In these days when spring struggles to overcome winter, please remember:
To be kind
That we all struggle
That we are all different
Even if our battles seem the same,
they are different and can be so very, very different
so please, please, please be kind.
Please remember, that your battle does not = someone else's battle. Even if you fight something with the same name, it will not, and does not appear the same from person to person.
Just because you fight something called depression or anxiety or anything else, and you meet someone else that does as well, you can't get mad at them or disappointed in them, when what worked for you doesn't work for them. Its great to share stories and offer advice, but the best thing you can do is stand by them. And let them know that you care. Even in the darkest moments when all seems lost, just sit with them.
Please don't tell them that they are cowards if they talking of giving up. Please don't insult them & hope that it shocks them into getting well. Don't try to point out all of the things they have that other people don't. Don't give up on them. Please, PLEASE, just stand by them. Their journey is dark and cold and lonely. And offering a spark in the dark, no matter how small you think it is, can help.
And if they leave this world, by their own choice or not, remember that they fought a hard battle, even if you don't see the scars. Remember their fight, remember that they did their best to be brave, even in the darkest of nights.
And for the love of all that is holy, if you ever, and I MEAN EVER, tell someone battling depression that they aren't solving it fast enough for you, or still struggling with it after so many months when it should be over, then I hope you are never put into the same spot. And I hope that if you are, the people you belittled with your comments show you mercy that you never gave them.
postscript: Just to reassure people before they ask I'm fine. I'm in a better place mentally than I was a year ago. And I'm writing this about things I've learned in my battle. Things that didn't help. Things that did. Yes all of these happened, mostly from well meaning people. And yes the last one really did happen by someone that wasn't so well meaning, despite calling themselves a Christian, and was in a position of power. I can only hope that one day she is shown more kindness than she ever gave me or many others.