A Letter To The Friends You Alienate When You Have Depression

I wish I could find a way to reach out to you but I can’t. It isn’t because I don’t like you anymore, or because you’ve started to annoy me. It’s not because your life has been tense and I don’t want to be a part of it. It’s definitely not because I don’t miss you. I do.

You know the expression people use about “digging yourself a hole” in a situation, when you keep talking and continue to feel stupid but can’t reign in your words? Imagine that I, as a person, have dug my own hole. Mine, however, is entirely in my mind.

When I start digging that hole, it can be incredibly hard to climb back out. The thoughts in my head tell me I’m worthless. They tell me I’m not worth talking to. They tell me that talking to you is going to be an anxiety-inducing experience where I will analyze every single word you say to see if you hate me or not, even though somewhere the sane part of me knows that you do not. They tell me we haven’t talked in awhile because you don’t like me anymore. They tell me I’m ugly. They tell me, sometimes, that life doesn’t feel worth it.

When I dig myself a hole, those moments when I go completely quiet for days, weeks, and months at a time, it’s because I need help. I can’t remember how to ask for it. I know I need help, but asking would be way too troublesome to anybody that’s around me. When I dig that hole in my mind and don’t seem to be coming out, what I need more than anything is for you to toss me a rope.

Ask me if there is anything you can help with. Ask me if I need to talk. If I am unresponsive to either of those questions, find a way to force me out of where I’m hiding from the world.

Tell me were going to a Zumba class. Ask me to go out for ice cream. Ask if there’s a movie I’ve been interested in. Chances are, there is.

Ask me to come to your house to watch a movie and tell me you’re coming to pick me up. Even if you end up coming to where I am and sitting with me unable to get me to leave, that sole interaction will help me more than you can ever understand. That kind of normalcy feels like motivation for me.

Keep doing it. Often. It will get exhausting. You do have your own life. I know that — but if you’re able to help me climb out of the hole far enough to get some footing, I promise I will try harder to be a better friend in the future.

Sincerely,

Your friend who has depression. TC mark

featured image – Eric Murray

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