Depression isn’t an idiot thug named Chuck. It’s a sly sociopath named Legion. It has wiles that are cunning enough to destroy the sharpest of victims, and if you fall for its lies, you might not escape with your life.
It’ll tell you you’re defective, useless and insane. When you isolate yourself in response to those accusations, it’ll convince you that your loneliness proves that you’re unworthy of love. Just look at how everyone’s abandoned you. Do you think that happened because you pushed them away? Of course not.
Depression doesn’t care that you created your isolation out of cancelled plans, untold struggles, and ignored phone calls. It wants you to think you’re alone in the world, and it uses shame to achieve it. And so you will keep your thoughts about suicide and self-hatred to yourself. You’ll hide the very secrets that could save you if only you’d share them–secrets like how much you want to die; how you’re too exhausted to breathe; how your self-hatred makes you want to destroy yourself and anyone who tries to love you. Depression wants you to think you’re the only person who’s ever had those thoughts, but that’s yet another lie.
Depression knows that shame only grows in the dark, so it tells you nobody has ever had the noxious thoughts you’ve just exhaled into the air around you. Those feelings wouldn’t exist if not for depression, but it will blame them on you, anyway. Shame will birth shame will birth tolerable loneliness will birth an intolerable desire to die.
Depression wants you to know that your complete disinterest in life is your fault because it’s not a disease. It’s a personal flaw. It’ll annihilate your strength and then require you to survive the inexorable draw towards suicide. It’ll steal your job one sick day at a time, then demand that you survive the fallout. It’ll destroy everything that keeps your life functional and then point to the wreckage as though you caused it.
And you didn’t. The disease did that.
You deserve to tell the truth about your life and to be heard, no matter how much shame you’ve accumulated. Somewhere on the outskirts of your life, there’s someone who has felt everything you’re feeling right now because depression uses the same damned tricks on everyone. You are worthy of love; of help; of tolerance; of a life that isn’t weighed down by depression’s sickening apathy. Pick up the phone. Build a medical team. Open yourself up to the acceptance that’s been available to you all along. Depression can be beaten, but only if you don’t try it alone.