Long ago, before depression hit you, you were fine. Depression turned you into this immobilized, burnt-out wreck. You are beyond repair. Kaput! Ripe for the scrap yard.
If you once were a precious Ferrari, this is how you feel now:
Yes, this is a total disaster.
But is it true? Or is your depression you showing an image that is much blacker than reality? Is depression deceiving you with this feeling of final, definitive, irreversible kaput-ness? Making things much worse than they are, worse than they need to be?
Maybe you’re an immobilized Ferrari, but not a total wreck. Maybe you’re a Ferrari that does not run anymore, yes, but just because of a broken ignition wire. Or simply because you’ve run out of gas.
So maybe the real image, the one your depression keeps you from seeing, should look more like this:
Sorry for my clumsy cut-and-paste job. But I hope you get the point: maybe you should stop thinking about that scrap yard, and try to get yourself a mechanic. Or call someone to fill your tank. Who knows? Maybe with a little help, you’ll get yourself going again.
Of course we all know it can be very unpleasant when people underestimate our actual problems. We’ve all encountered them: people who’ve never been through a bad depression themselves, and who think they can cheerfully talk you out of it in no time. I’ve written about them before – I call such people “The Smilies”. Smilies can be irritating (or even depressing) when they leave you with the feeling that they don’t understand you, that they don’t take you seriously.
On the other hand, if people try to tell us that our problems are easier to repair than we think, should we always assume they’re wrong? Maybe once in a while they’re right! Maybe it is possible to get ourselves going again! Maybe we should try to follow their advice, even when from our black-tarred depression perspective it sounds like an oversimple, naive idea!
Depression often makes us refuse help, or reject a simple good suggestion to try and do something. Depression makes us think nothing can help: because we see ourselves as a wreck, we feel it’s too late for help anyway.
It’s good to remind yourself that when people tell you your situation is not completely hopeless, they may be right. When depression is blackening your view, someone else may see things clearer than you.
Now it’s up to you. Make a call. Or take a walk.
The very first little step you take, already proves that you’re not completely immobilized yet: so you’re not a wreck.