Never underestimate the power of a good friendship.Tweet
When you live with a mental illness as long as I have; you learn that there is a sort of ebb and flow to the soul crushing, down-and-out lows. I know that they come and go – and this knowledge helps me get through them.
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But just as they come and go, so too does their severity. Some depressive episodes are harder and longer than others. This last one, for example, was a category 8 on the darkness scale. For those wondering, that’s pretty high.
Perhaps most troubling for me is that each new episode of it is worse than the last. Thankfully, I can still mount a great defence against my enemy within. My best weapon? The power of a good friendship.
Here’s the story:
Just days ago, I was seemingly possessed by a good mix of symptoms:; a fifty-fifty mix of PTSD and depression. Oftentimes, I find myself duking it out with one or the other, but in this last bout, they joined forces; maybe it’s because I’m too strong for them one-on-one? Bring it on! I got coping tools and great support to win the battle.
I knew that I was losing this round. Depression and PTSD had me on the ground, beating the authenticity right out of me. As they overtook me, I felt myself slipping, just wanting to give up. Lucky, I had just enough strength left to yell out to a good friend.
In my desperation, I noticed that a fellow veteran of the fire service was on Messenger, so, knowing the power of friendship, I started out with this:
“What does one do when they are tired of fighting?”
Immediately, the little box that indicating he was responding, lit up. He responded with “Need to go for a coffee?” I knew I had to say yes, I was losing badly; I agreed
While I knew that the last thing I wanted to do was go out, I mustered up what strength I had to push mental illness off of me, and headed to our agreed-upon coffee shop. An hour and a half later, we were sitting across from one another.
We talked, the convo ranging from politics to PTSD, and eventually to how I was feeling, Just two dudes, long-time friends who understand what it’s like.
I left that night, feeling so much better. Together we had put the run to my mental health conditions. Once again proving the undeniable power of a good friendship.