The One Reason I'm Thankful for My Friends as Someone With Depression

I’m thankful for my friends.

I know everyone says they’re thankful for their friends, but this year it has special meaning for me.

As I slipped into a depressive episode a couple of years ago, I became a terrible friend. Depression told me that my friends thought I was less than them, that they only kept me around because they pitied me, that I was only good for a headcount at a party, that they didn’t truly care about me. Nobody said or did anything truly offensive toward me, but I became so angry with everyone because of the lies my own mind was telling me. I cut off people who had the best intentions for me. I stopped attending social gatherings because I was so convinced that nobody would notice or care. I made it so that I was truly alone in my depression.

This past year I’ve started coming back to life. To my amazement, my friends were there waiting for me. They asked no questions but accepted me back into the fold as though I’d never been absent, as though my words and actions didn’t hurt. Their acceptance made it possible for me to open up about my depression. They may not fully understand what I was going through, but now they’re aware of my reasons for slipping away. They’ve expressed more caring and compassion than I imagined, and probably more than I deserve.

To anyone in a dark place right now, please try to remember that there are people out there who love you unconditionally and who will be there waiting for you.

To anyone who knows someone or suspects that someone is in the throes of depression, be patient. Try to reach out, but remember that depression tells some pretty awful lies; in spite of your best efforts, the person in question may not believe you care. You can prove you care by waiting as their darkness subsides.

To my friends, thank you for waiting.

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