purple heart: erin

one of the main reasons i started writing this blog was to show and describe my deepest appreciation for my friends. my friends, for the most part, know i love them and my heart is always sate with gratitude.  but to me these people are heroes.  these are people who have taken knives from my hand, watched my food intake with hawk-like diligence, and sat next to me with careful eyes while my mind was spinning suicidal webs.  and so it is no exaggeration to say that these people have saved my life, because they have.  but i just want the world to see them like i do. and so that is what these posts will be.  they will be your purple hearts.  essentially where i get to embarrass my friends for being wonderful people. 

(also, if you are my friend and you think you deserve a purple heart i probably agree.  but you will have to be patient so that i can surprise you with one.  i probably won't write these frequently, so you may have to wait awhile.  i will write them for other people too.  if you are depressed, and have a special little hero, let me honour them for you and tell me about it, because i will definitely do that for you.)

erin is wonderful and hilarious.
we are almost magically compatible.  sometimes i think that our hearts always beat at the same time.  our friendship feels like it grew from the earth.  and that is not something i take for granted.  when i think of erin i think of years of absolute tomfoolery, laughing to kill ourselves with laughing tears spilling everywhere.  and of course of a semester of shenanigans living together in cider house, with parties and cap'n crunch and hot dogs and the coming of nessie.  those are my immediate associations.  but the associations that flood just as readily but i hold safer are the ones with sad tears and aching hearts for me and my sadness and my scars and my eating habits.  

erin has always been bewildered by how readily i invested all of my life long secrets in her, especially considering how i usually guarded them rigidly and would emit involuntary growls when people got that close to my heart.  the reason is that erin is almost translucent with love.  erin opens her heart to love like i have never seen.  full of vulnerable light and so full of the most real compassion i have ever seen anywhere.  the truth is that i told erin about my sadness before anyone else because i knew it was safe with her.  i knew my whole self was safe.  in other words, i was able to trust erin because she was so obviously wonderful. duh.  i think it is because of this that erin has been the only person to wholly love both sides of me, which is to say happylaughingmeaggo and sadandwretchedmeaggo.  loving the depressed side of a depressed person isn't an easy thing to do.  the tricky part of depression is that it is smart and it is resistant.  if it were some kind of virus, it would be a very resistant strain.  depression not only rejects all of the possible cures (in that it makes it unbearably hard to do the things that help, like oh i don't know exercise, or go to therapy, or gather the courage to tell the truth to the doctor).  but it isn't just in those obvious ways.  depression will do anything to survive, which is why pretending that you can beat depression into submission is a silly little dream of geese.  depression will tell you your silence it noble; depression will tell you your suffering is deserved.  depression will tell you anything to survive.
and that is why you need people like erin to love the depressed part of you.
because love is something more that compassion and something made of truth and a no nonsense policy and way to know what i am and who i am but know my demons as well.  to know their tricks and have the strength to call me out when i am being foolish.  only one other person has really known my demons, and he spooked off.  but erin knows them well.  and more than that, she treats them with respect.  like even though i have this darkness, my darkness is made of something and there is love in there somewhere.  erin challenges my sadness to become light, and it is super effective (like a pokemon move).  more than this, it takes phenomenal strength to love someone's depressive self.  it takes a true heart with the most sincere and genuine vulnerability.  the strength is in the willingness and ability to be soft and let someone else's darkness flow through you.
that is a wonderful thing.

i love erin.
erin is my samwise gamgee.  she just is.  she is the real hero of my story.  there have been at least three times in my life where erin's heart and words have kept life in my veins.  anyone who is depressed will tell you that this is not an easy thing to do. but erin is my samwise gamgee.
i love her.
you should too.
she is a hero, and here is her purple heart.

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