Reaching out

I saw it again today and every time I see it, it breaks my heart. I’ve become
more acquainted with it myself and now I can see it in others. Oh, people try to hide it but unless you’ve experienced it yourself you wouldn’t know anything was different.

But now I see it and it is all around me.

There’s just something about a person’s eyes that seems to give it away most of the time. Other times, it shows in the slump in the shoulders or the way they look off into the distance when they don’t think anyone is watching. To describe that look is difficult because it’s not the same in everyone. For some it is a look of longing. On others it surfaces as fear and uncertainty and even panic. In others, it’s just a look of loneliness, sadness, and gloom. You almost never see it when looking at someone directly — but out of the corner of your eye or an initial impression. Those that have it can wipe it away quickly so that it is unnoticeable. But for those that are also afflicted, time slows down and it is revealed like a dark fog that has the person completely engulfed.

Whenever I see it, I scream out inside wanting to talk about it with them. But, I know that it could end up disastrously and it makes me afraid. For some reason it feels like it would be violating some deep propriety. I want to reach out so badly and pull them out of the fog. My previous efforts only seem to push the fog aside momentarily, having no lasting effect. Sadly, now that it has me too, it just seems too insurmountable for me to reach through my own fog to try to help someone else.

Like so many others who have come before me that have tried to talk about it, I would like to throw my voice, my experience, and my struggle out there. Why? Because now that I see it eating up so many people around me I can’t stay quiet any longer. I want to help. No, I need to help. It saddens me so deeply to see others struggle with it. And while I continue my struggle, my heart aches to reach out.

It. It is the fog. It is depression.

I can’t keep hiding this anymore but it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with what I see around me. I can’t bear to see people around me continue to struggle with this alone. I want them to know that I struggle too, if only for them to know that they aren’t alone.

So I’m reaching out. I’m starting a series of posts wherein I plan to share some things I’ve learned along the way. I want to help others regain some hope that they can be pulled out of the fog, even if it’s just for a short time to breathe in the fresh air and gain strength for the next battle. I just want to help.

I don’t profess any expertise other than my own experience. But the things I have learned have been extremely helpful to me. I will try to not trivialize what others experience, for if there’s any one thing I know about it, it is that it’s different for everyone. I know that if it has degrees, or units of measure, that it is a measure that is incomparable to anyone else. Doctors may measure it as somewhere between severe and mild. But to those affected, there’s no such measure.

I realize that much has already been said on the subject. So why listen to, or read, what I have to say? Well, frankly, I don’t know. Perhaps there is some thought or message that I can share that will be both timely and poignant to you. If that is true, I take no credit. God inspires men and women to write and to read and then he prepares those paths to cross. I hope that your crossing here on my path will help you. If nothing else, you’ll know you aren’t alone. If that can give you hope, then I’ll be grateful.

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