“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
Hi. I'm Lauren.
Whoever you are, and from wherever you come: you are welcome here.
Please, always know that.
While my primary goal in writing this blog is to lend some transparency to the experience of mental illness (namely, my ever-present companions, depression and anxiety), that goal has one of its own: to foster compassion and nurture a shared experience among those suffering from mental illnesses and those who know and love them. I believe, ardently, 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. When you go where it hurts, as the theologian Henri Nouwen so beautifully writes above, you practice compassion through your willingness to learn and understand. So, here I am. You can get to know me as a way of getting to know life with mental illness. This is nothing dramatic; nothing earth-shattering; 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, sinister forest, and they will need a little grace from you to come out the other side, still whole and believing in goodness.