The Problem With Recovering

The problem with recovering, is nobody believes you’re actually recovering.

I’ve made fantastic progress in my mission to erase this shadow from my life. Usually I can stop myself between the negative thought and the actions that follow it, but sometimes I speak before I think and the words come through. I still know I’m wrong. I feel wrong saying it, and a voice in my head calls me stupid for having said it at all. That voice was never there before. The feeling of being wrong, of knowing I’m wrong, is new to me. That’s amazing progress.

Yet I’m the only one who sees this. The people I talk to and interact with on a daily basis can’t see my thoughts. They don’t see me fighting against the negativity that surfaces in my brain, nor can they feel the shadow in my heart slowly diminishing. All they see is the negativity slipping through. They don’t see how I’m improving. They can’t feel it the way I can.

The biggest issue comes when people judge me based off my past. Let’s say someone invited me to go out one night, and I declined because I had other things I had to do. This person will assume that I’m not in fact busy, but depressed and don’t want to say so. They base this assumption off what they know of my past. Instead of accepting that I do in fact have other things I need to do, this person will dedicate their night to figuring out what’s bothering me so they can help me. In reality, there is nothing bothering me and they’re just going to frustrate themselves trying to figure it out.

It’s like if you strained a muscle somehow, but decided to play some football/soccer with your friends anyways. You’d get hurt and worry your friends. After a couple weeks of resting and all other things that come with repairing a strained muscle, you feel great and are ready to play again. But your friends, recalling the last time, assume you’re still hurt and refuse to play with you. You know you’re better, it’s your body, but your friends don’t believe you.

It sucks.

I can tell my friends are losing their patience with me. Were I to say something like, “nobody wants me here anyways,” a statement I’d know is wrong as I said it, they wouldn’t respond with “that’s not true, we do want you here.” Instead, I will get “that’s right, we hate you, you murderous kitten-drowner.” A few months ago, the former would do nothing and the latter would make me angry. Now, the former would completely shut me up and make me smile, whereas the latter just makes me feel stupid and childish.

Sarcasm has a time and a place. Speaking to me while I’m recovering from depression is not the time or place. It makes me feel miserable, but no matter how many times I explain this to my friends, it doesn’t seem to sink in. They keeping doing it.

I guess other people could say the same to me; no matter how many times they encourage or correct me, it didn’t seem to sink in. But guess what… It’s sinking in. I know I’m loved. I know people care for me. I know I have friends. I’m not a terrible person. I can accept my mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes I am down and this knowledge feels alien to me, but I never forget it. It’s engraved in my brain now, and hearing from an external source only bolsters it.

One day at a time, I’m changing my perception of the world. Maybe it’s time you changed your perception of me, too?

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About Squishy

Writer, dancer, gamer, and admirer of all that is beautiful.

Posted on July 30, 2011, in Real Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. It’s good to hear you’re making progress. Some people might not get it yet, but I’m sure they’ll come around eventually. Just don’t let it get to you and ruin all your hard work, all right?

  2. It is only important that you are making the changes. Changes that are lastng changes are usually slow. If you are losing weight, no one can see that you have five or even ten pounds,but when the loss gets to a certain point,they will finally see. When the progress that you are making reaches a certain level, they will see it and no longer question you. Stay the course!

    Two cents worth from an unqualified observer.

    http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

    • I absolutely love that analogy. It’s so suiting, and helps me put this all into a much more comforting perspective. Thanks so much for your input!

  3. I am extremely proud of you and the progress you have made. You’ve grown a lot in the years since we first met.

    I haven’t given up on you yet, either. It’ll take a lot more than what you’ve thrown at me. 🙂

  4. I’m so glad to hear about your progress. Like the others have said, it sometimes takes time for others to recognize the change, but they will come to see it. In the meantime, invest in those relationships and keep communication open. That will help you and help them see the differences in you. You can beat this. 🙂

    • My issue is with the “relapses,” times when I’m too tired/stressed/frustrated to keep my focus on staying positive, and the negative attitude comes back full force. I’ve already lost one friend to that, just a couple days ago. Hard to keep communication open when the other person refuses to speak to you… But then again, if someone can so easily throw away years of friendship over that, I probably don’t need them after all, right?

      Thanks for the encouragement

  5. It’s great to read about your progress. It seems like you’ve already come a long way and that’s really something to be proud of!

    As for your friends, I’m sure they will eventually come to understand and recognize the changes you have gone through if you just give it a little time and keep working on your own progress. Change is hard to accomplish, and the same probably goes for your friends.

    • Hehe, thank you!

      The change I’ve gone through is subtle to the outside eye, so I can’t expect them to notice it. I do wish they could see how hard I’m working, but I think they will once I show them with results, months down the line.

  1. Pingback: It’s a New Life For Me « Delightfully Twisted

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