Blog

Mar19
2015

I Need You

By Jacquie Rappel

If I told you I was thinking of a three-word phrase – one with eight letters – what comes to mind?

Upon hearing this description, you might automatically think of “I love you.” However, I’ve learned that the phrase I’m referring to can be more powerful than that. This phrase holds more weight, more depth, and more impact; at least it does for me.

I need you.

I’ve battled with depression since I was 13 years old. No one was aware that I struggled with the illness until the brink of my 22nd birthday when I made an attempt to take my own life. I spent two nights in the hospital, and once the secret was out that my injury was not the result of an accident, I was transferred to the psychiatric ward.

Even in the depths of my depression, I recognized how desperately I needed other people. I needed people to get me through the episodes. I needed people to get me through the dark thoughts. I needed people to get me through the negative emotions.

But I never once thought about who needed me.

I will never forget when I came to this realization. It was during a conversation with a friend who has played a significant role in my healing process since the attempt. I already knew how much I needed her, but during this conversation she turned the tables. She said, “I need you.”

The unmatched power of those three words shook my entire being.

Looking back on my life, I realized I had never been told I was needed. Whenever the cloud of depression would overtake me, I tried to remember my family and friends, but it was never because I thought they needed me. This didn’t become a reality until I heard the phrase spoken out loud. When words leave your mouth, they take on a new form and are brought into existence. Hearing that I am needed and understanding what that means transformed my perception of the value of my own life.

We don’t live only for ourselves; we live for others. Think about those who need you today. Maybe you’ll think of your parents, your siblings, and your friends. Now take a minute and envision the people in your future – the nameless, faceless people that you have not yet met – who will need you one day. They will need to know your name. They will need to have your friendship. They will need to hear your story.

It has taken me time and effort to accept the truth that my story is unparalleled and powerful. I play a necessary character in the narrative of those around me. I am called to inspire others to live an unbounded life. I am here to remind them to fight and face their fears, to step out in courage, and to realize and embrace their purpose.

Countless times I’ve wanted to quit fighting. I live with the constant fear of losing my battle with depression, but remembering that I am needed gives me the will to fight for another day, to fight for my life. If you find yourself facing the same fear, I challenge you to continue to fight for yourself. Fight for the characters in your story that have not given up on you. They need you. We need you to stay alive.

Declare this, out loud, to yourself right now…

“I am needed. I have a purpose.”

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Comments (47)

  1. Kate Mccue

    Thank you for putting this up. It gave me chills. I was in your boat and now your words will be with me everyday.

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  2. angie

    This is pretty much my story word for word but I was 17 not 22 and I was in the hospital longer iam so thankful for story like this one 🙂

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    1. marat

      Are you still alive?

      Reply  |  
  3. Rose

    I’m almost 33 and at least once a week I can’t get out of bed. It hurts too much. I haven’t had suicidal thoughts for many years, but had I read this back then, it would have saved my life. Thank you for sharing. (:

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  4. Erica

    These words cannot be more true. ‘I need you’ is probably the biggest thing that keeps me going day by day. We spend a lot of our thinking on how much we need our close support system to help us, but it’s worse sometimes to think what we would leave behind. Love this post.

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  5. madzia

    Hi… Im new here n readinig all of these… I dont know if i need your help… Um… I just wanna say that after read all of this history im looking on the world in different way but i still dont know how to smile… I feel like nothing n theres no any one that can help me… I always have a feeling that i want to die but i cant do this… Whats wrong with me? :(madzia from Poland 🙁

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    1. Cindy

      Hi Madzia,
      My name is Cindy and I understand so much of what you are feeling and have felt it for much of my life: those feelings of wanting to die to be out of the pain, but not wanting to hurt others, and that the pain will go on forever and nothing will ever help. I’ve had depression as far back as when I first started elementary school and back then and unfortunately it’s still happening now people wanted me to just pull myself up by bootstraps, said I was just sad and it was time to get over it, and also unfortunately there’s still a stigma when it comes to mental illness. People are more aware of it as it’s been accepted more and talked about, but many of us with depression aren’t comfortable sharing it. I can tell you without a doubt that there is nothing that compares with darkness and extreme pain depressive people suffer. For me I need both therapy and medication because again for me I have a chemical imbalance and have had some extremely painful things happen in my life and many others with depression have both too. If you do therapy you want to make sure you find someone who you feel you can trust and won’t judge you, because many of us have so much we haven’t felt we could trust someone to tell. The medications are always easy because sometimes it takes a while to find the right one for you, the right dosage, and (This comment could not be shared due to the nature of the message). But the most important thing is to be gentle with yourself and not beat yourself up when you feel this way and feel frozen to pick yourself up and do anything. You need to give yourself credit for the things that may seem tiny like getting out of bed or taking a shower, but you also need to not put yourself down on days you can’t get out of bed. Depression isn’t about sadness, in fact we wish we could attribute it to a sad incident just to make sense of it. Depression is a disease with a life of it’s own and a lot of the time it comes out of nowhere for no explainable reason. And it is definitely not about something being wrong with you or not having enough will power, it’s a chemical imbalance just like any other disease that’s freely talked about.
      I apologize for making this so long. I hope it has helped some and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need to.

      Cindy

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    2. Renata

      hej. obejrzałam niedawno ten film i daje do myślenia. postanowiłam wejść na tę stronke i natrafiłam na Twój wpis. napisałaś,że nie masz powodów do uśmiechu i że nikt nie jest w stanie Ci pomóc. mogę wiedzieć ile masz lat? Chciałabym się dowiedzieć więcej o Tobie. mam nadzieję,że odpiszesz. pozdrawiam

      Reply  |  
  6. Anonymous

    I love this!!! I struggle everyday but know that I am needed by my two boys. If nothing else, if I am not here, who will protect them from some of the things I went through!! Thank you!!

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  7. Beth

    It’s hard admitting you need help. It is hard for me to say that I too was in the psych ward. But you’re right. When you think of all the people in your life you realize that they need YOU as well. Struggling with depression is hard. But this is a battle I’m still fighting, and hoping I don’t lose. Thank you for putting this out there.

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  8. Anna

    Such a powerful and inspiring story!

    Reply  |  
  9. Mama Blake

    Jax: you are so very right. People need each other. That is part of the journey that God has each of us on. YOU are a vital part of the journey God has ME on!! And, if I didn’t say it then: you had me so scared; so angry; and so sad during that whole time. I love you and don’t want you to not be around. We need each other.

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  10. Anonymous

    Thanks!

    Reply  |  
  11. Willeke

    I needed to read this..
    Thank you!

    Reply  |  
  12. Sarah G

    Girl. I know it took courage to make all of this public. What beautiful words. I am wiping away tears as I type this. I am proud of you and i know your story will help so many! From these comments, it looks like it already is. Keep up the good work and posi attitude. You are needed, by so many! Love ya little lady 🙂

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  13. K. Wilson

    I am so grateful for you! More people than you know need you! And now God just used you to reach even more. Love you girl. You are irreplaceable.

    Reply  |  
  14. Lee2533

    Thank you for posting this. Not only did I find someone who understands me, but it gave me a reason to look forward to life for just a little longer. I hope one day, I’m needed in life. I hope that what I want to do in the future is what can help people like you did for me. Keep fighting! And good luck on the journey. I know you can make it!

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  15. Brooke

    Twloha blog comment….
    I’m that girl that has fought so hard through battles, trauma, shame, addiction, depression, and suicidal thoughts for starters. Yet on the days I can get myself out of bed I muster up a smile and appear to be so strong even amidst messy situations. The people that surround me personally would have no clue how much I hurt inside or how many tears I shed at night or how many nights I am sleepless and searching for reasons to keep breathing. The fact that someone can be so broken and loved ones don’t seem to notice sometimes translates in my mind that they don’t care or really don’t know me enough to sense anything is wrong or simply that they have no idea how to help or show some support. So, I try to carry out the twloha mission for all the people I encounter who I know have their own struggles too. But admittedly I need twloha just as much as anyone else in my life, and I do come here for a sense of belonging, understanding, and inspiration to press through when sometimes I’d really rather be quite self-destructive. I am truly grateful for all the many individuals that make this movement and this mission live and breathe everyday. There are so many people that truly need this love and support. Countless times I have read blog posts and thought someone was watching over my shoulder to write that just for me because it spoke so true to my heart and real to my circumstance. When you are in the midst of despair and tend to numb the pain in all the wrong ways, simply reading a blog or something in this community has the power to truly resuscitate a being and breathe new hope and new life even just for a moment. Thank you ALL for being a part of this community and for sharing in the movement to show love without conditions.

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  16. Rowan

    Thank you for helping me remember the reasons why I am still here…

    Reply  |  
  17. josh

    I’ve never felt connected to another piece of writing like I do with this. Wonderfully said! I’ve struggled for many, many years. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far. I recently lost the trust of a person who was key to my healing. The words “I don’t need anything from you” cut in a way I couldn’t believe possible. I’m alone again, for now. Maybe next time someone will need me again. Maybe next time I’ll get it right.

    Reply  |  
  18. Anonymous

    Really INSPIRING words from someone and FOR anyone who is or has battled with depression!!!! This is SO ENCOURAGING!!!!! THANKS for sharing!!!!!!!

    Reply  |  
  19. Rocki Smith

    This comment could not be shared due to the nature of the message.

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us.

      TWLOHA is not a 24-hour helpline, nor are we trained mental health professionals. TWLOHA hopes to serve as a bridge to help.

      If this is an emergency or if you need immediate help, please call and talk to someone at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to the LifeLine Crisis Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx“. We also have a list of local resources and support groups on our FIND HELP page. Please know that we also respond to every email we receive at info@twloha.com.

      Reply  |  
  20. ForeverLost44

    Out of all the people I’ve tried to encourage and help in their lowest moments, it seems I only get blamed for ruining their lives and certainly never ever told “I need you”

    Not by family, not by ‘friends’ or boyfriends, no one ever…

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us.

      TWLOHA is not a 24-hour helpline, nor are we trained mental health professionals. TWLOHA hopes to serve as a bridge to help.

