Depression is hard enough to go through oneself, but to watch it grip a loved one is quite another experience. It is a different kind of pain and brings on a deep sense of desperate helplessness. To be unable to stimulate a smile or conversation out of a life partner can desecrate a portion of one’s heart and twist a part of the mind into knots.
Before I had experienced deep depression myself, this nearly destroyed me. Since then, however, I am more able to love those who are depressed around me more effectively, knowing that my efforts are not wasted. Understanding both sides of the coin helps me stave off the worst of my own depression as well. My well-being is a matter of noticing the signs, being proactive, and adopting a positive attitude if I am unable to muster one up from myself.
I cannot fix other people’s depression, but I can be a caring presence. I can do special things for them to make it a little easier to get through their day. I can also make sure I do not take offense at their lack of reaction or gratitude. I remember how helpless I felt and my unspoken gratitude for everyone just sticking around. How much more love and patience it took for them to see me through it can never be measured or repaid.
Winter will end. Days will brighten and the sun will fix our vitamin D. The Seasonals only need muddle through a couple of cold, dark and dreary months. Even now the days are lengthening. I will be watching the sunrise progress from right to left in my eastern windows and will feel the increments of relief as it moves.