Every once in a while, when I’m already in a foul mood, and someone reaches out to ask how I’m doing with chemo or my latest medical test, I’ll catch myself thinking, “Where were you when I was struggling with depression?” When those thoughts creep up, I am quick to remind myself that they were in the dark. I was the one who deliberately chose to keep that struggle private. Even so, it all still strikes me as weird. My health was just as bad when I withdrew from school. My life was in just as much danger…but only a few people knew. I shut everyone out because I was so afraid of their reaction.
This fresh wave of support, though, is making me wonder—what if I hadn’t tried to shut everyone out? What if I had been more open? What if I had told everyone about my depression with the same unabashed frankness that I’ve been using with my cancer diagnosis? What if I had made a habit of asking for help when I needed it? What if I had actually said what I was feeling—even just once in a while?
— Rebecca Trites, “Depression Just Lies”