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