MH@H Depression

Depression and Social Brokenness

Depression and social brokenness

I’ve been thinking lately about my inability to maintain relationships with people. Depression has caused me to shut a lot of people out of my life. Mostly I haven’t given it much thought, but it dawned on me that it has to do with a sense of brokenness.

My illness makes it hard to be around people, and it seems like things ending up getting to the point that the relationship itself is broken, and no more fixable than trying to glue broken glass back together.  And the brokenness is always my fault. Not my fault in terms of blame, guilt, or shame, but my fault in that the sense of brokenness wholly (or at least mostly) exists in my head, and may or may not have a strong basis in reality.

Probably what gets me into the most trouble is that once I feel that brokenness, it seems irreparable. It feels final. And I don’t know how to overcome that barrier. It’s not that I feel that I am broken myself; the brokenness applies only to the link between me and the other person. There’s a very detached quality to it; there really isn’t much of anything in terms of thoughts or feelings attached.

One of my oldest friends tried to stick by me the longest with this current episode of depression (although is it even an episode any more at this point?). While her efforts to reach out on a fairly regular basis struck me as kind, it didn’t change the brokenness. Did she do anything wrong? Not really; I felt invalidated by some things she said at one point, but I knew full well that was not her intention. And that wasn’t what triggered the brokenness. What really cemented it was when I went over to visit her and her kids while they were putting up their Christmas tree. I’m sure my friend thought the visit went not too bad, aside from me not saying much. In my head, though, that afternoon was inexplicably the death knell of the friendship.

It’s also a problem with my parents.  I had my reasons for initially pulling away from them when depression came into my life again a couple of years ago, but that’s not really an issue now. What persists, though, is the sense that the close connection I used to have with them is permanently broken. I’m not sure how I would even go about trying to change that thought pattern. It’s almost like key pieces are missing that makes it impossible to reassemble the relationship as it was. They love me, but I sure as hell make it hard for them to do so.

This has all come to mind as a result of an altercation I had with a friend recently. It was over something that’s not really that important, but I’m getting that done and broken feeling. It’s not a conscious choice that I’ve made; it’s just there. Yet another casualty in depression’s destructive march through my life.

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.

It’s available on Amazon and Google Play.

52 thoughts on “Depression and Social Brokenness”

  1. I’m so sorry…this is not something I am personally familiar with. I have the opposite problem-I never let any relationship go, no matter how desperately I need to. I can only think of one person I have ever cut out of my life. And I think, because it was so easy, she didn’t matter much anyway. I think both of these extremes are not the best. But I would hate it if my child felt that way towards me…I’m sure most relationships you value are absolutely capable of healing. When and if you are ever willing to do so. Love to you. ❤️

  2. I have lost a lot of connections in terms of friends, or those I thought were friends, and it’s hard. Really, sucky, crappy hard. From depression, anxiety, eating disorders and illness over the years. I do like to think though that we can either learn something from things that have happened, realise we deserve better when we’re not treated well by others, or somehow grow stronger as a result of what we’ve been through and find new connections as we go through life. I really do hope 2019 can be a little brighter for you, got to keep hope alive that things can change, even if just a little, in the right direction.xx

  3. Ahhh now I can relate to this. I used to think that if I had a squabble with someone that was it … the end of yet another friendship. This was in my mind a disaster, and made me all the more depressed. What I didn’t realise at the time, was that this attitude was my depression talking. It is completely normal to squabble from time to time, to disagree with someone, to feel hurt by someone and also to make mistakes and (for us) to hurt someone. However, what is crucial is learning that it’s NOT the end and we needn’t throw our arms up in the air and feel even more down, but working out a way to sort it out. My therapist told me that this is what my problem is. I lack “life skills” which I was never taught. She said that for example, I needed to be brave and face things and deal with them. Talking to people about how I feel, opening up to them. I find this incredibly hard … it’s a bit like if I don’t enjoy a job I tend to ditch it immediately instead of working through it and trying to find a solution. Does any of this make any sense?? Do you think it’s similar??

    1. I think that’s been the case for me some of the time, while other times there hasn’t necessarily been a precipitating issue. Definitely lots of room for exploration, though.

