Recovering from Depression and Isolation

Anonymous asked:

Lately I’ve been really depressed and have kinda pushed all my friends away & become really isolated. I know that it’s not good to be completely alone, but now I feel trapped by the walls I’ve put up. I’ve been praying and asking God to help me to reach out to one of my friends for help. How do I let people back in again/ask for the help and support that I need?

I answered:

I am so sorry that you have gone through that. One of the most insidious aspects of depression is that it has a way of warping your thinking, so that you run from the things that you need to get better, and headlong into the things that are making if worse. I sometimes think of my depression as an animal that is trying to trick me into feeding and caring for it, while it is in my house attacking me and crapping all over the place.

So the fact that you are trying to climb out of this is not a victory to be glossed over, it is a great step. You are going to do great, you need to stay on that path. The enemy’s lies are very convincing if you don’t look at them beyond the initial emotional attack, but if they are dragged out into the light, they disintegrate. 

The lie in this case is that you have done irreparable damage to your friendships. That is a negative spiral thought. It is rooted in the self-critical haze of depression. You have to fight that voice in your head that tells you that it’s not even worth trying. You know where that thought is coming from, and it is not God or your right mind.

Reaching out to people and letting them back into your life is much simpler than that negative voice would ever let you believe. Honesty is key and taking responsibility is key. That is as simple as “Hey, I am sorry I have been acting weird. I was really depressed, but I really value your friendship and would love to (hang out, get coffee, see a movie, whatever).

It is tempting to trying to act like nothing happened and jump straight back into hanging out again, but that is not the best move. That could leave a weird tension with your friends, and it would definitely deny you the opportunity for your friends to support you. You can do this. Be deliberate, be honest, and listen for the right voice instead of the voice of your depression.

-Matt from The Bridge

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