“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
-- Henri Nouwen
While my primary goal in writing this blog is to lend some transparency to the experience of mental illness (namely, depression, but I’m sure I’ll touch on anxiety too), that goal has one of its own: to foster compassion and nurture a shared experience among those suffering from psychological disorders and those who know them. As a twenty-something white, middle-class, married woman who lives with depression, I fully recognize that I am no different from millions of others who are diagnosed with this and other mental illnesses (in fact, I’m a bit of a cliché, no?); but it is my firm belief that to better know just one person with depression is to be better equipped to recognize mental illness in others and to respond with compassion and love. So, here I am. Get to know me. This is nothing dramatic; nothing world-shaking; nothing unheard of. It’s the simple hope that my desire to tell you what it’s like to live with depression will help you to love the (hurting) people in your lives a little better.
Because there is, or someday there will be, someone in your life who walks (or drags, or trudges, or slumps) down their own path in this dark, scary forest, and they will need a little grace from you to come out the other side, still whole and believing in goodness.