The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.Verbal Kint from the movie The Usual Suspects
If that’s the devil’s greatest trick, Depression’s greatest trick is convincing everyone that no one else knows how it feels.
Depression is probably the most inclusive club in the world. Anyone can join. It doesn’ matter where you’re from, what language you speak, or anything else. If you’re human, you’re welcome to join. But somehow it still feels like you’re all alone in this world of billions of people.
Regarding joining the club… I don’t recommend it.
Feeling depressed makes you feel isolated from the people who love you, care for you, want the best for you because you think they no longer care or they can’t understand what you’re going through.
And maybe they legitimately don’t understand. That’s possible.
But there are millions of people around the world that do understand. However, Depression will tell you that they don’t understand either. That’s Depression’s greatest lie.
The only reason you’re going through it alone is that you believe the lie. You need to stop believing it and see it for the lie that it is. You need to be around other people. Sitting on the couch all day, watching NetFlix, Hulu, or YouTube will only make things worse because the longer you isolate yourself, the more you’ll feel isolated.
And you won’t see that you’re actually the one isolating yourself.
You’ll tell yourself things like “They don’t understand”, “They don’t care”, “They’re just saying that because they feel obligated.” That’s your brain pushing you away from people who are trying to support you.
Granted, maybe they probably aren’t doing a very good job. Talking to someone suffering from depression is almost impossible because their brain has convinced them that everyone lies to them. But please, give them credit for trying. If you push them away for long enough they will stop trying. Then there’s no one to talk to and beyond being lonely, now you’re alone too.
Have you ever thought about the difference between being alone and being lonely?
No, they’re not the same thing.
You can be all alone, and not feel lonely.
You can be in a crowd of people, or even surrounded by family or friends, and still feel alone.
Being alone is when you’re all by yourself, there’s no one else around.
Being lonely is when you want someone you can talk to, connect with, be your authentic self and know they won’t judge you. That’s why you can feel lonely even when surrounded by people who care for you. It’s not about how they feel about you, it’s all about how you feel about them.
Seems kinda strange, doesn’ it? Your feelings of loneliness are based on you, not them. It’s because you don’t trust them.
The missing trust could be because they’ve seriously hurt you in the past. It could be because you have been hurt by other people so you don’t trust anyone. Or it could be that your brain is lying to you and it’s causing you to push them away.
And that brings us back to the issue of isolation.
You need people that you can trust.
While I generally don’t believe in spending time in counseling with a therapist, if there’s no one else in your life you currently trust, this is the time you need to see someone. Think of them as someone you pay to be your friend. That’s how you’ll get the most out of it.
If you’re paying them, they legally can’t betray your trust. Your therapist can’t laugh at you because you’ll stop paying them. They can be as honest as you want or as dishonest as you want because you have the ability to set the rules. And this is where a bit of role-playing can be a good idea.
You tell them you want them to be a friend, then you set up a conversation scenario and they’ll act like a friend. Once you go through it, talk (honestly) about how it went and what they said that worked, and what didn’t. This will help them to be who you need them to be.
You need someone in your life who you can trust.
A therapist is legally bound to keep your secrets unless there’s an issue of potential harm to you or someone else. Please, don’t hurt yourself or anybody else. You may feel that you deserve it. That’s depression lying to you again. (Are you seeing a theme here?) You may feel that the other person deserves it. But when the dust has settled, you’ll have that on your conscience. And you don’t want another reason to be angry at yourself. Do you?
Talk to a friend. Talk to a family member. If you don’t have either of those that you feel you can trust, talk to a therapist. You need someone you can trust.
Please, talk to someone who cares about you and will be honest with you.