I see you struggling. Every day it’s the battle to get up followed by the battle to keep going. You work to provide for our family. And that’s all you have in you to do.
The moment you get home, your world comes crashing down from the effort of forcing yourself to make it through your workday. You keep it together long enough to have dinner with us, and then you hide away in your thoughts. That’s OK, I appreciate you winning the battle against your depression to go to work.
But I miss you. You’re so distant now. Your booming laugh used to echo through our home. Now it’s a rare thing to be heard. Your smile that was so contagious barely creeps across your lips when you try to act happy. The things you used to help me do around the home are now left for me. It’s stressful having the weight of everything placed on my shoulders.
I miss the days when we were a team. I can handle flying solo until you get better. Please get better.
Our children don’t understand why Daddy is so tired all the time. They want to play with you, but their energy is too much for you. It overwhelms you. They don’t understand why Daddy is gone so much. I try to explain to them, but they don’t understand why Daddy is always at the doctor’s office. I’m so glad you’re getting the help you need. Someday you will be home with us even if that day is not today.
I was proud of you the day you decided to get help. The day you decided enough was enough—you needed to get better in order to regain your ability to be here for us. That was a huge step you made to improve your health and well-being.
As you go through the counseling and struggle with finding the right medication, I see you. I see you on the good days when you can fully engage with us. I also see you on the bad days. The days when you want to go to sleep and never wake up. Those days are the hardest for you and for us.
I know you feel worthless, unwanted, unneeded, and like you don’t matter. That hurts so much because I can’t see our lives without you.
That’s the worst part about depression. It’s an invisible disease—one that society often discounts. No matter what society says, it exists and is very real to our family. Depression hurts you. It has been tearing you apart for months. As it has been destroying you, it hurt us, too. Depression hurts us because it’s painful to see you struggling and know we can’t help you.
All we can do is support you and pray. So that’s what I do. Every time you leave, I pray you’ll come home. Every doctor’s appointment, I pray this time they get it right. That mentally you’ll come back to us. Every day I pray you’ll keep fighting to make it through another day until things get better.
I can’t fight this fight with you, but I’ll forever be by your side cheering you on, hoping you’ll win it.
Which is why, as you struggle, I ask you to please, don’t forget in the midst of your pain and suffering that we love you. We need you. You are more than a paycheck. You are a friend, father, lover, partner, and confidante. We want you home with us. We want to spend time with you. Your worth is infinite. I pray someday you’ll see that, and you’ll never forget we’re here for you.