giving up

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giving up

The post today was going to be about the importance of planning for fun. How we shouldn’t let life’s problems rob us of our joy in living. It was going to be about my day spent with friends, attending a Christmas bazaar, going out to lunch, browsing some consignment shops. That’s what it was going to be about. But I would have been a hypocrite because the very thing I was going to tell you we shouldn’t do, I allowed to happen to me.  But when I tell you why, I think you’ll understand.

Someone I love very much is giving up her desire to live. No, she isn’t terminal. No, there’s no medical condition to account for this. But there is a condition. It’s the focus of this blog. She suffers from depression and I do mean suffer. All my life I’ve watched her go in and out of depression. Even as young as thirty, she was having emotional swings. I remember her moods.  I remember feeling responsible for her unhappiness. I still do.

I give myself good advice gleaned from hundreds of books that all say the same thing.  We can’t make anyone want to live.  We can’t make anyone happy.  We can’t give anyone purpose or motivation to seek help. The truth is there isn’t anything we can do. I hate that.  I would give anything if none of this were true.  I’m a great rescuer. But instead I listen, and my mind frantically searches for anything to say that might help, knowing there isn’t anything I haven’t said sometime in these years. Here’s the sad part.

I know how she feels. I remember such a time myself. A time I didn’t want to go on either. When I think about all I would’ve missed, who I would have missed, I wonder how I ever could think that way. But I did. Let’s face it; it’s hard to remember that kind of emotional pain. Besides, who would want to? So if I remember feeling that way, how can I judge her? 

Maybe sometimes we really have to be as far down in the pit as we can possibly be before we feel desperate enough to claw to the top. But some people have battled depression for so long; they simply have no strength left for the climb up. Others by their very nature are fighters. She isn’t. I am. Maybe that’s the only difference between her and me.