Depression is more than having a bad day; it's consuming. Depression can come in waves — some days, a person may be doing better, while weeks and months at a time, they're living in darkness.
To other people, a person with depression can appear normal, putting on a happy face to do day-to-day tasks, carrying on like everything is fine. But it's not fine. Some may be afraid to share how they really feel while some may worry about the judgments of others, but each is hurting while also feeling numb to the world around them.
One woman, all too familiar with the dark side of depression, often sent texts she regretted the next day after having a rough night of not liking herself —it was the depressed side of her who sent those messages to friends. But, instead of disregarding these texts, one friend helped her.
According to The Mighty, this woman crippled by emotional darkness said "I had a very rough night about a week ago. I didn't think I was going to make it and I could see myself falling through the cracks of my own darkness. When I told this girl, she said to me: 'What do you need me to do? Do you need me to come get you? Call you? What do you need?'"
The realization that someone was not only there for her in her darkest moments, but that this friend also cared and loved her was overwhelming. This woman thanked her friend, who then responded, "I will always be that person for you. I will always talk you off the ledge. It doesn't sound dumb at all. I know you. I know who you are, I know what you're like. And I also know that you do not want to die. You have so much life left in you to live. You have so many plans for your future. This is not where it ends. Tomorrow will be better. You're going to wake up and not be so inside your own head. I know nighttime is the worst."
That's all it took for one woman to take herself out of the darkness and realize that her life is worth living.
This is the message we all need to hear: you matter. Life is worth living. Things will get better. There is help available. You aren't alone. It's difficult to see these things for ourself, so it's even more important that we remind those around us (those with or without depression) how much they are loved.
All it took for this woman to be saved from her dark moments was the simple act of responding to a text. We all can make time for a text, a call or a visit if it means saving someone we care about.
Battling depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety or struggling with any other mental illness isn't something anyone should face alone. While an uplifting text message or phone call to remind someone you love them is helpful, sometimes that is not enough.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or is having thoughts of ending their life, please seek professional help. There are helplines, therapists, counselors and doctors who can help. Friends or family members might not always know the right thing to say to help you, but they do care and love you and can also assist you in getting the help you need and deserve.
Like this video from The Mighty, remembering how much you are loved might be the reminder you need to not give up.
Don't give up. Keep hoping for better days ahead.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text "START" to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line). Visit IASP, International Association for Suicide Prevention, for a list of crisis centers around the world.