started with a 3 AM phone call from my parents and rushing to the hospital downtown. A family member took his own life; and the days that followed are a heartache and a blur.
The redesign of Green Enough For Me– this blog, Pray and Scrub– came from the weeks that followed… When I couldn’t be at the hospital, when time had passed and there weren’t tangible things to do, I grabbed a rag, cleaned my kitchen and I prayed. I lit antique cathedral candles and I prayed. I scrubbed my floors with hot, soapy water and I prayed.
It wasn’t enough, it didn’t change anything- but I didn’t know what else to do, I didn’t know how else to help. I got through each day by focusing on what mattered in each moment.
Choosing help is hard. Choosing to fight is hard. It will exhaust you. It will infuriate you and it will sometimes hurt more than the depression hurts. Depression is sometimes comfortable, but depression is also a liar.
There is help. There are people who care. You are loved and you matter and you don’t have to carry a world so heavy, so painful.
Breathe in one more time, wake up one more time, scream until your lungs hurt one more damn time… And then do it again.
Keep going. Find a routine. Keep your doctor’s appointments. Take your meds. Confide in a safe friend. Cry on the shoulders of another. Find your tribe. Run your feet into the pavement.
Cry until your eyes are swollen and you’re gasping for breath. And then breathe. Sink to the floor and pound it until your fists hurt. Put clean sheets on your bed and keep fighting like hell.
You are not alone.
This is not your fault.
I will keep praying that you just hold on, and I will keep scrubbing and I will keep fighting this battle beside you because it matters.
Choosing love and light matters.
Keep breathing. Keep holding each other up.
Lend a hand, an ear, a shoulder.
Call until you hear their voice.
Offer a ride. Tell a secret.
Be kind, dear friends.
There is help and there is hope.
Don’t you dare give up.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 – 800 – 273 – TALK
Thoughts on Depression, Suicide, and Being a Christian: Nish Weiseth
When You are Thinking About Suicide: Postpartum Progress
What the Church & Christians Need to Know About Suicide & Mental Health: Ann Voskamp
I am Sorry That It Has Come to This: A Soldier’s Last Words: Gawker
There is Still Some Time: TWLOHA
Things Are Less Scary When We Talk About Them: Casey Mullins
Loss, Depression and Tribal Warfare: S. B. Rosangela