Depression, Loneliness, and the Power of Stories

I tried coming up with some way of communicating the impact and power of the stories in Not Alone. The book has 37 short chapters, each written from the perspective of someone who lives with, or has lived with, depression. But instead of trying to summarize what these folks had to say, I thought I’d share their own words with you.

“I first met Jesus at age four. An average man, he sat in a red chair and watched my grandfather rape me. Jesus looked straight into my eyes, never turning away in shame or disgust, and until I blacked out from pain and suffocation, he spoke into my mind, ‘You’re going to be OK. I’m right here. I’ll not leave you, now or ever.’ Believing him kept me saneJoy Wilson

“At first, Depression mostly keeps to itself, taking up very little space, almost never in the way. Depression knows how to play the
considerate houseguest. But gradually it starts to unpack and spread out, leaving a trail of it’s ugliness across your scrubbed existence. Depression is the master of the gradual everything. The weightiness, the pressure, is a cloud that gathers so gently you’re conditioned to its presence and growth. You hardly notice it, and maybe, if you do, you dismiss it as a minor irritation you can live with” Kristin Tennant

“Others, out of well-intentioned, utterly useless ignorance, may point to my Christian faith and say, ‘You’re too blessed to be depressed.’ And their trite rhymes poke new pain in a deep wound. I am keenly aware of my tremendous blessings; that even they are not enough to wrest me from Depression’s beastly grip is reason all the more for despair” Tamara Lunardo

Not Alone is full of honesty, and tragedy, but also a sense of hope that only transparency and community can bring about. If you’re life is affected by depression, or you want to read powerful stories written by people who refuse to give up, check out Not Alone. It won’t leave you unchanged.

9 Replies to “Depression, Loneliness, and the Power of Stories”

  1. Thank you for sharing these words, Shawn. I have read them so many times, but they still have a profound impact. I am so thankful for the courage of the contributors.

  2. Agreed on all fronts, Shawn. This book was a sucker punch to the gut and evidenced that people are bigger and stronger than some of our most wrenching pain. Alise and the writers are to be commended for their honesty and integrity.

  3. Definitely one I need to read and hand out to others. Thank you for sharing this, Shawn, and for pulling it all together, Alise.

  4. This is on my next read list. Having lost my younger brother David, who in 1994 took his own life, during a major depression, I am eager to read these stories. I only wish my brother, really knew what I told him all the time — you’re not alone, and this will pass. JFC>

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