Depression can kill you. Maybe not always in a literal sense, but it has a sneaky way of blowing out the fire inside your soul and letting you freeze. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to convince you that I’m a victim, or blame all of my problems on my mental health. I am simply here to help give some clarity and perspective to people who may not understand what it’s like to fight with the demon called depression. If you have a friend or loved one who has, or might have depression, anxiety or any other mental health disorder, this is for you.
Depression makes me a shitty friend sometimes, and here’s why. Sometimes I feel like no matter how badly I want to tell someone that I’m struggling, I can never actually get the words out of my mouth. I don’t want to seem like a negative person, or that I’m making excuses or seeking attention. I don’t want to be a burden. Even though I feel love from my friends and family, my disordered brain convinces me that none of it is real, and that I don’t matter. That nothing I do really matters. And when those thoughts set in, it doesn’t even occur to me that I’m powerful enough to hurt people I care about. It doesn’t occur to me that the people that I love might be missing me when I’m in isolation, or that the words that come out of my mouth have enough influence to cause damage.
It’s like there are two parts of my brain that are constantly at war with each other. The first side is the part of myself that wants to be better. I want to thrive, and constantly grow and give life everything I have. But the other side is the part of myself that convinces me that I can’t do it. That I’m not good enough, and I never will be. It’s the part of my brain that feels hopeless, and takes over more often than people realize. When this part of my brain takes over, I need every single ounce of my energy to fight back, rest, and heal. Sometimes this takes me away from people that I love, because I don’t want them to feel burdened by my constant need for healing.
Depression is a constant battle. It’s a shadow that’s constantly waiting for a moment of weakness to manifest into complete darkness. I will completely own up to sometimes being a bad friend when I’m in a dark place, and that’s on me. But I’m here to tell you that a simple text or call from a friend can make the world of difference. If you haven’t heard from a friend in a while, contact them. You never know what they may be going through in that moment, and you may have the power to make life a little easier for them.