The following post is by my friend (and frequent reader of this blog) Alise D. Wright.
If we met in real life, within just a few minutes you would realize that you will never, ever have a problem hearing me. I have what some might call a distinct voice. Most will probably just call it loud.
You would also quickly notice that I have a loud personality. It wouldn’t take us long to be chatting it up about something, from the mundane like the best flavor of cheesecake to something deeper like the importance of hell in a discussion about salvation to something really important like who is your favorite Bluth.
But as the grey days of autumn pile up, I find my mood becomes more muted as well. The laughter and smiles that come so easily in the spring and summer begin to fade. Thoughts that are happy and light when the sun is plentiful become darker and heavier as clouds dominate the sky. And the voice, my voice, which is normally strong and confident, grows quiet and timid.
When depression comes to me, it often comes in the form of a muzzle. It knows that the most powerful weapon I have at my disposal is my voice, so it attacks there first. It makes me feel as though my voice is nothing more than noise, that my words have no meaning. Over and over depression found a way to silence me. It magnified all of my faults and caused me to look inward and see only that which disgusted me. When my words are gone, my perspective is skewed.
Last fall depression made its move again. But before it settled in and gagged me, I spoke up. I told my community that it was coming for me. It wasn’t anything special. It wasn’t eloquent or poetic, it was just a person crying out before the darkness settled in, making it hard to speak. Causing me to feel alone.
But I wasn’t alone. People were listening and as I spoke up, they added their voice to mine. And we called depression out. We called it a liar. We called it a monster. We called it a prison. We called it every manner of profanity and we assured one another that we weren’t just being melodramatic, but that our experiences were all valid. Beyond hating depression, we had genuine love and acceptance for one another. We were able to offer support to one another during dark times.
We didn’t condemn one another. We didn’t try to fix one another.
All we did was speak up.
Purchase Alise’s book, Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression from Amazon…