Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How do I manage this?

How is it that I can do this to myself? I surround myself with unhappy people. I'm a magnet for depression. Most of my best friends are badly depressed.

I know this sounds horrible, but its not. I'm not complaining about having to deal with their problems, and I'm definitely not complaining about them. The people I'm talking about right now are people I am so happy that I know and am friends with. I wouldn't be the same person without them, and I'm better for knowing them.

No, what I'm complaining about is myself. They come tell me about their depression. They tell me what's going on. And I appreciate that they trust me so much that they're letting me in.

But I feel so useless. I can hardly relate with what they go through.... sure, I can relate to some things. I'm not completely unaware of what unhappiness is. But that doesn't make me any better at helping them. I feel so completely useless, just sitting there listening, with nothing at all productive to say. I don't have the answers. And I feel like since 6 or 7 of my friends have been struggling with depression for as long as I've known them, and many of them much longer, I should have SOMETHING to tell them. I should have answers. If they're going to go out on a limb and tell me what's going on in their lives and minds (and quite honestly, what they tell me is never what a friend wants to hear, but I'm glad they tell me anyway), I should have something to tell them after they rant for half an hour. Something that actually helps, that isn't insincere and cliche....

I don't know what to tell them. I'm awful with words. I can't express to them properly how much I care about them and I can't give them that love. They don't see in themselves what I see in them, and I don't know how to get them to believe how awesome they are. How much of a difference they make in my life. If I could only impart to them how much of  a difference they are making in my life, if I could only help them realize how awesome they truly are, I feel like that little bit could be my contribution of happiness in their life, because it's something they should be happy about.

Or maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe I'm wrong. But if I felt like I was making a difference in others' lives and that someone thought I was a good person, I would feel better about myself.

The best I can do is try and sympathize with them, and that never works out, since I'm the worst when I'm feeling down. I turn to all kinds of things I shouldn't, none of which are at all productive. I run away from my problems with all the things D.A.R.E. tried to scare us away from. I go try and forget my problems instead of facing them, and that isn't an answer either. That's not the kind of advice I would want someone to give me. I know how to run away. That's not the kind of person I want to encourage them to be. But... I don't know anything else. How do I help someone when I'm no better? When I'm no closer to happiness? The only difference is that I'm content with running away and hiding from the problems.

Again, I feel like I'm being stupid. Like someone with depression will read this and just laugh at me and my ignorance. I don't even know. I just know that someday, I'm going to snap and suddenly, running away won't be enough, and then I'll be the one ranting to a friend and putting them in a spot where they just sit and grimace with the uncomfortable useless feeling.

I have a paper to write. I need to stop ranting.
Any help? Anyone besides who this post is about? (Sorry, it wouldn't make sense if you tried to help :-/ )


  1. A lot of times, people feel better just knowing that you are listening to them. Sometimes they don't really need you to tell them anything spectacularly helpful, just that you are listening and that you are there for them. Sometimes they just need to open up to someone. If you really feel like certain people need to know how much they mean to you, you could write them a letter. It probably sounds stupid, but I know that I have trouble expressing myself to others, but I could sit down and write five pages of what I am really thinking and feeling, what I probably should have said. Things become clearer for me when I write them down. :)

  2. As a person living with depression I still have no idea what to say to my friends who come to me talking about their depression. Obviously I would much rather them talk to me about it than keep it to themselves, but at the same time I feel rather useless because I don't know what to say. I just wanted to you to know that you aren't the only one who doesn't know what to say.

  3. Depressed people attract other depressed people