Knowing depression and anxiety make you think and feel things that aren’t true and you can’t easily distinguish from the truth isn’t new information.
And yet, the times when you’re confronted with truth still can be jarring.
The lies don’t only occur when you’re in a noticably depressive or anxious state. The lies are pervasive. They form beliefs that are a core part of your personality.
You don’t remember to think of them as lies. When you aren’t having a bad time otherwise, you don’t think of them at all.
The lies can be anything. For me, the big ones center around feeling unloved. I operate under a general assumption that others, mostly friends and family, matter more to me than I do to them.
I assume that I love more than I’m loved.
This means when something happens that proves these feelings to be false it’s a huge surprise.
The other day, an old friend’s life partner called. The partner never calls. There has been a tragedy. My friend is okay, but my friend had requested I be told about it. Me, along with a couple of other people within that friend group.
I hate that tragedy has befallen a friend, has befallen yet another friend in a string of tragedies that are affecting people I love lately. And, perhaps, I will write sometime about watching people you love suffering, and all that it entails.
Tragedies and celebrations are the two times when people will often, wittingly or unwittingly, make it clear who is part of their true inner circle.
(Unless they’re me, since I’m always afraid of being a bother and I assume nobody really cares.)
When tragedy struck for this particular friend, I was on the short list of people who needed to be contacted.
We’ve been friends for decades, but we don’t contact each other frequently. There are times we’ll go months without much communication at all. And yet, when I’m in need, this is one of the friends that I’ll want by my side. During the times when things get bad enough for me to have to admit I need a friend, which is something I don’t allow myself often, this is one of the friends I tend to call and ask for help.
Until the other day, right after ending the phone call with their life partner, I realized it never occurred to me how much I matter to them, too. I am not just another person they know, one of many they hang out with and talk to once in a while. My friendship is valued. I matter.
Yesterday, I felt some pride in having cultivated and maintained some healthy and meaningful friendships over the course of my life. And I felt proud to have recognized one of depression’s lies.
Depression lies. I am, in fact, quite loved.
Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels