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To the Friends Who Love Me During Isolating Episodes of Depression

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Depression is a mental illness that is often misunderstood. One thing I think always needs to be remembered is that it is an illness and people are struggling because of it. It is not fun to have depression. It is not fun to be stuck in bed for days on end. It is not fun to struggle with simple tasks like taking a shower and it is not fun feeling stuck when the world keeps moving forward.

During episodes of depression, one of the worst things is isolation. I feel so alone with my feelings and so misunderstood by every single person around me. This only leads me to isolate myself even more. My friendships often suffer because I become so distant. I can’t reach out to others about how I’m feeling because I don’t want to burden them with the darkness that I feel.

And so to the friends who stay, I say thank you.

I know that it is not easy being friends with me when I am experiencing the darkness of depression — it often takes over and makes me dark too. Thank you for seeing past the darkness and reminding me of the person I am without it. Thank you for listening to my ramblings that often don’t make any sense. Thank you for being a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for being there to pray with. Thank you for reminding me of the good that is in this world. Thank you for reminding me of my faith. Thank you for not abusing my vulnerable state. Thank you for protecting me during this time.

I am truly grateful and blessed to have friends that genuinely care. I often find it hard to believe that they really do, and on several occasions, I doubt if they really do. However, I am thankful because not every friend stays — not everyone can see past the darkness — so to have some that do stay is a blessing.

I apologize that I am not always the person you know and love. I’m sorry that sometimes I don’t even ask how you are. I’m sorry for being so consumed in my world that I forget that there are other issues going on. Thank you for your patience and for not making me feel like a burden.

Even though you may not understand the full extent of what I’m dealing with, you always try and that means more to me than you’ll ever know. I know that not every friendship lasts forever and I know that I may become “too much,” but for now, I’m just thankful for your love.

For being amazing friends, I say thank you.

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Thinkstock photo via David De Lossy

Originally published: August 24, 2017
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