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To the People in My Support System Who Have Become Unsupportive

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Nothing is more damaging to someone fighting depression than when their support system starts reinforcing that internal monster. Most of them can’t understand the near-constant bickering an individual with depression can experience within his or her mind. It starts the moment you wake up and doesn’t stop until you are asleep. Hearing your own voice tell you terrible things and trying not to listen is exhausting just on its own. Have you tried listening to your thoughts and not believing them?

“Why bother, Trevor.”

“You’re just going to be a burden.”

“Alone and isolated again? I guess they know what type of monster you are.”

“Don’t waste the energy. You already know they won’t respond.”

“Take the initiative? Take the initiative? Trevor, that is just them saying you aren’t worth even a thought.”

“You pushed them away. It’s your fault.”

“You should feel guilty.”

“How can you live with yourself knowing you are that terrible of a person?”

“They don’t care. Why should you?”

“You are destined to be abandoned. Loneliness is all you will ever know.”

“Just accept the fact that you aren’t lovable.”

“Everyone is there and you are here right where you belong.”

Those are just some of the daily thoughts racing through my already stubborn skull. Once you realize they aren’t true, a defense can be mounted. You start fighting back and slowly recapturing your thoughts bit by bit, but sometimes the depression wins a battle for that hour, day or even weeks. We only have so much strength. It’s these moments where you need your support system to bring in the cavalry and not just provide artillery support from afar.

But what might happen is the longer the fight goes on, the less likely your support group will be willing to get in the muck with you, and the greater the chance their artillery fire might become friendly fire.

So when members of the support group start lashing out at you and providing ammunition to the enemy, that sense of dread and hopelessness seeps back into your thoughts. You start to question if your thoughts were right all along, if these thoughts might just be true.

“Yeah, life sucks.”

“You broke it.”

“You being kind to people won’t improve my life.”

“Texts like this are BS.”

“I got too much self-respect to put up with this behavior.”

“I can’t help you.”

Additionally to these harmful statements, no longer inviting or including me, not saying hello when you walk by, ignoring me and not be willing to listen at all only adds to the problem by justifying what the depression wants me to believe. By treating my major depressive disorder as an excuse, you undermine the seriousness of the disease.

If I included you in my support system, it means I found value in you. There was something I admired about you. You were worth fighting through the exhaustion for. If I can continue the fight, I am confident you are capable, too. And on days where I can barely hold the door (Hodor!), all I’m asking is for you to lean with me, not against me.

Help me prove my depression wrong.

Follow this journey on A Saasational View.

Originally published: June 30, 2016
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