The Response You Deserve

By Elizabeth Wilder

It takes a boldness to say that your brain is sick. That you need help. That you can’t do whatever this is alone anymore.

I think a lot of people who struggle with their mental health feel constantly caught between living their life with this secret struggle or making the decision to confide in someone. Both are equally difficult, both require absolutely all of your energy. We’re less scared of the reactions of others, and more scared of people knowing our truths, small secrets we’ve kept buried deep for so long.

You assume that you’re going to get a positive response from the people you choose to share the messier parts of your life with, that you’ll be comforted and cared for. You’ve been waiting and hoping for this sense of safety and security. This feeling of “this is when everything is going to change for the better.” You’re finally going to let someone in.

But you tell them. You pour out every hurt you’ve ever felt, every word that has never been spoken. Depression, suicide, counseling. And you’re met with disapproval.

Their responses hit you in a way you’re not prepared for, it feels as if someone has punched you directly in the stomach. You can feel yourself sinking into the floor, ears ringing and head spinning. Any sense of progress, and any glimpse of courage, is instantly dashed. You didn’t think it was possible, but you’re even more broken than before.

But let me be the first to tell you, as your world is falling apart, there are people waiting to pick up the pieces with you. You may walk away believing that was your last chance. But I’m begging you to dig deep. Seek out the response you deserve. Make a point to put yourself first. Find the people that truly care, and care in return. Find comfort in the idea that there are people in this world that will understand—even if some don’t.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that not everyone will be able or willing to comprehend my depression or my struggles with substance abuse. But, I have found people who do understand or at least care enough to try. And those people, those who are accepting of the mess and chaos inside of you, are worth the fallout of every other failed attempt. I believe learning to accept the inevitability of defeat can also, ultimately, bring a sense of deliverance.

Free yourself from the idea that you aren’t worthy of other people’s time. Because you are. Invest your feelings and love into people who are willing and eager to reciprocate. Be willing to give grace to those who do not fully understand. I know it’s easy to become discouraged, but my hope is that you come back with a sense of determination—for yourself.

My hope is that you come back stronger.

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Comments (2)

  1. Ashley

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this! This truly touched me. I’ve been struggling with depression on and off for the last, at least 12+ years and struggling with substance abuse for the last 5 to 6 years. Your words have truly inspired me and I value your courage for sharing part of your story. Thank you so much for being a being a beacon of light to those of us who haven’t yet been able to find our voice.

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  2. Shaun

    Incredible Blog!! I have loved the consistency in the bogs you guts share, it takes courage to write something so honest. Yet it also takes some bravery to share it with everyone else. Thanks TWLOHA:)

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