It’s a sad fact that one of the things depression does, at least for some of us who have it, is to convince us that we’re completely alone. That we have no friends, and our families only care about us because they have to, since they’re our families. That happens to me pretty much every time the “depression demons” decide to rear their ugly heads.
The problem is that I don’t really have a social life at the best of times. For a few reasons, I don’t feel that I can invite anyone to my apartment, especially when my husband’s at home. Depression tries to tell me that no one ever invites me to their homes, but that isn’t actually true. The truth is that on occasion, someone does, but then schedules don’t work out or weather or other factors interfere. So even when I’m not depressed, I do sometimes feel lonely. I just deal with it a lot better when depression is leaving me alone.
It’s an even sadder fact that sometimes when depression kicks in, my first instinct is to isolate myself. In other words, have even less contact with other human beings than I do generally. The line of thought goes something like, “Supposedly I have friends, but no one invites me anywhere, so what’s the point of having friends? I should just cut everyone out of my life, and then I’ll be lonely and miserable but at least it’ll be my choice.”
It’s important to note that line of thought comes from the *depression*. It is incorrect thinking and incorrect perception, which I am aware of even at the time I’m thinking it, but that’s what depression does. It warps your view of reality to the worst possible scenarios, and even when you know you’re not perceiving things correctly, depression digs in its claws and tries to keep you from seeing it any other way.
The reality is that I do have a small group of friends. If I were to invite any of them over, they would likely come. If I gave any of them an indication that I’d like to see them for coffee, or that I’d be happy with an invitation to their homes, we would likely get together. If I isolate myself, of course those things aren’t going to happen.
If I isolate myself, depression wins, because I would be lonely and miserable more of the time. And every day when I get out of bed, I renew the decision not to let depression win.