2016 has continued to test me, but I am still standing. From Ada’s diabetes to financial issues, this year has stressed me out. But I keep telling myself: “It won’t be like this forever.” I even wrote a post on that theme earlier in the year. When we were adjusting to Ada’s diagnosis, when she was coming out of the honeymoon phase and ran high for 2 months, when she broke her arm, when I wasn’t sure how to pay some bills, when I felt like I was drowning, I told myself, “Things will change. It won’t be like this forever.” And things do change. Time changes all things; we adjusted to Ada’s diabetes at the start and after the honeymoon, which was only always temporary. We figured out our financial situation though it took patience and perseverance. But when I was drowning in depression a month ago, time wasn’t moving fast enough. I had to make change. I reached out to friends and family with openness and honesty. And they helped me change my mental situation through encouragement and support. It wasn’t bad forever, but it was bad enough that I couldn’t wait for time to heal my wounds. I needed help to make change now.
Last night I was listening to the Pearl Jam song “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” and the chorus repeats, “Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.” Sometimes we miss the beautiful people and dreams from our own past, and we mourn their passing. But sometimes, especially when one faces a good deal of darkness due to mental illness among other things, we experience dark and sorrowful hearts and thoughts that are equally strong–if not stronger–than the beautiful ones. The good news is that just as we mourn the fading of beauty from our past, we can rely on time to fade the pain of past darkness.
When I tell myself that it won’t be like this forever, I mean that the sadness, hopelessness, sorrow, and despair I sometimes feel because of my depression–big, deep emotions and painful, dark thoughts–will fade away. It will take time–they linger with me for days, weeks, months, but just like my physical scars, hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away. Keep moving forward and let your past pain fade with time. Let your wounds heal through love and gentleness. You deserve happiness and beauty. Believe in the powers of time, patience, and perseverance. But when you are overwhelmed always ask for help. You can survive the darkness of your illness, and it can fade, but you don’t have to do it alone.