Depression is a liar.
That’s one of the first lessons I learned with my very first therapist. It’s still, by its very nature, the hardest to remember.
But keeping depression in check by recognizing it for the lying liar it is can sometimes be the difference between sickness and health.
The worst lie depression can tell us is that we should hide. Depression says that no one wants to hear our troubles. That no one wants to hang with us because we’re just a bummer. That people will judge us if we share how much we’re suffering. They’ll think we’re weak.
The lie that we should hide is an especially dangerous one. Because often, the one thing that can help lift us out of the fog is encouragement from a loved one. Connection with someone who understands our suffering. Validation that we will not be abandoned because of our illness.
And anyone in our lives who deserves to be there will offer this if we only can find the strength to ask.
So if you are a person like me — a person who struggles with depression — I want you to remember something: People understand. People love you. People are not going to get sick of you complaining. (And for what it’s worth, I’m guessing you don’t complain nearly as often as you think you do.)
I have a list of people — a very short list, but a list nonetheless — who I know I can count on when I am having a hard time. Usually just a text will do it: “I am having a hard time today, and I need someone to know that.”
Their voices are louder than the lying liar in my head. If I can just bring myself to reach out, I know they will reach back. And my friends know I will be that person for them.
I don’t need to hide. They don’t need to hide. You don’t need to hide.