Following is another picture of depression. It is one of the vignettes I jotted down one day, and is especially good for those who have a spouse suffering from depression, or other mental illness.
"It's like we started walking down a small dirt road together, heading for a certain place. Not long after we began our journey, I sat down in the dirt at the side of the road; bewildered and unable to go on. You kept walking; stopping every once in awhile to look back at me, smile and wave, and tell me I could join you anytime. I sat and blankly looked at you, remaining seated in the dirt along the road. You have continued down the road, stopping only on occasion to look back, smile and wave, or look at me with frustration. You have others walking near you who are encouraging you and building you up on your walk. You are enjoying this walk a great deal and feel very good about it.
I remain sitting in the dirt along the road, blankly looking at you as you progress down the road, wondering why you never stopped and came back to me, maybe even to sit with me in the dirt for awhile until I am able to get up and walk with you."
People suffering from mental illnesses need others in their lives who will "sit in the dirt" with them. Depression stops people in their tracks; rendering them unable to move forward, no matter how much "cheerleading" they get from those around them. They wonder "why you never stopped and came back to me, maybe even to sit with me in the dirt for awhile until I am able to get up and walk with you." Do we abandon those hurting, or do we stop and sit with them in the dirt for awhile? The gift of presence is invaluable. It denotes worth to the one who feels worthless; it speaks hope to the one who feels hopeless, and it speaks love to the one who feels unlovable.
Stop and sit in the dirt with someone. You will both be beneficiaries of the simple act.