I made a new friend this week.
A lawyer from down south emailed me. He had found me through my website. He told me about some terrible and unexpected turns his life had taken recently which had plummeted him into a major depression.
I e-mailed him back and said that I would like to speak with him by phone.
I learned that his drop into the well of depression wasn’t his first experience with this terrible illness. He had gone through a bad episode twenty-five years ago, but since then nothing until his most recent crash.
During our thirty-minute talk, I felt the rawness of his pain in his voice. I recognized this sound all too well. It was the pain of depression.
He told me that the only respite he felt was when he fell asleep because it was only in this state of unconscious that he had some relief from the grinding wheels of depression.
I also learned that he was married, a father of four and had worked very hard for over twenty-five years as a lawyer. He was a Catholic who prayed often. He felt horrible about the pain and anxiety his depression had caused his wife and children. He told me that he felt comfortable talking with me because I was a lawyer and someone who had been through depression. As we talked, his voice became a little lighter and his tone a bit more optimistic.
I don’t attribute to anything I did.
Instead, I see it more as a testament to this central truth about life on earth: It is in sharing with one another our stories that we heal.
And I believe that we’re all called to be healers of one another.
And in listening to one another’s stories, we learn that suffering doesn’t have the final say.
And in this truth, we find hope.
4 thoughts on “Hope Has The Final Say: A Lawyer Shares His Pain”
Thank you for this very honest post. The thing that strikes me most is that your friend didn’t have a serious depression for 25 years! That he could go that long without suffering from the condition, only to experience it again after all the time—it really brings home the idea that *anyone* can suffer from depression. And if the statistics regarding depression are anywhere near accurate, we all know someone who has suffered from it—or will suffer from it.
I very much like your thought that we are meant to be healers of one another. I think you are absolutely right.
Thank you again for writing.
I appreciate your concern for your friend and the thing that you described about him. Great work in the end.
I can fully relate to your friend’s horrible experience. I am also a lawyer and I suffered a severe depression 25 years ago- so bad I had to be hospitalized for almost 2 weeks – although I recovered it took almost two years. And then, 25 years later – about 3 years ago, I had another eposide – and this one was worse than the previous. I did all I could to stay alive – I vowed that I wouldn’t kill myself because we had four children – two young girls – but living was simply a worthless mess. After 18 months, my wife said that if did get better she would leave me and asked me to go to the best hospital in the US. I spent 4 days at the Mayo Clinic – again no help – in fact I was getting worse – I felt like I was hanging to life by a very small thread – life had no purpose – and everything was falling apart, my life, my family, my finances and my health. Depression is a sickness that doesn’t let you go – accept for when you sleep – that is if you can sleep.
Fortunately, I had a wonderful and true friend who I have known for 35 years and he insisted I see a Doctor in Hershey, PA that he insisted could help me and he did. If you know of anyone who is suffering from this awful sickness have them contact me and I will give them the doctor’s contact information that saved my life. I wouldn’t wish this sickness on my worst enemy.
I spent a week at the Mayo clinic
Thanks for sharing your story, Rich.
I would be interested in learning about the doctor who saved your life. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.