What to do when someone gives up on life?

The post today was going to be about the importance of making time for fun. About 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, going out to lunch, and 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 know has given up their desire to live. No, they aren’t terminal. No, there’s no medical condition to account for this. But there is a condition. It’s why I started blogging.

It’s depression, that horrible life-sucking, joy-stealing illness that plagues so many.

They suffer from depression and I do mean suffer. All my life I’ve watched this person go in and out of depression. Even as young as thirty, they were having emotional swings. I remember the moods.  I remember feeling responsible for their 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 really isn’t anything we can do.

I hate that.

I would give anything if none of this were true.  I listen, and my mind frantically searches for anything to say that might help, knowing there isn’t anything I haven’t said at one time or another over these years.

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.

This person isn’t.

I am.

Maybe that’s the only difference between her and me. 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.

Maybe I’ve been there.