(According to WP this is listed as a draft and yet it has a published date. Hopefully, I’m not repeating myself but if I am maybe it’s because someone needed to hear it that hasn’t heard it before.)
I’ve been reading a number of new blogs since yesterday. I don’t do this often.
There is a reason.
Many times, it seems as though the comments are more of a rehashing of one’s symptoms and a general commiserating with each other. Very few times do I read that someone is actually working on getting better.
Depression is one of those illnesses where the line between “sharing” and “reinforcing” is so thin you can barely see it.
Let me explain.
It is very good to share our experience with others. But those “others” will almost always be someone we feel will understand because they too have, or do, suffer from depression. We don’t feel someone what hasn’t “been there” will understand. More importantly, we don’t want to share with someone who might give us advice we don’t want to hear.
But sometimes what we do is end up “rehashing” our illness over and over again. We say the same thing so often, we reinforce its power over us. We end up reinforcing our depression. And why in the world would we want to do that?
So how do you know when you’ve crossed over that almost invisible line?
I think there are two ways but they both require paying close attention to yourself.
The first way is to listen to yourself.
Is what you’re saying pretty much verbatim what you’ve said to a number of other people? If so, you’re reinforcing your depression.
Next, listen to your body. Are you feeling better or feeling worse? If you’re feeling worse, then you might be reinforcing your depression rather than relieving it.
It’s important to share with someone who will listen empathetically but will also lift you up in some way. It should also be someone that will be honest with you and if they were to offer you good advice, you would be willing to listen.
Remember that the person you are talking to the most is yourself. You hear every word you say and every time you use hopeless and helpless words to describe your depression, those words are circling right back to your own ears. You are actually reinforcing your depression.
I have friends that suffer from depression. Some I listen to with a keen awareness. If I hear the same thing over and over again that I’ve heard before, I might well change the subject knowing I’m doing them no good by letting them continue to ruminate.. With others, I listen and offer advice if appropriate.
There has been one or two times that I’ve severed a relationship because I just got tired of hearing the same thing ad infinitum with no effort on their part. This kind of relationship is very one-sided and often manipulative. And one-way relationships are no relationships at all.
Anyway, don’t reinforce your depression by talking about it too much. On the other hand, be sure to talk to one or two people that will really listen and have your best interest at heart.
God bless and I hope you have a good day.