I had a conversation with a friend the other day. He asked me, “Where would you be without your parents?” The answer was simple: “I wouldn’t be here.” These were words that had never been spoken out loud before. They were words I kept to myself. Confused and a little bit shocked, he asked me to clarify what I meant. So I told him I am here because I never want the people I love to feel the pain that I have.
Thank God for my family
I have depression, but I am aware that I’m not hated by the entire world. Perhaps I am hated by a portion of it, maybe even a majority, but I’m not hated by the entire world. I know that the people I have kept in my life are people who love, support and respect me. Because of the countless hours I have put into learning how to live with my illness, I have the ability to understand that although I may feel alone, I am not actually alone.
I went through hell when I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder; untreated and uneducated. My days became a constant battle and the only people who understood me were my parents. Thank God for my family. It took me years to come to the realization that I wasn’t the only one who had to deal with my illness; they did too.
My family’s pain
My mom admitted to me later on that her thoughts would keep her up at night, crying and heartbroken. The smallest sounds would send her into panic thinking that I had done something to hurt myself. My illness put my family through a great deal of pain that I will never be able to thank them for enduring.
When this friend asked me where I would be without my parents, I didn’t hesitate with my answer. Maybe my family didn’t have to experience the same type of pain that I had, but they experienced pain of their own. Though my depression can cloud my judgment, I am strong enough to ensure that my compassion runs deeper. The idea of inflicting that kind of pain upon them is what keeps me strong and moving forward.
I am who I am because of the people who love me.
Thank you for loving me.
Reproduced with permission, originally published here