Isolating when depression hits is a tool that many of us use for all sorts of different reasons. I isolate not only because when I’m depressed I sometimes find it exhausting to be around others, but also because I don’t want my dark cloud looming over everyone else.
It can be very difficult to be supportive when a loved one is depressed, but it is also very difficult to be supportive to others when you are going through your own depression.
The other day I received a text message from a dear friend of mine who was very hurt that I had let her down again. We haven’t spoken in awhile and when I tend to go through depression I isolate. I don’t like to bring others into my pit of sludge for fear of bringing them down as well. This particular friend, who is amazing, has repeatedly told me that she wants to be there for me when I’m down, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend, but her text message highlighted all of the ways I was failing her while trying to shield her from my less than rosy moods.
Sometimes depression is selfish, and at that very moment I felt horrible, which was not her intention at all, but this is how my self-talk can run on a loop. I told myself that I’m an awful friend, that I needed to suck up my sadness in order to be there for her and that by failing to do so I was undeserving of her friendship. All of those things were untruths but at that time it set me off, and I believed what I had told myself.