MH@H Depression

The Cave My Depression Built

light shining into a cave
Glavo on Pixabay

I live in a figurative cave that is of my own making (although I suppose of my depression’s making would be more accurate).  I have pushed nearly everyone out of my life, and while that is occasionally lonely, it feels much easier.

My oldest friend keeps trying to remain in my life, even though I don’t allow her in.  It’s been over a year since I last saw her, and almost as long since I last responded to any of her messages.  Yet she stubbornly continues texting me every few months, trying to break into my cave.

She texted again a few days ago to ask how I’m doing.  I thought about whether I should respond or not, but then realized I wasn’t there yet.  Even if I wanted to respond, what on earth would I say?  This is someone who has a normal life and does normal things, and I just feel so far removed from that.  I feel like we live in totally different worlds – her in the real world, me in my cave.  It’s not that I don’t think she cares; I know she does.  Maybe what scares me is that I would be reminded of what I’ve lost, and what I can’t do anymore.  There’s probably more to it than that, but I feel a strong sense of revulsion at the thought of interacting with her.  And it’s not anything about her; she knows about my illness and has always been supportive and nonjudgmental.  It’s 100% about me.

I got an email from my brother yesterday.  He said this friend had contacted him to ask if he’d talked to me recently.  The idea of them talking about me was disturbing.  It’s not that they would say anything “bad” about me, but it just doesn’t sit well with me.  Part of me feels annoyed with my brother, although logically I know there’s nothing to be legitimately annoyed about.

I thought writing this post might help me figure out in my own head why I’m feeling a messy jumble of emotions about this, but I’m still feeling just as jumbled.  I hate what I’ve become, and I know that’s not fair and I don’t hate the self that’s at the core, but this has caused a bit of a stumble.  I’ve stumbled before, though, and like before I will pick myself back up and carry on.

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle, Second Edition, by Ashley L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic look at the different potential pieces that might fit into your unique depression puzzle. The revised and expanded 2nd edition is now available on Amazon.

For other books by Ashley L. Peterson, visit the Mental Health @ Home Books page.

19 thoughts on “The Cave My Depression Built”

  1. I’m literally in the same mind frame. My friends and hubby are trying their best to drag me out and hopefully my therapy session on Tuesday helps. You’re not alone, not even close.

  2. Ugh. If I didn’t have a live-in partner, I’d be a hermit. I feel like being in my thirties and adding the chronic illness to the mental illness flipped some switch and now I don’t know how to talk to anyone outside of small talk during shared activities. I keep feeling like, “What would I say? I’m still dealing with challenging situations and I sleep too much?” Then my Partner goes and says something reasonable like “You could invite a person from Improv out for drinks after, or talk to your friends about your recent trip and/or said Improv.” And, that all makes perfect sense…but I go back to only knowing how to interact surficially with colleagues and classmates and not having a true *social life.*

  3. Oh, I left “normal’ behind years ago. Your friend seems like a very kind and caring person, but maybe you need some new friends who “get” mental illness, to balance her out?

  4. If it wasn’t for LH and blogging I’d be pretty much a recluse. An old friend is coming to the UK in the summer and I’m not sure what to do. If I don’t communicate with a person regularly I find it very hard to break the bubble that’s formed around me.
    It sounds like you need more time.
    It’s very uncomfortable when you know people are discussing you.

  5. Yes, you are not alone. Add to this the fact that the ones I love I don’t want to hurt with my depression talk. I have finally started to talk about it with my few friends. The results so far is that I lost 1, who won’t look for me any longer unless I do it, then discovered 1 friend actually has some depression too, and 1 friend that is resilient enough to listen, understand and challenge me to get better. Mixed results I did not predict some months ago at all. The effort to get to this point was huge, and I feel exhausted enough to keep at these 3 people how far I have reached out for now. Back to the cave for now to lick my wounds and recover.

  6. I’m not going to try and persuade you to meet with that friend, because if you’re not ready, then you’re not ready. It might be good “shock therapy” to just go and meet with her to see what happens, but it’s not for everyone.
    It’s up to you what you do, no debate there, but just keep in mind that those people reach out to you consistently, even if you don’t respond. It means they are there for you if you need them. It means they care, ’cause otherwise, they would have stopped texting a while back. Maybe, because you have not connected in a while, she is struggling with things, too?
    Hope you get to sort out what you feel and why, soon.

  7. You are my cheerleader ….you have the power to do that from within your cave. Universe is yours n everywhere…so sit where you wanna lay down!! Hehe Hugs.

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