Most of us are limited in our capacity to help those that are struggling with depression. The task can often seem daunting, and most times it is. Individuals that are depressed love their loved ones too much to ask for help; not wanting to expose what is often so carefully hidden. I have never suffered from clinical depression, but the following describes an instance where I felt hopeless. I reached out for help; which quite possibly saved my life.
Four years ago, after recently graduating from Yale Divinity all seemed right with the world. However, the day after graduation everything seem to fall apart. All my plans for a new job dissipated. I felt extremely hopeless. I needed to provide financially for my daughter, and I felt like I had failed her completely.
Mounted with the pressure of what appeared to be the success of all of my classmates and friends, I was drowning in despair. A sudden wave of sadness hit me one evening as I sat on my sofa. It felt like my chest was caving in. Though I had not contemplated taking my life, if I had to experience that feeling constantly I do not know what I would have done. Suddenly the name of a friend came to mind. Though we lived hundreds of miles apart, I dialed her number as if I was dialing 911.
I told her everything that I was feeling, and before I knew it, she interrupted me mid-sentence and told me that we would pray every day for 15 minutes for as long as I needed. She saved my life. After we got off the phone I instantly felt better. I was rescued from a state of hopelessness because I knew someone loved me. Though it would take months for me to feel back to myself, I never again felt that feeling of despair. If someone calls you for help, try as best you can to point them in the right direction. Perhaps pray with them, or carve out 5 minutes per day for several weeks to check in with them.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the ability to turn a life around."
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