Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Depression’s Saving Grace

On top of being scared that I would end my life, I was scared that depression would end my relationships.  Sometimes, the only thing that kept me alive was the thought of hurting the ones I loved.  At those times, I could care less about myself.  But I cared about other people.  I have to thank my husband, my family, and my friends for loving me and caring about me through thick and thin.  In my darkest of moments, my relationships were what got me through, whether or not they knew it at the time.

Depression affects millions of people every year.  Among those suffering from depression, those people who have a support system are 85% less likely to commit suicide (see stats).  Ask anyone who gambles; those are good odds.

Another thing that kept me going, was reading about other people who have survived depression.  Those witnesses don’t know they help me, but I have included them in my support system too.  Speaking of surviving, I found a good quote a while back that has consistently calmed me.  It reads:

“If depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy.  But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease—and they are countless—bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.” (By William Styron, “Darkness Visible”)

Because other people have survived, I am saved by their grace and graced by their salvation.  I have to read that paragraph over and over, word for word.  “Depression is not the soul’s annihilation.”  That line gets me every time.  If depression did obliterate the soul, there would be no hope.  But there is always hope, always hope, ALWAYS HOPE.  Countless others have lived to prove it.


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