Mamapedia City Voices highlights the inside scoop on your city by selected writers, from up-and-coming mom bloggers to well-known mom experts.
The Strong One
Reading this post could save someone’s life–maybe even your own.
It was on a Sunday, four years ago. I remember as if it were yesterday.
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.
I faced it and called it by name: Depression. The silent killer that stole my father and my brother from me. The one I looked square in the face and said, “No! You can’t have another.” Now I feared it was creeping back into my life with yet another depressed family member.
I am the strong one-the one who protects. The one who makes sure everyone has what they need to feel secure. They are keenly aware that I am here-available. I am someone they come to when they feel helpless, alone. The person I wish my dad or 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 because I was stretched so tight I was ready to snap, but I was holding it together. I was 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 yet another person I loved would dissolve before my very eyes…
I walked along, child on each hand, past the bathrooms where I saw a good friend standing. Innocently, she took me down with these three simple words: HOW ARE YOU?
It was at that exact moment that all the emotions from the past year and my current situation came over me. I collapsed into her arms in a flood of tears; helpless to the world unfolding around me.
At that moment, I was stripped of my sword and shield-powerless to fight the one thing I needed to save my family from–and realized I could not 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 suffer alongside the depressed-battling the thing that people know, but don’t talk about.
The strong, silent victims on the other side of depression.
If you are suffering from depression-or think you may be-please get help. Reach out. You are not bad, or weak, or foolish, or over-reactive, or weird-you are taking preventative measures!
Reach out, friend. You are loved, you are worthy and you are important!
If you are feeling depressed or suicidal-please don’t suffer in silence. Learn more or get help at Hopeline or call at: 1-888-442-HOPE (4673).
Other Resources available at USA National Suicide & Crisis Hotline.
Don’t ever give up on you!
Jenn says: Life is a gift…take each day as it comes & find the humor in every situation. Live well, Laugh often & Love with your whole heart! Be sure to visit her blog My Daily Jenn-ism.