    2. I totally relate. It is easy to think one blow up and it’s over, and I lost a best friend that way. I should have brought it up but she should have too! It’s ridiculous the guilt in it when we should be honest because we so badly need people

      1. Yes … and then too much time passes and it’s suddenly too difficult to bridge the gap. And besides, we’re still a bit peeved anyway. Arghhh life has it’s tricky moments!

  4. I understand you. The feeling of being fragmented, unable to connect, unfamiliar and driftless. Yes, I do get this. Love and support. 💜💚

  5. Dont allow depression to do this. With you being semi-aware perhaps we can find away to prevent or undo it finality. Perhaps write out the truth verses what depression tells you. Are you attaching any unresolved feelings towards the situations? Are you holding onto resentment? I completely understand this feeling though because I feel it too. I feel like I am a bad friend but when I think about it y friends don’t go out of their way to maintain our friendship and that gives me more of an excuse to not mend what I see as broken. I even feel bad that I haven’t really talked with you other than comments because I enjoy talking to you I’ve just not been able to maintain contact on a regular basis with anyone.

    1. I think it’s something that’s persisted because it’s a very detached thing, without any real thoughts or emotions associated. It doesn’t seem to be about passing judgment on myself or others. It just sort of is.

  6. I find that when depression pulls a black veil over our heads, we tend to withdraw from the things we truly love to do and/or the people we use to hang out with.
    I’ve been reading all morning, and I have found so many of us that have fallen under this veil. Maybe if we worked together and utilize advice that is given to us, we can overcome the darkness of our depression. Hopefully, 2019 will be a year of the change we all need so desperately.

  7. I know that feeling. Very intimately. And. With therapy (a lot of it) I’m slowly learning to overcome feeling broken. I still can’t/won’t ‘do’ relationships (even friendships) very well, but that’s okay. Part of the process, in my opinion, is learning to accept how we are and stop trying to be what we are not. Society tells us that we ‘must’ be connected, that we ‘must’ have contact with other people, that we ‘must’ strive to be social, when some of us (me and perhaps you too) are just not geared that way. I’m not saying that being in my particular state of being (isolating) is the best way either – I’ve found that I’m losing the ability to communicate or interact the more that I stay by myself alone – but there must be a middle ground somewhere. I hope you’re talking to a professional about your depression. That you make it a priority. I was reminded yesterday by my own therapist that now is the season for my S.A.D. to exacerbate my usual depression, which is a chronic and apparently permanent state of being. Be kind to yourself. You’re the one who matters most, not others in your struggle to be comfortable. Just my two cents.

    1. It’s interesting, I’ve always been an introvert and particularly as I’ve gotten older I’ve embraced that. And while I sometimes feel broken myself because of my illness, the sense of brokenness in relationships has always been about the link to the other person rather than about me being broken. As for the depression I am getting treatment, but unfortunately at this stage of the game my illness doesn’t fully respond to treatment any more.

  8. Sometimes my depression is so deep that I feel like I’m standing in cement shoes underwater, just drowning. I relate so much to this post. I hope yours lifts, and you are able to enjoy things soon. My heart is with you!

  9. This post relates to me because I feel those things, especially in relation to my parents but just people in general.

    I am so isolated so how do I even begin in brokenness to move forward?

  10. Dear Ashley, would a virtual hopefully healing hug even help at this point?

    I am going through some stuff like this with trying to build a relationship but just feeling it’s doomed from the beginning and I hate that feeling, and then with my parent too it’s just meh. Trying so hard to feel and have a relationship with them but some strange thing is holding me back and I feel like I can only manage appearances.

    We are all or many us, dealing with something and I can only empathise darling

  11. I’m here for you and can relate to your words. With having anxiety I also feel that I isolate myself and push people away when it isn’t my intention. I have some good friends and I’m happy that they are in my life. I lost some people because I don’t have the effort anymore to be surrounded by people who won’t get me. Sending you lots of love ❤️

  12. I too struggle a lot with brokenness in relationships…….i know how hard and devastating it is and i can very well relate to u . I have also felt that i am unknowingly pushing people out of my life .Even the people sincerely want to stay have a tough time doing it….my first and the only one( till now )blog write up was also the result of such a brokenness..

  13. Worst part is nobody can understand what is happening ….even i am clueless and often ask the question “why?,why this is happening..?Only i seems to be suffering,why no one understands etc

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