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The Hawk Eye

Standing on the Sidelines: Depression kicks victims to the curb

Graphic+by+Caryn+Corliss
Graphic by Caryn Corliss

Graphic by Caryn Corliss

Graphic by Caryn Corliss

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Graphic by Caryn Corliss.

[/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_column_text]Nothing seemed to work.

We tried pills and praying. Schedules and running.

Depression had already taken hold and wouldn’t let him out of its’ claws. All our efforts couldn’t keep it at bay for long.

My brother has been fighting depression since he was my age and no amount of family love or happiness has been able to combat it.

Everyone knew my love for him. He is the one I miss the most when away at Pine Cove for two weeks and the one I want to run and tell my good news to because I know he will listen. He is the one who carted me all over Dallas without complaint before I got my license and the one who sang pop songs at the top of his lungs while doing it. He is the one I see new movies with. He knows me so well that he’d tell me what food I liked before I tried it. The list goes on and on. But I couldn’t cure his disease. Despite popular belief, depression isn’t simply sadness. It’s apathy.

Alarm clocks, schedules and responsibility also had no effect on my brother, or “Bubba” to me and my family. He had a superb talent for sleeping longer than thought humanly possible. Hours, days, weeks could go by with only short wake-up periods to eat or play World of Warcraft.

School didn’t affect him. He was the proud new owner of dozens of Baylor University shirts then came to find out that college isn’t about the comfy engineering dorms and football tickets. It’s about going to class, which proved to be a real struggle even as he came back home and enrolled in Collin County Community College.

So my family tried something different. After tearful nights and eavesdropping my parents worry about his future, we typed up a neat, tidy contract with a place for his signature and everything as incentive to pursue the life we knew he could achieve. Do your chores, get a job, go to school and you could stay at home.

Only, just as school didn’t affect him before, jobs didn’t help. I watched him put on his black Cafe Express shirt and within months change his uniform to the red Target shirt. I watched him clock into Academy Sports and Outdoors and then buy a cooler for bartending.

And for a while, things worked out. Bartending gave him enough money to feed his adorable brown labrador “Moki” and a couple of classes occupied his time. But it didn’t last.

By Christmas break, he skipped one too many bartending gigs, enough to lose his job. And my job as the “waker-upper” resumed with his sleeping habit.

“Bubba,” I’d say while knocking on his door. “We’re going to Top Golf.”

“Ehhh.”

“Bubba, let’s go to church.”

“Go without me.”

The brother who put a blanket over me when I fell asleep on the couch and taught his dog to “pray” before eating was turning me away to hibernate, lost to his illness.

But after months of filling journals with prayers for a breakthrough, my parents sent him to Carrollton Springs – a hospital devoted to helping people with mental illness. So he went with the bare necessities in his bag and his family’s support behind him.

And that turned everything around.

Within a week, I beamed with pride because my brother now had the tools to face the days ahead of him and a faith-based support group to keep him on the right track.

His contagious laugh fills our home and his hugs seem never-ending. He has a plan for his life, filled with a job and purpose, ready to accept help from my family if he needs it. He has a Christ-centered identity with the knowledge that his illness is not who he is, but something he can overcome.

His illness is no different than the struggles humanity hides in the shadows behind big smiles and bright eyes. Just as we openly discuss one fighting cancer and beating it, I wait expectantly for the day that depression is discussed with open doors and hope in sight.

God finally answered our prayers, and it made all the difference.   [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

de·pres·sion
dəˈpreSH(ə)n/
noun
 1. feelings of severe despondency and dejection

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Hebron High School News Online
Standing on the Sidelines: Depression kicks victims to the curb