My depressed mind would always tell me things like you aren’t good enough, no one cares about you and wouldn’t care if you were no longer around, no one really knows you and if they did they wouldn’t like you. Struggling to be liked, to build friendships and to maintain friendships throughout my life only made these lies feel more true.
I always longed for the Hollywood depicted close-knit clique of friends with the quintessential us against the world mentality, sharing secrets and doing life together. This was not my reality though. My cousins were my friends and then I had moved away. Outside of family it was always hard for me to maintain friendships because I had a strict mother and a non-voluntary after school and weekend babysitting mandate. To top it off I was also a pro at making social mistakes that would constantly cause me to lose friendships that I had worked so hard to maintain. This caused me to be on guard socially about my every action and word, which didn’t make socializing any easier.
How the Wrong Friends Can Negatively Impact Depression
By the time I was transitioning to college I had seen many friends come and go, and of the few I had maintained only one was going to college with me. My past experiences caused me to begin to overcompensate to prove that I was a good friend and strive to seem fun and likeable in social situations. That mentality caused me to pick up bad habits like over drinking, socially dating to feel less lonely and going out often.
How Quality Friends Can Positively Impact Depression
What I didn’t realize is that overcompensating left me drained, feed into my depression’s lies, and left me feeling shattered, undervalued and unworthy. When my depression reached an all-time low, this was when I began to understand that friendship was about quality not quantity and quality is what showed me that I was loved and that I was valued. Once I begun to be transparent about what I was going through it allowed me to see who my true friends were and get the support that I really needed. And with time it became less about putting on a smile and a fun attitude to be liked, but about enjoying simple quality time with a friend and being able to be my vulnerable, genuine self.Surround yourself with friends you can be your vulnerable, genuine self with. Click To Tweet
How are Your Friends Impacting Your Depression?
Are you feeling undervalued because you are overcompensating to maintain the wrong friendships? Or maybe you have amazing friends, but are too afraid to share about the mental lies you are dealing with? If so I challenge you to make a list of who your friends are, and determine who you can truly be you with and who you can’t. Challenge yourself to get uncomfortable by creating distance between you and those you can’t be yourself with and opening up to those you can. Here is an amazing bible verse that a reader shared with me of:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV
Cherish this as a reminder that we may be weak alone, but we can be strong together.We may be weak alone, but we can be strong together. Click To Tweet