Hello, I'm Penny.
I'm 21. I live in England.
Talk to the parts of the person that aren’t being eaten by the depression. Make it as easy as possible to make and keep plans, if you have the emotional resources to be the initiator and to meet your friends a little more than halfway. If the person turns down a bunch of invitations in a row because (presumably) they don’t have the energy to be social, respect their autonomy by giving it a month or two and then try again. Keep the invitations simple; “Any chance we could have breakfast Saturday?” > “ARE YOU AVOIDING ME BECAUSE YOU’RE DEPRESSED OR BECAUSE YOU HATE ME I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU.” “I miss you and I want to see you” > “I’m worried about you.” A depressed person is going to have a shame spiral about how their shame is making them avoid you and how that’s giving them more shame, which is making them avoid you no matter what you do. No need for you to call attention to it. Just keep asking. “I want to see you” “Let’s do this thing.” “If you are feeling low, I understand, and I don’t want to impose on you, but I miss your face. Please come have coffee with me.” “Apology accepted. ApologIES accepted. So. Gelato and Outlander?”
P.S. A lot of people with depression and other mental illnesses have trouble making decisions or choosing from a bunch of different options. “Wanna get dinner at that pizza place on Tuesday night?” is a LOT easier to answer than “So wanna hang out sometime? What do you want to do?”
You know what? I’m about to post one of those cliché blog posts about how I know who my true friends are (not that anybody is likely to even read this). To any one I haven’t seen in a good while from work places or college or just for anybody who isn’t interested in reading this waffling crap, don’t worry, just don’t read it! For a considerable amount of time now, I haven’t been feeling very well (mentally) and have just been in an extremely weird and unpleasant kind of place. It’s something I tend to only talk to close friends about, because there’s so much stigma that circulates around the subject and I don’t like to be put in those misunderstood rubbish kind of categories… it’s made me feel drained a lot of the time, which has resulted in my developing tendency to isolate myself. I’ve just felt trapped, like I’ve literally been living within my “thinking cap”, as they would say back in primary school. Like a big thick beanie hat in a shade of dark charcoal that resembles a rain cloud that is waiting to burst at any minute.The trouble with being trapped inside your thinking cap is the feeling of trying to escape - it’s like somebody has pulled the hat over your head and you’re shouting through the wooly domain. Your friends and family are looking at you as if you’re completely mad or being silly, because all they can hear are the muffled sounds. They simply can’t understand. (to be continued)