People who visit me during depression

Visit from Outside

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Every once in a while I‘d have peo­ple pass by the open­ing of my well shaft. I call them my Out­side Vis­i­tors. They’d stop, lean over and decide to vis­it me. Despite some of their man­ners I am still grate­ful to have made their acquain­tance. Through meet­ing and inter­act­ing with them I learned a lot about myself and what kind of peo­ple I should allow around me when I am deal­ing with anoth­er episode of depression.

I’ve giv­en them names, let me intro­duce them to you:

  • The Fault­find­ers (Page 1)
  • The Self-Serv­ing Regur­gi­ta­tors (Page 2)
  • The Lad­der Peo­ple (Page 3)

The Faultfinders’ Visit

Place­hold­er pic­ture of The Faultfinders

Fault­find­ers are amongst the most com­mon peo­ple to stop by for a vis­it. They’d stand at the ledge of my well shaft and lean over it. Always start­ing their vis­it off by ask­ing me how I got down there. I appre­ci­at­ed their ini­tial inter­est. Shar­ing with them what’s been keep­ing me down here how­ev­er con­sis­tent­ly prompt­ed the same response: telling me what I must and mustn’t do. Point­ing out that I should­n’t be feel­ing the way I felt, i.e. Pull your­self togeth­er! Push hard­er! Don’t let it get to you! Stop com­plain­ing! You just have to get over it! Etc.

That made me feel like I had to make them under­stand my sit­u­a­tion, over and over. My attempts to explain how­ev­er were met with even more ques­tions or telling me that I was going about this the wrong way. Some felt like I was only giv­ing excus­es. From their view­point they nev­er could see my many failed attempts at try­ing to get out of here. Doing it ‘their way’ only end­ed in fail­ure for me and I had all the scratch marks on the wall to prove it. Dis­be­lief was com­mon prac­tice for the fault­find­ers because these peo­ple at the ledge of my well shaft could­n’t and some did­n’t want to change their per­spec­tive. Leav­ing me feel­ing like it was me and not the cir­cum­stances that led to the sit­u­a­tion I was in: my depres­sion.

I would often think to myself: ‘I know you mean well but this real­ly isn’t help­ing me. I don’t feel like you are lis­ten­ing to under­stand. It feels like you’re just lis­ten­ing to respond. You stay­ing way up there has me feel­ing even more pres­sure to per­form and fit back into soci­ety. Like I need to keep mask­ing as not to upset you too much. All it’s doing is mak­ing me feel even worse about myself. Like some­thing is wrong with me.’

If I dare say any­thing of the sorts the fault­find­ers would get offend­ed. Turn­ing me into the ungrate­ful one. They were just try­ing to help. My attempts at rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ignored. There even were those that said things like: You have an answer to every­thing. You’re not try­ing hard enough. You’re just doing this to get atten­tion! Quit wal­low­ing in your self-pity and take action. If you don’t want help then don’t ask for it (for­get­ting it was them that start­ed the con­ver­sa­tion in the first place. Ask­ing me about how I was and giv­ing unso­licit­ed advice).

After they had left, the ques­tions they asked and what they said would keep echo­ing up and down the well shaft. My sabo­teur act­ing as a mega­phone mak­ing sure it would fill my head with even more doubt about myself. Allow­ing her access to more doors with mem­o­ries I want­ed to stay closed. It lit­er­al­ly felt like these fault­find­ing ‘Gawk­ers of per­son­al mis­ery’ inspired my sabo­teur with even more awful things to say. All I wished for was that they’d make the effort to come and see me down here. To believe my ver­sion instead of what they imag­ined my expe­ri­ence to be. One of the nas­ti­er habits of fault­find­ers is that they also like to gos­sip to oth­er peo­ple about how you are doing. Lead­ing to more peo­ple com­ing up to my well shaft and start­ing the vicious cycle over again and again.

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