Hi John, Senator Tina Smith from the great state of Minnesota here.
I know you’re a supporter of John Fetterman, and because of what he’s going through, I want to tell you my story.
In the short time I’ve worked with John, I’ve been struck by his resilience and heart. John is doing exactly what he should do, which is seek help.
Seeking help when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness, something that John is demonstrating for all of us.
For people who have experienced depression, seeing someone else suffering can take you back to your own experience. If you are seeing the news about John, it may bring up old feelings for you. It did for me.
I can’t speak to John’s personal experience, and I’m not comparing my own struggles with depression to what he’s going through, because everyone is different. But I’ve learned that there’s a lot of good that comes from people like John and me speaking openly about our mental health challenges.
I first experienced depression in my late teens, and then again in my thirties when I was a young mom. For me, depression drained hope away, and the promise that I’d ever feel hopeful again. I couldn’t feel joy or love or contentment, and I couldn’t see a way I’d ever feel that way again.
So, I want to say that, if you or someone you know is feeling this way, there’s help, and you can feel better. You can reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 988.
It takes courage to ask for help, but you can do it.
My experience taught me how important getting help can be. And I also remember the experience of slowly emerging from depression: a little more energy every day. A little more capacity to pay attention to the people and things I love. The colors of the world came back.
I’m thinking of John and his family and wishing him the best. He has a terrific team around him in D.C. and back home in Pennsylvania. And while I can’t wait to see him back in the Senate, working on issues he cares so deeply about, I know he is doing the right thing—taking care of himself.
U.S. Senator, Minnesota