Mental health awareness has been abuzz lately and never have I been so glad that a lot of people are getting informed and aware that depression is certainly not a joke.
It was a few weeks ago when a Filipino comedian/artist who has been in the show business industry for so many years now dropped this jerk-line live on national TV and said that depression is just something made up by someone and that they shouldn’t be given attention.
I woke up and this was the news that said good morning to me? I was mad, affected, and was one of those who was triggered because of the said statement. I even ranted on Twitter and blurted out about my own depression (which I don’t really tell anyone) but deleted it after a few hours because I.. wasn’t ready to talk about it.
He apologized the next day and said that his family talked to him about it; said he didn’t know that the issue was that deep and a lot of people have it. He learned from his mistakes, humbly apologized, and I felt his sincerity. I didn’t hold a grudge after.
To be honest, I’ve been working on this post ever since that guy dropped that line. I have forgiven but I’m not saying that I’m not affected anymore. I still am. Not because I once fell into this well — still falling sometimes — but because I almost lost someone very close to me because of depression.
It happened a few years back – back when depression wasn’t even really something a lot of people know about. Her family even found it funny that time because they felt that it was just all drama. Yes, they felt pain and sympathy for her but it cannot be denied that a small part at the back of their minds still thinks it’s not something to worry about. I, myself, didn’t realize it was already depression back then. I was young, I didn’t know what was happening, I know nothing about mental health. I was maybe influenced that it was sort of funny, but looking back, it’s something. It’s real.
We almost lost her.
(Aaaahh, tears are falling again but I need to finish this now. I’ve been working on this for a long time.)
It was all because of some family issues and she thought that she’s a responsibility to them. She felt like her children and everyone around her didn’t want her to be around. She felt useless. She felt like she’s not doing anything right. She didn’t want to be a burden anymore. She said that they can and will live without her; that life will still go on even without her.
She was depressed.
She left home – not telling her family, not telling anyone where she’s going, and everyone was looking for her. She came home a few days after and told them everything.
She told them how she almost jumped off a bridge.. because she wanted to die.
She was bawling her eyes out, spilling everything. She felt useless, unimportant, not worthy of attention. The only reason why she didn’t jump off that bridge is that she worried her family won’t find her. She even thought of texting her loved ones first before jumping so they would be informed and would look for her. She was troubled that her body may not float if she jump and her body won’t be seen forever.
She was worried that her family won’t find her. We won’t find her.
She’s my grandmother. And we almost lost her.
All because of depression.
No matter how old you are, what time or day it is, if depression eats you, it will eat you alive. So what I learned and will always tell everyone is that when people share their problems with you, don’t shut your door and tell them that it’s just all drama. Listen to them no matter how shallow or deep their problems are, no matter what you think of the situation.
They reached out to you because they need you. They trusted you. So just.. listen. Because sometimes, that’s just what they need – someone who will listen and understand. Do not invalidate their feelings just because some people have it worse. We’re all different. Don’t tell someone what you don’t want others to tell you when you’re the one who’s having problems.
And if ever you’re the one who’s dealing with this, please don’t be afraid to seek help. Go to family and friends who you know will support and understand you. Let it all out. Cry. Wail. Shout. Don’t keep it all to yourself that taking your own life will be your last resort. There are a lot of people like me out there who will listen to you, who will help you, who will make you feel you’re worthy of life because you are. You are worthy to be loved and you deserve to live.
Imagine traveling to different places and seeing how beautiful the world is. Imagine reaching your dreams and goals in life. Imagine how your family and friends are going to be so proud of you. Imagine having pets. Imagine having your own place with the love of your life. Imagine having kids.
Life has so much to offer for you. It may be scarred and quite a mess but it is beautiful, wonderful, and worth living for. So are you. I hope you know that.