You don’t love her by telling her to fight it.
Depression isn’t something she can fight. It’s one big black fog that clings to her, sometimes consuming her. It’s bigger than her, stronger than her, and can’t be seen but felt deep in the soul. She can’t fight it but she can go through it and it helps for you to simply be there.
You love her through this monster by believing that she can move past it.
You love her by celebrating her.
When it comes to depression, getting through the day is a job in itself for her. Life becomes a retail job that she dreads going to. But she goes through with it because she has to. That’s why it means a lot when you celebrate even her small victories.
From washing her hair to renovating her room to buying you a gift for your birthday, no matter how big or small her smiles are, celebrate them. Let her know that you’re grateful she’s here. Let her know that she matters and that she makes this world a little bit brighter.
You love her by being patience.
You want nothing more than for her to get better. You want her to smile more because her smile is a starlight in the dark. You want her to achieve more because you know how smart and dedicated she can be. You want nothing more than to push her to do better.
But keep in mind that tough love can do more harm than good. As tempting as it can be to push to be on that grind by making her work out or making her try alternative medication and so on, you end up becoming a walking motivational video that doesn’t encourage her but makes her feel worse about the depression.
Be patient with her. There will be times when she’ll fall right back into depression, and as scary as it is, you have to let her be so she can have room to get back up. Let her know that there’s no rush. Help her through each baby step because those steps add up.
You love her by listening.
It can be easy to give her a TED talk on how she’s supposed to feel. But the best thing you can do for her the moment depression hits is listen to her. Really open your ears when she pours it all out because that means she trusts you deeply and that trust is precious to her, so honor it.
Give her that shoulder so it can become a sponge for her tears. Listening to her lets her know that there’s nothing wrong with being honest about how she feels. It prevents her from wanting to isolate and hide from everyone.
You love her by being by her side.
She needs you. She hasn’t placed all her happiness on you, but she does need all the support she can get. She needs to know she’s not alone in this. You don’t have to be her hero, but you can be by her side because it’s not that she wants you to save her but that she wants you here by her side.