In my last post, I wrote about what it was like to lose my first husband to depression. And I really wanted to touch on it again, especially considering the world we live in today.
The village is so often missing from our lives. Our support systems are most often found online. And while these online relationships have their benefits, it isn’t the same.
Being able to go over to a friends house and commiserate over your day.
Turning to an older, wiser Mom for advice when you need it is so much more complicated now.
Being able to ask for advice without being made to feel less. All of these things have changed over the last decade.
And guilt abounds everywhere. You can’t help but compare your marriage to other marriages. Or where your kids are compared to other children. Or careers. Houses. The list can be endless.
And the guilt we carry because we aren’t perfect at all of these things can suck the joy right out of us.
I believe that taking a break from social media every one in a while (or more often if you like) can only serve to strengthen our village. That rather than posting your struggles, you can take them to someone in person. And maybe we can start reviving the community we so desperately need in times like these.
Times where guilt and assumptions are so much more common that smiles and grace.
I have no idea if my first husband would still be alive today if there was more of a village, but I do know that mental health crisis happen much more often now than even a decade ago. And I feel like the anonymity of social media has made it so much easier to judge others than help them. And much easier to compare how green our grass looks.
Today I’m asking you to take a time out. A break from the things that overwhelm you. Put away your phone. Take a break from social media.
And tune in to those around you. Talk to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Think of someone you could write a letter to.
Spend time getting to know who you are. Go to the library and check out a book on something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t yet. Talk to the librarians. They are fantastic people. And maybe smile at someone you usually wouldn’t.
Spread joy. Take time for happiness. Connect with people face to face. And maybe this world will slowly become a better, safer place for us all. And build your village, one person at a time.
And friend, if you or someone you know are struggling with depression, speak up. The power it holds over you can be broken. There are so many people waiting to help you, in whatever way you need, if only you would ask. I speak from experience. The ones who love you would rather listen to your problems than know you suffered and didn’t come to them. Even if you feel guilty about taking up their time, they won’t.
I pray today that we would find a way to connect with the ones around us. And that we would be able to build our community. I pray that we would say “yes” to that little voice inside telling us who to reach out to.
And I would love to lift you up in prayer. Please leave a comment and I will add you to my prayers.