I have a confession. I believe my friend suffers from depression but I have just been watching over and watching by this friend. I don’t really know what to do.
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To be misunderstood is one of the most frustrating dilemnas you can face. It happens all the time, but it’s never one person’s fault. To be misunderstood is partly the fault of the misunderstood and also that of the misunderstander. Yes, I just made up that word for blog’s sake. Both parties are at fault, but not equally.
I’m not talking about cultural or social faux pas or selfishness or losses in translation. I mean, misunderstanding between friends.
I have a friend who has been hiding a lot of secrets for a very long time, and they are not pleasant ones to reveal in the first place, and so this friend chooses to hide most everything about daily life. From just about everyone this friend remains distant for long periods of time because it’s just easier that way, less questions. This friend also fights a disease that seems impossible to beat. So sometimes when this friend does or says something that could easily be misunderstood by one or more people in our circle of friends, I wish more would take a pause to just imagine that it’s not all about them. Perhaps this friend has a lot of secrets behind a number of different closed doors. With so many doors needing to be opened, this friend retreats and gets lonely and then reckless.
Depression is a twenty-four hour battle for nobody, but the misunderstood. Whether friend or family, depression does not discriminate on whom to fall upon. American or Korean or Belgian, or her or him, depression is an invisible but potent disease that poisons life.
I write about this today, not to be a Monday downer but because I just learned of a hurtful and public confrontation between two friends over the weekend. And I know that both friends love each other, and both have issues to work through like we all do. But one of the friends is this friend I spoke of, above. This friend behaves in most every way listed on pamphlets “describing” depression.
When I was younger, I did not know enough. As an adult, having the world wide web of information combined with life experiences as a friend or lover or daughter to those suffering from depression, I know more now. But nobody knows everything. And not everyone recognizes when people close are suffering from depression. Denial or far-sightedness or whatever the reason some people never see it.
But it’s just always a case of unanswered questions and far too long silences and ultimately, some hurtful and public confrontations here and there. And the cycle of vicious emotions in the circle of friends or family spins on.
How often does someone just stick their foot out and stop the cycle from spinning? Not often enough. And battling depression requires many different feet at one time, and feet do get tired. I wish there was a button you could press to just start over. Until then, it’s a daily battle for some.
But just taking that pause and considering the person in front of you may be going through something you don’t know about, can and does stop a lot of unnecessary hurt.