This weekend was wonderful. This weekend was everything that I possibly needed and more.
I laughed. I laughed hard…the kind of laugh that leaves behind aching stomach muscles and cheeks that hurt. This laugh was real. There was nothing forced or fake…this laughter was healing…the kind of laughter that I hadn’t experienced for a very long time.
I attended my church meetings. Sitting in the congregation, I felt part of a collective whole. I felt a sense of belonging…a sense of purpose…a feeling of joy. I felt warmth. A warmth that can only be described as a sunshine that radiates from within…a light so bright as to castaway all darkness.
I felt friendship and sisterhood…the bond of kindred spirits…a feeling of acceptance and love.
I felt light…free of a burden far too heavy to carry any longer.
Yes, this weekend was wonderful.
So what was the difference? What had enabled me to feel such emotion? What had set my soul free? As I reflected on this, I realized that seeking help and being open and honest about my struggles with depression was the answer. This had enabled others into my life…all of it…both the joys and the sorrows. In opening up to others a huge burden had been lifted from me, as the weight of depression is far too heavy for any one person to bare alone.
For the first time I saw clearly. I saw why it was necessary to have help from others in my life. Had I been slipping off the edge of a cliff, would I have wanted to rely on my own strength to pull me to safety? Certainly not. I would have wanted the strength of another, preferably the strength of many, to hold on to me firmly and pull me safely back. Why then would my desire and willingness to ask for help when depression put my life at risk be any different? This is a hard question not only to ask, but to answer. The truth is, I don’t know what makes asking for help so hard, but it is hard…very hard.
It is hard to ask for something when the reason you ask is not visible to others. You see, depression is a mask that I wear well and can hide from almost anyone. I have mastered the art of hiding my battle, but until now, I did not realize that by so doing I was losing the fight. I now see that is okay to ask for help…no, essential to ask for help for my life is of value…my life is worth holding on to.
To those of you reading fighting your own battle: hold on, but please hold on to someone else too. Your life is of value…your life is worth holding on to.
I would like to share the lyrics to a song that I wrote:
Hold On To Me
The dark engulfs me, it’s all around me, suffocating darkness.
My spirit’s weak, it is fading slowly, slipping from existence.
Hold on to me (Hold on to me)
I can’t hold on myself
Be strong for me (be strong for me)
I can’t be strong myself
With time feeling returns in short frames, oh how sweet those moments!
Light beams its way through the darkness, though just for a moment.
Hold on to those moments (moments)
They’re a glimpse of hope
Be strong now, be strong now (strong now)
There is hope for me
I won’t let my life slip away, slip away, slip away.
I won’t let my life slip away, slip away, slip away!
I’ll hold on for me (hold on for me)
I’m fighting and I’m winning
I’m strong for me (so strong for me)
I’ve learned to live again
With all of my love,