In an interview with Variety, Jared Padalecki spoke about his experience with depression. He talks about being confused with his feelings because while everything on the outside was going right – he was a successful actor starring in a popular TV show with lots of friends and a great support system – he felt different on the inside. After losing a couple of friends to depression, he created a t-shirt to raise money for To Write Love on Her Arms with the message, ‘Always Keep Fighting.’
Here is an excerpt from the Variety interview explaining why he chose that message:
There’s no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you’re still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You’re here. You might not win every battle. There are going to be some really tough days. There might be several tough times in any given single day, but hopefully, this will help somebody to think, “This isn’t easy; it is a fight, but I’m going to keep fighting.”
When you say “never give up,” it makes it sound like you’re being beaten down. It puts you on the defense, as if your only option is either to give up or to get beaten up.
I don’t want somebody to wake up and say, “Don’t give up today — I hope this isn’t the day I get beaten down.” I want somebody to wake up and brush their teeth and think to themselves like, “Today’s not going to be easy. Today’s going to be a fight, but I’m going to fight.” Not like, “I hope this doesn’t beat me,” but “I’m going to continue to beat this today and every time it gets tough.” And if you’re struggling with addiction and whatever your addiction is, drugs, or booze, or food — walking past a pizza with your name on it and you just know where that leads, just treat it as a fight. Instead of saying “I hope I don’t give in,” I want people to say to themselves, “I’m going to win this fight.”
Even if there are a thousand small fights, even if every other minute you’re thinking about suicide, or depression, or addiction, or if you have mental illness, I want people to hit it head on and take action. And to be proud that they’re winning their fight, period.
Game Plan: Always keep fighting. Make the decision to wake up and fight every day.