Medics and Banner Men
November 6, 2016, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When you are struggling with an extended visit of depression; when you cannot get out of bed or go to work; when all you can think about is how you want to die -but not in some dramatic, attention inducing way- but rather to just fade away like you were never there,


people will form a circle around you.

These people will be your tribe and they truly love you. They will hold your hand and ask what they can do to help, tell you that you can get through this day by day and to be strong. These people will vindicate that you are, in fact, a victim and validate what you have been thinking all along–you are at war with yourself and that you can either retreat or fight. They will check in on you. They will call you, visit you, text you, asking how you are doing today. They will ask what is hurting today. They will remind you that you can do hard things.

These people are wonderful and in the long (long long, for me) run, they will be a safety net for when you fall and they will help you get back on your feet.



There are also people out there who will patiently sit across from you as you heave and sob and dump all of your emotional issues into their lap. They will sit very still and pick up your issues one by one, placing them on a table, pushing them back over to your side.

“Do you not want to help me? Why are you leaving me all alone to fight this battle myself?”, you will wail.

That person, that rare person, will simply look back at you and say, “Because you can beat this. You do not need my help. You do not need a gaggle of people to help you. Of course you are strong enough to get through this. You don’t need me. All you need to know is that I believe in you.”

This will churn around inside of you for some time. You will try to rationalize the advice. You will try to decide if you should be offended or empowered.

Of course, they will remind you, you aren’t going to kill yourself. You are going to get out of that bed. You are going to get dressed and go back to work. You are going to smile again. You do not need anyone’s help with that.

You will begin to understand what they mean. If my body can create  of these demons, I must trust that it can also provide me the tools to handle it. Medication and sheer willpower is not to be underestimated.

I know, in my case, I reach out to people in the last days of my endurance. Those are the days when I feel weak, helpless, pathetic. What if, instead, I opened up to people around me when I start to feel low. What if, instead of asking for help, I tell them to take note. That I am going to kick this bullshit right in the face.

What if the notion that I can do hard things because I have been doing for my entire life became more helpful than treating me like a baby bird fallen out of a nest?

What if we all started treating one another like that?

Imagine how empowered we would all feel? How in control we would all feel even in our darkest moments? How unafraid we would become?


There is nothing–absolutely nothing–wrong with asking for help. There nothing wrong with supplying help.

But, let’s shift the support; instead of treating one another like we are shattered glass lets yell for one another from the sidelines during a triathlon.


You have done this before, brave girl, and you will do again still.

But what will always remain the same is that you continue to do it. Of course you can.

We do not always need medics. Sometimes all we need are banner men.


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