      If this is an emergency or if you need immediate help, please call and talk to someone at 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to the LifeLine Crisis Chat at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx“. We also have a list of local resources and support groups on our FIND HELP page. Please know that we also respond to every email we receive at info@twloha.com.

      Reply  |  
    2. Rachelle

      I haven’t either. I just want to hear those words, it means so much. So, I just keep trying to remember that I am, but can be so very hard. I guess I don’t know if I am really needed anymore.

      Reply  |  
  21. Anonymous

    I needed to read this. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  22. 19yearoldgal

    I read this at the time when I was feeling kind of low.. And it made me tear up because your words were touching and deep and they are things I’ve thought about too. I’m gonna show this to my cousin too who also struggles with depression too so we can both remember we need each other and we don’t just fight for ourselves but for each other too.

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  23. Kristin

    So brave of you to share, Jacquie! I feel the same way about my story – part of what people need is for us to tell our stories and let them know they’re not alone in theirs. Thanks for the reminder – much-needed tonight.

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  24. Hallie

    This really touched my heart. So often depression takes us so deep we forget about the beautiful things we have to offer our loved ones and those we have yet to meet.. Beautiful perspective. Keep fighting, friends. Incredibly thankful for you guys at TWLOHA.

    Reply  |  
  25. Alissa

    I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a little kid. I used to wake up and think of about ten thousand different ways I could take my own life. I could hardly handle even the simplest of tasks, without feeling completely stupid, and useless. I started _________ when I was thirteen, and I still think about it sometimes when I’m really feeling low. I honestly can’t remember waking up and feeling genuinely happy ever. Then I finally got myself into college, and away from the past. I came out as a lesbian, and I found someone and we sort of fixed each other. Thank you for posting this, it’s brave to share your story, and it makes me at least, feel a lot better about recovering.

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  26. Lynn Buttedal

    My husband kids and 6 grandkids need me! Keeps me going everyday!

    Reply  |  
  27. william Bucolo

    Have you ever went through a serious event where you keep getting flashbacks have this knot in ur stomach where your high school sweetheart broke your heart. I felt so hurt lately and I feel so lost right now :/

    Reply  |  
  28. Lance

    I’ve found this very meaning for me and I thank you for putting this out there.
    I’ve always felt that I am replaceable, as in nothing will change if I’m gone. It’s not necessary for me to be here as I am not needed.

    This has touched me and I relate.

    Thanks again for sharing

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  29. Jaysa

    Thank you for your story! I think that it was very inspiring to put your life story online to make others feel like they shouldn’t let go of life.. KEEP GOING!

    Reply  |  
  30. Brittany

    This means so much to hear this. This is so sad to see someone go through this. But the simple “I need you” can help so much, so much more than you would think. Thank you for shareing this with us.

    Reply  |  
  31. Sana

    I’ve battled with similar depression all my life tried twice to take my life and even now I go very deep into the depths of my depression. The only thing that keeps me going everyday is that my children need me. Everyday every minute they remind me how much they need me and that makes me pick myself up and try to embrace life as it is.

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  32. Doris Crabtree

    Feelings are so powerful for good or for bad for right or wrong reasons. Depression is so complicated some people can hide it for a very long time for so many reasons. For me only the love of God can bring me back. I admire your courage to take a stand and talk about it in such a clear and sincere manner. Proud of you Jacquie. I love you. God bless you.

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  33. Sofia

    For a while now, I’ve been struggling with feelings and emotions. Sometimes I feel too much and sometimes I don’t feel anything at all. My sister is a psychiatrist and I’ve asked her if she could take to someone, to get help. She thinks its a matter of time and everything will turn out okay. The saddest part is that sometimes I’m positive about that and sometimes I just want to hide from everything and everyone because I just don’t see the point. I don’t think I’m depressed, but if I’m not then what’s going on with me?

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  34. anthony

    Amazing…thank you

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  35. Lori

    I love someone suffering with depression. This is a very important message, thank you for sharing it with me. Lori

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  36. Gaby S.

    Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for writing this. I needed this perspective because I’ve been forgetting it lately, the fact that someone might actually need me. So thank you.

    Reply  |  
  37. Mary Rachel

    Is the most beautiful text I’ve ever read, thank you, I needed it.

    Reply  |  
  38. Alivia Cox

    That was a great read. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. I battle with each of them every single day, and became very suicidal December of 2014. I now know that I don’t have to let my feelings defeat me, and that I’m worth something in this world. Thank you so much for this blog.

    Reply  |  
  39. Pingback: Depression: Why Community Matters

  40. Penny

    What if none ever answers?
    I feel sometimes the fear and paranoia are worst than the depression when even family doesn’t take time to call. That lets me know for sure I am an outcast.

    Reply  |  
  41. Bellla

    Self worth seems to come into play with any battle in life. Yet children are hardly ever taught anything about it. They’re taught to tie their shoes, do math, but not to love support and nurture themselves. They’re not taught their integral unquestionable worth.
    Thank you for this blog, it is most certainly needed, and was written marvelously
    God bless

    Reply  |  
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