It was silent.
It slowly crept from the darkness where it hid, waiting.
It stalked her, waiting for the right moment to approach.
Softly, it wrapped her in its cold, unfeeling arms where the worries no longer seemed to matter.
Less than a month passed from its greeting to full power.
It gripped her in its claws and told her no one would care if she left this world.
It whispered of how life would be easier if it just ended.
It convinced her to be silent and keep its presence a secret.
If not for a single phobia of failing in an attempt and being hospitalized, it would have succeeded in stealing her from those who love her.
Through a miracle she found someone at the right moment before she conquered this fear.
They asked her directly if she was suicidal.
She answered, somehow responding to the direct question in truth when hours of me talking traveled in circles.
They forced her to tell me.
Until that moment, I never suspected depression was an issue.
Did I know something was wrong?
Did I try to talk to her about it?
But she hid it, as she has so many things before.
I had thought we were honest about such things.
Now I live in fear.
Fear the tenuous tether I have wrapped around her will snap and there will be nothing I can do to stop it.
Fear I failed in allowing her to reach the bottom.
Fear I somehow won’t be enough.
I know I do not have the power to save her. I know she must find the power within.
Until she does, I tell her how much she means to me. To my family.
I hold her close in the dark hours.
I remind her when she breaks free for an hour or two she actually likes it in this world.
And she should stay.
I tell her I love her and if she did take her life, I most certainly would care.
And I pray every day that somehow, these little things will be enough to help her get to the next day.
And the next.
Until she beats depression into a tiny pulp and takes its power away.
Because I have hope too.
She tells me when she’s in the bad place now. She doesn’t hide it.
There is power in the truth, strength in facing the beast of depression well-armed and together.
The fear is there, but I welcome it.
Because the real truth is, fear can be the most powerful thing of all when facing depression.
It saved her just long enough to get help.
For that I will always be grateful.
Side note: I am not the only one helping her. She is also seeking professional help and sharing this with other close friends. She is making baby steps in the right direction. It is not my place to say who “she” is, so please do not ask.