how to connect with depressed friends

I LOVE this TEDx talk about connecting with finds who are depressed. I’ve found so many times that depression is all the more isolating, because friends and family don’t understand what depression really is like to live with or know how to be there for those they care about when they are depressed.

The best times I’ve shared with others while I was depressed were the little moments of quiet companionship and maybe a dark joke. Like Bill says in the video, you can be sad and still be ok. It’s disheartening when you feel like you have to put on a mask in order to be accepted and loved. The thing that is the most comforting when you are depressed is knowing that you are still loved, appreciated, and valued exactly as you are at that moment.

Our culture is obsessed with fake happiness, and the truth is that life is messy and hard and sad, and so many other different emotions that we hide, and don’t allow ourselves to experience because we are afraid of not conforming to what society tells us are acceptable emotions to feel and display. The amazing thing about feeling down is that you appreciate feeling good so much more. The lower you go, the higher you can go.  Once I started to honor the darkness, and the light, I realized how integral and beautiful they each are to our growth.

I heard a quote the other day that was talking about how we could never see the beauty of the night sky and the stars unless the moon was dark, because if the moon was always full we would only know the light. I finally realized after watching this video that the gold in the pain of depression for me, is that it causes me to slow down and practice gratitude for all the small, beautiful things that life is full of. Depression has helped me to become more compassionate towards others. It has also taught me how beautiful the impermanence of life is. Death and life are the same. Without one the other wouldn’t be possible.

‘Nothing is Separate: A Collaboration with Nature’ by Ellen Rutt

“I’m acknowledging my own contradictions and our collective moral flexibility – how we are simultaneously celebrating the sacredness of the natural world, while also engaging in practices that knowingly or unknowingly contribute to its destruction. We are balanced on a continuum between understanding the infinite nature of existence and participating in the mundane routine of daily life.”

Ellen Rutt