It’s the kind of question that will riddle - no, burden - you, well into the wee hours of the night. How do you love a depressed soul? How do you love someone who is suffering from manic depression for longer than you’ve known him. In fact, it almost feels like you don’t know him at all.
Ever been there?
I know what depression is. Worse; I know what it feels like; from an extremely personal standpoint.
What I’m still struggling to figure out is how do you love someone who is depressed. How do you assure someone that they matter when they’re ridden by a sense of being non-existent?
How do you keep up with that? A depressive personality is hard to understand. And it’s true that we, more often than not, jump rather easily to the conclusion that we get it. But, we really don’t. If we did, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Here’s what I know about loving someone who is wallowed in depression to such an extent that he probably wouldn’t even realise how precious he really he was to a handful of people. Because, truly, all we need is the love of a few loyal and genuine people. It’s hard to see that when you’re depressed. It’s all dark and you can’t really see much when it’s dark, can you? No one is to blame. Not you, for wanting to love them in every way that one possibly could be loved. Not him, for not being able to accept that love because he thinks he doesn’t deserve it.
Stephen Chbosky wrote, in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” But, what if you thought you didn’t deserve love at all? Where does that leave the people who love you, simply because they don’t know any better? Simply because, that’s all they can seem to do - love you, to the moon and beyond.
How do you explain to someone that he means the world to you; more so, when he doesn’t even want to be a part of this world anymore? How do you explain to them then, that you’re afraid that if he left the world, you wouldn’t even have one anymore?
It’s frustrating isn’t it - loving someone who is depressed? Because all you seem to want is their happiness. And you don’t even know how to give them that happiness. All you seem to know is that just the fact that they exist is what drives you through days on end. And they don’t even care about their own existence anymore. It’s selfish, too; in a rather skewered sense.
It’s frustrating because they’re struggling to understand their purpose and you’re struggling to explain how they are your one true purpose, some-strange-how.
It makes you wonder - if they love you, even, or not; if they even feel anything other than dismal. Do they even feel human anymore? It’s hard. It’s as good as not existing in their own periphery, while they’re struggling to exist in yours. It’s the irony of life and love - where one struggles to exist for another; each not knowing it, the entire time. And so, you never know.
You never truly know how to love someone who is depressed - with life, with people and with their own selves. You never truly know how to express that love in a way that they may feel it; feel something, anything, really.
Do you sing to them? Do you take them out, in the hopes of cheering them up? Do you travel with them? Or do you crack silly jokes in the hope of making them laugh? Do you talk to them and ask them what’s wrong? Or do you sit silently by their side, hoping against hope, that they will tell you themselves? What do you really do?
How do you love someone who is depressed?
When you fall for someone who has already fallen down a pit so deep and dark, there really is no getting back out. It’s not because they’re constantly sad and helpless that we want to be the only ones who help them. It’s not because we want to be the only ray of hope they may see in their darkness; as romantic a notion that may be. It’s because sometimes, in the rarest of moments, you meet someone who sweeps you off your feet in the most magical way possible. Sometimes, you meet someone and you simply know that you were meant to be. And then it doesn’t matter what world you are in; it doesn’t matter what state you are in. You love them anyway - through good and bad; through happy and sad; through sickness and health - irrevocably, unfailingly. You love them with every cell in your body because that’s the only thing you know how to do. You love them in the hopes that one day, may be the sun will shine a little brighter into their eyes; that one day, maybe their eyes will sparkle again like they once did; that one day, maybe they will see that love more than they see anything else around them. You hope that may be one day, they will be able to make your silhouette out in the dark and reach out to hold on.
And so you love them, come what may; however hopeless that love may be.
Because when you love someone who is depressed, you are loving for two people - both, him and you; not just you. When you love someone who is depressed, you have to love with all your soul; you have to love in the most idealistic way possible. You have to love in ways that people think to be impossible. Because, at the end of it all, nothing really is impossible, is it?
So, love him with all you’ve got. And let the love consume you. That’s all you can do anyway.
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