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True Friends Are Like Gold Dust in Depression Recovery

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It took me so much strength to admit I needed people to help me. Weeks of counseling and support through long hard days of depression and pain and feeling like I wasn’t worthy of friendship and a place in the world. But I summoned all my courage and sent the message: “I am dreading the week ahead, is anyone around to meet up?”

 I know it doesn’t look like the biggest request in the world, but when you live with a debilitating illness and depression, and can’t get out into the world like you used to, it is a cry of deep need. In those few words, I was admitting my struggle and desperation. I was telling my friends I couldn’t do it alone anymore and I needed them to step in, like they had offered many times before. 

That’s when I realized not all friends are there through thick and thin. Not everyone means it when they say you just have to ask and many don’t really understand how hard life can be. Some people can’t deal with the reality of illness and depression and others don’t want to enter into the reality for those of us who aren’t what we used to be.

But on the other hand, when I needed them the most is when I discovered who my real friends are. The ones who had to work but sent messages saying hi every few hours, those who sent a joke or funny picture knowing it would make me smile. The friends who put a date in my diary at the first opportunity they had and the ones who congratulated me on being brave and asking for help. These friends are like gold dust, they shimmer through the darkness and brighten the days of pain.

These are the friends who remain on the list of people I can ask — the ones who this week especially, I am so thankful for.

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Thinkstock photo via VOLHA RAMANCHUK.

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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