I've talked before about how important it is to find someone you can talk to when you find yourself in a place you need it -- whether because you're drowning in all the all and/or in danger of hurting yourself. It doesn't especially matter if it's a health care or other trained professional, your closest friend, or a casual friend who'll "get it," the important thing is that you talk about it in some way, shape or form. The Internet can be a good place to go when you find yourself in need of someone to "listen." Yes, the Internet can be dangerous and angina-causing, but it can also be amazing. Not just the stupid memes that pop up -- guaranteed to make you laugh/feel/think (just as likely curse), but because it gives you a chance to reconnect with people you've known for years, but maybe weren't "friends" with before. Like the woman I knew when we were in high school and, thanks to the Internet, has now become a close friend.
I was a freshman when she was a senior. Our paths have been so different and divergent after she graduated high school. She enlisted; I went straight to college. She learned new languages; I worked in retail -- but yet here we are: each other's secret keepers. Our current friendship started on Twitter through a mutual friend. Said friendship was solid so we jumped to Facebook and, later, to text messaging. The things I find especially beneficial about our predominantly text-based conversations are, basically, the same reasons I mostly just write about my issues, don't go to a shrink and talk via voice to family or friends about what all is happening: Things become a lot more real when you're making eye contact with someone or can hear their voice.
Yes, there's an aspect of the words you've just read that is hypocritical. Very "do as I say, not as I do." After all, it's not often I talk about real things -- I'd rather disappear before talking about real things -- but the people who hear about my real things are so flipping patient, so caring, so safe. Don't underestimate the value of safe, patient, and caring. The person I've written about here has gotten me through some dicey times -- whether she knows it or not (I guess now she does).
Have a story about depression that you'd like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (860) 348-3376, and you can record your story in your own words. Please be sure to include your name and phone number.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.