Tag: relationships

Don’t leave me alone when I am depressed: Reaching out

pexels-photo-167964“I just want to say somethings which have been on my mind. I feel I should explain what I need from you sometimes, because I don’t think you necessarily understand. You know if I had been physically ill, you would have asked how I was doing. I was really mentally ill when we met the other day. I was feeling like crap. I was in hell for the next few days. I don’t blame you. I know I isolate myself. I know I become distant when I am depressed. But you need to realize that my depression is an illness and I can’t always control it. I went to the doctor a week ago, I am back on medication and I will be starting therapy again. I know it’s not easy to deal with someone with depression but I don’t want you to leave me alone when I am sick. That’s when I need you the most.”

You want to be left alone yet you don’t want to be left alone.

Depression has a cruel way of making sure we distance ourselves from friends and family. With your mind working against you, choking you with negative thoughts, communication is hard. You don’t feel like talking to anyone. You’re either irritated or angry or simply non responsive. You get set off by the most trivial of things. Or you simply want to go hide in the deepest darkest hole and never see anyone anymore. So it gets impossible to reach out.

We tend to isolate ourselves, and then it’s easy to think that we are forgotten by those we thought cared for us. It hurts that someone doesn’t want to deal with us when we’re like this. The feeling of being abandoned takes over.

Lately, I’ve been feeling this about a certain person in my life. I was angry and disappointed but I love them so then I thought, wait a minute, let me see what it must be like for the other person. Of course, some of them might just not care at all. But maybe they don’t understand what we are going through, or why we are acting distant. May be we need to tell them, if they care to listen, about what’s going on.

I also feel that people are not comfortable talking to someone with mental illness because they don’t know what to say. I think that this stems from not having enough knowledge, and so it’s vital that we put out as much as we can of what’s it like for us living with a mental illness. So people who do care can understand better and help us through our struggles.

My depression is telling me “no body cares”, “they are happily ignoring you”, “they aren’t really your friends”, I will not listen to it. So I texted the above message to the person, and now I wait for a reply. I don’t know how they will react. But at least I made an effort to reach out, it took a lot to do so but I knew I had to for the sake of my relationships.

 

“But alone you must drink life’s gall”

I want to share this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox called Solitude. It describes the truth about loneliness and life so perfectly. I always find it comforting to read when I feel isolated because it reminds me that most people will only be by your side when all is well and disappear when things go downhill and that I should not expect too much from people. I find that this is especially true for mental illness.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; 
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer; 
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you; 
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many; 
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded; 
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

Source: Poemhunter.com

 

The two faces of communication

“In spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.”

I can’t help but agree with this quote by Aldous Huxley, which is ironic as I commit the act of writing a blog, which is essentially a form of communication and an attempt at being understood by strangers. But I must continue.

Anyway, why I chose to write about this tonight is because since a few days I’ve been quiet, not saying much to anyone (except writing blog posts…). Wrapped in the dark clouds of depression, I became extremely angry at my life, myself and at my parents, seeing they are the only ones I can get angry at. As a result, I hadn’t been speaking to them very much except just the occasional nod of the head or the like.

I felt that this lack of communication, which is made worse by the negative thoughts, was adding fuel to the fire. It became a vicious cycle. The more I thought of all the things I wanted to say, the more I felt I would never be able to say them and moreover, they wouldn’t solve anything. So I kept quiet, and that in turn made the situation worse for all of us. But as you might have guessed by now, my mom doesn’t really leave me alone.

She was pestering me to tell her what was going on in my mind. So I gathered all the courage I had and tried to focus my wandering mind to talk to her. It isn’t easy for me to talk to people. It takes a huge amount of effort to take the words out of my mouth. It took me about three hours, but I kind of had a heart to heart with her.

I felt relieved and worried at the same time. I was relieved because I thought I had broken the barrier of no communication but I felt panicked because I knew I had revealed too much of my dark thoughts to her and I had said some things which were hurtful. And the worst part is I don’t really think she understood what I was trying to say. I am left feeling maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

That’s the thing about communication. No matter how carefully you choose your words, you can still end up not saying what you meant and worsen the situation further. On the contrary, not saying anything can feel equally frustrating. Is there a solution to the problem or was Aldous Huxley quite right when he compared human life to solitary confinement?