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Killing Friendship

Friends.  Everyone needs them.  Lots of people find them absolutely necessary for their survival.  A person  has fun with friends, is able to confide in trusted ones, and willingly help if a friend is in need.

Depression kills friendship.

As many of you know, my husband has been struggling with depression for all of the 40 plus years we’ve been married.  Recently the depression has really reared its ugly head, so much so that there are noticeable change in my husband’s gait (medication), to his ability to remember (depression and medication) and to his willingness to reach out to others (depression) .  Each day is a struggle.

For him, the depression will lift when he is around people, so he goes to the coffee shop when he is doing somewhat well where he is able to be immersed in humanity.  Other times he joins friends who are going out for coffee.

Those times with friends used to happen with great regularity.  Now they happen very little and usually only if he initiates it.  Depression has done it again – killed friendships.  The fact is that most people don’t like to be around people who suffer from depression.  It is the ultimate Debbie Downer.  And because of that friendships drop off.

No one likes to be around someone who is always down, who is obviously not “all together” and who struggles sometimes to be part of the group.  I can’t blame them. There are days when I wish I didn’t have to be around someone with depression but because I love him and care about his well being, I am there for him.  Granted, there are times when I absolutely have to get away to nurture my own well being and that is important.  But overall, I look for the person not the depression.  I look for the humor that is hidden but still there.  I look for the concern for others that also is hidden but still there.  I look for the person who is NOT the depression.  And that helps me to continue to love and care for him.

Friends are important.  They can be a source of strength and love.  Don’t let depression take your friends from you and don’t be a friend who allows that to happen.

– Bernadette