To My Friends: It’s Not You, It’s My Depression


I know that sometimes it can be difficult to understand. I know that to you, it doesn’t make any sense. I can see why you would assume that my reclusiveness has something to do with you… But I promise, it doesn’t.

Being depressed isn’t a choice. Nothing has to happen to cause a flare up. There is not always a reason why. So, please, just understand that it isn’t you.

When I have a flare up, I don’t want to talk…. to anyone.

I know that you may think you’ve done something wrong when you text twelve times over three days and get little, or no response. You haven’t. It’s simply that I am so consumed by my own thoughts that I cannot even fathom a conversation including someone else’s.

When I hear my phone go off, I feel nauseas because I instantly get anxiety thinking about having to explain why I don’t want to talk…because there really are no words to explain. It’s hard enough to understand what’s going on myself.

When I cancel plans, it isn’t personal.

I could have plans for weeks, and wake up that day feeling like my entire world is crashing down around me. It isn’t predictable, I have no idea it’s coming.

It’s not an excuse to cancel things or avoid you. It isn’t something I can ignore for a little while in order to follow through with our plans.

It consumes every bit of me, and I can’t hide or suppress it. I can’t mentally handle being around people, and unfortunately, that even includes people that I love.

I can’t just “cheer up”.

I understand that you want to help. I understand that you’re worried. But you can’t just “cheer me up”. It’s not that simple.

Depression isn’t like a break-up with a shitty boyfriend, where you know the cure is as simple as taking me out, buying me some vodka, and dancing me into happiness.

Depression is a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it’s essentially a solitary experience. A room in hell with only your name on the door. A room no one else can fabricate a key to enter.

I will not feel better, until I am ready to feel better, on my own. Only I can make it happen, and you have to remember that it is not your fault that you can’t fix me.

Thank you for still being there after it’s over.

I might not respond to all those messages. I might not see you for a few weeks. I might cancel plans. But I cannot put into words how much it means to have someone there once I’m ready.

To have someone who can deal with the silence, deal with the cancelled plans, and still love me as much as they did before.

Thank you for being understanding enough to stick out a friendship with someone like me.

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