On Monday I was ok. And I got a text that was ok.

“I am searching inpatient centers for depression. Don’t tell. I’m falling apart. It feels awful. All of it.”

These texts come and go in my life. I think I attract broken people. Most of my friends could own mansions on the island of misfit toys.

This text came and I replied with my jealousy and heartbreak. Too familiar to offer anything but head nods, and jealous because an inpatient stay sounds like it could break the cycle and maybe bring an end. Or at least a more helpful round of medication.

“If you find a way out, lmk.” I tell her. “The only way I know is forward, and back. Back into all the pain from years and years ago, and forward one foot at a time, one sun cycle at a time.”

She’s facing the darkness that clouds her eyes. She’s doing whatever it takes, pride aside, to care for her marriage and family and find an end to this depression. Or maybe not even an end, just enough to get through.

My days and years have been dark for a long time now. I don’t even remember the light ones. Oh, how I’d love an end to this up and down, lost days and broken weeks. A fix once and for good.

I texted her the next day from my low place. “If you find a clinic, please pass it along. I need my demons done, dealing with them day by day is too much.”

She knows I know, and I know she knows. And how alone and less and lost that we both feel. So burdensome to our husbands, and unavailable to our friends.

“I write funny posts about it after it’s long gone so people don’t realize how bad it is.” She shares. Her blog is poignant and funny and inspiring.

“And I always talk about it in the past tense like it’s something I’m over and not something from 5 minutes ago.” I talk about this with a lot of people but rarely even let my husband into the panic attacks as they run their course. Usually I’ll curl up in the shower until all the anxiety runs down the drain.

“I’m so tired of this. I have to believe that today will pass and I’ll get a moment of light before I will plunge back down again.” Real texts from this real friend.

“It’s so hard to live this way; but it might be how we have to.” Live. Whattaword. Sounds so actively moving forward, plan making and goal achieving. Yeah, I am alive. But maybe someday I’ll start actively steering my life because I won’t need to spend all my time staying off the rocks.

“This too shall pass.” She tells me.

And I can believe her because she lives it. And hearing that on my low day, when she’s up just a little higher, gets me from Tuesday to Wednesday without a ship wreck.

I know so many brave souls who pass the light between them, unable to grab it for themselves but often able to reflect it. This community, this island in the middle of life, this huddle of misfit toys, is a terrible place to live but a wonderful place to meet people.