When the depression storm comes, it wants to be known. It doesn’t just cause a little wind and rain. Oh no. The storm builds and builds upon itself. It feeds itself with anything it can. It brings with it pockets of torrential rain, tennis ball-sized hail, hurricane force winds, and perhaps most disturbing, a feeling of complete darkness—no blue sky in sight. The depression storm can destroy everything in its path. It can consume the largest artifacts, property, objects, and yes, life.

Sometimes we can feel the depression storm coming. It’s off in the distance, but we can sense it. The air is different . . . heavier, somehow. The world feels off and we know there is something on the horizon. But other times, the depression storm builds so quickly that we have no other choice but to brace ourselves.

Storms are out of our control. Oftentimes, we feel powerless. We just want it to end. But now, after experiencing hundreds of storms, I know one thing to be true: the blue sky always comes back.

Our personal depression storm lasted six years. It brought five suicide attempts, a near-death car accident, countless medication changes, grief, blame, trust issues, heartbreak, and constant fear. There appeared to be no blue sky. Everything was gray. Day in and day out. The darkness seemed relentless.

But it finally occurred to us that a storm can only destroy life if said life is unable to get out of the way in time. We look to meteorologists, storm spotters, weather centers, radar systems, weather stations, and other resources we know nothing about to prepare us—to keep us safe. To get us out of the way in time.

As of today, my husband is free of suicidal thoughts for over two years. He’s soaking in the sun beaming down on him from the blue sky. After years of living in the darkness, we learned to turn to God, psychiatrists, counselors, medications, vitamins, mental health facilities, friends, family, pastors, and even writing as a form of healing.

We stopped trying to control the storm and instead, learned to ask for help in understanding it. The depression storm is overwhelmingly terrifying when you try to ride it out alone. 

The blue sky always comes back. The sun always comes up again tomorrow. Every storm brings something different, but it always clears up. We learn to rely on others to keep us safe. We learn we cannot control everything. We learn there has to be a purpose for this pain and we must fight the storm together. 

When we see the storm on the horizon, when we can feel its presence, or when it comes from nowhere, we can take shelter together. We don’t have to stand in the storm alone. Storms will come, but the blue sky will always return. We learn how to ride out the depression storm—together. 

Learn more about our story on Anchoring Hope for Mental Health: Jeremy & Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at www.jeremyandbailey.com. Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at www.jeremyandbailey.com as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.