Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another.
LOVING SOMEONE WITH DEPRESSION
Every evening we sit out back, give to each other the bits and pieces of our day, and listen. The meadow behind our house is lush with new life and, neglected, it has become a forest. We listen to birdsong and cicadas calling somewhere from within the thick brush. The silences are full.
The other night, a sudden, pounding summer shower chased us indoors. It left as quickly as it came, as these sudden storms do. We resumed our post, wiping away clinging raindrops with old towels from the rag pile. The air was heavy with moisture; the perfume of the wild, flowering rose haunted us. The most amazing thing about the washed-clean grasses and leaves, however, was how they were alight with fireflies. Something about the dewy atmosphere must have been invitation to living starlight and it was a gift to watch their shimmer.
How many nights have I missed the fireflies showing off?
For weeks, we’ve been talking about depression—about loving someone who has depression. I think you know that just because the series has come to an end doesn’t mean this journey is over. Many things have gone unsaid. There will be many more difficult days — and there will be light.
The many ways depression infects a life are insidious, stealthy. When I look back at our beginnings, I sometimes wonder how we ended up here. It is a slow takeover. One that requires attention and deliberation to overcome. Depression is a way of seeing the world, and it’s many distortions narrow the vision. If there is one thing I pray you leave this journey with, it is this: never stop looking for beauty. The kingdom of heaven is in our midst, but we lose sight of it every day.
TOOLS FOR THE JOURNEY
Recently, a friend and I were talking about this depression journey. “Why is it that negativity seems so much more contagious than the opposite?” I asked her. “Why can’t a positive attitude be more infectious?”
“I don’t know,” she replied. “I just don’t know.”
We have found the treasure in the field, but we’ve forgotten where we buried it. So, we must leave no stone unturned to recover what we know is already ours. When life becomes one big treasure hunt, a positive attitude becomes more powerful.
It is not easy. We grow tired. I grow tired. This is why we need each other.
So, to sum up our journey, when you love someone who has depression:
- Never stop looking for beauty.
- Foster a community of support.
- Surrender. Make letting go a regular practice.
- Celebrate the moments of light. Cultivate opportunities for them to happen.
- Nurture your curiosity. Encourage your beloved to explore new opportunities to grow, too.
- Pray together.
- Remember together.
- Seek professional help.
- Choose love.
- Pray scripture.
- Talk about it.