This month for our special edition of Mental Health we deliver our Half Orange column—which focuses on love, in all its forms—to an initiative that has years of creating a community passionate about breaking stigmas of mental health in Costa Rica. The initiative is Vaso Lleno; its founder, Cris Gomar. On his social networks, he regularly shares messages of love and support for people facing various mental health challenges.
For today’s column, we share a message from Cris based on a Vaso Lleno post about depression. Read the original post here.
The first thing I want to tell you is that I’m sorry. I am truly sorry that you’ve gone through such a dark, difficult and challenging experience. I have been there, and I know how difficult it is to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even the impossible seems to understand that there is indeed a light.
I have been there where there is no strength to get out of bed, brush your teeth, or take a bath. Where the bed has this otherwordly energy that pulls on our bodies like a magnet, and it seems that there is no other force that could possibly counteract it.
I have experienced that feeling where nothing seems to make sense. Nothing is enjoyable. We live on autopilot. We can’t find any motivation to do anything, not even what used to make us happy. I’ve been there, and I always try to remember that I could fall again at some point. So, I’m so sorry.
The second thing is that I beg you to ask for help. Depression is the most traveled route to suicidal ideation or attempt, and the good news is that asking for help means putting up obstacles along that path. There is absolutely nothing wrong or weak in telling someone that you are not making it. It is a sign of impressive bravery. And yes, I know that during a depression, even asking for help is a very difficult act to do, but look for a way. A text message to a friend, a crying fit with a relative, a meme sent to your cousin. Whatever. Just do something.
Depressions are very hard moments where that powerful force covers any positive thought, but I assure you that you can get out of there. I have lived through it, and I have come out of several. You can, too. But I asked for help: no one should go through this process alone.
The last thing is that you should celebrate any progress, however small it may seem. Any step through a depression is a huge victory. If you managed to brush your teeth, take a bath, attend a class, send that report, or eat. Celebrate it! It is a victory and must be experienced as such.