This spring while watching an episode of Glee I was really struck by one of their original songs. The title is “You Have More Friends Than You Know.”
On the trip home from my most recent “A Continuing Journey” workshop, this song came on from my playlist. I started to cry as I sang along and belted out the chorus. I listened to it a few more times and decided it was time I wrote a letter to my friends and family.
As many and most follow my blog, I knew this would be the perfect place to write this letter.
Dear Friends and Family,
Over the past two years I have been participating in an amazing support group and working with my own coach. I have really been working on how when I feel alone it triggers depression for me. When this depression is triggered, I pull away from all of you and I isolate. Of course, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and making myself, in fact, more alone.
I have finally grown to realize how this hurts those who I love and in fact truly love me. I am robbing you of the opportunity to be my friend, my loved one. Joanne, my coach, wrote a beautiful piece once about truly being present with someone in their journey is just being willing to sit on the ledge next to them and be present, letting them know you’re there.
Myriads of my friends and family have done this for me over the years, only for me to shun them when I truly need them in my depressions. I now realize how this hurts you all and I do sincerely apologize for that. I know it comes from a shame place for me of “this depression is so dark and ugly, how can anyone love me when I’m in it.” I truly know now this is not giving those who have chosen to surround me in friendship and love any credit, whatsoever.
Through my own journey I have learned I am never alone as I have always had me. It’s something I’ve been learning and realizing over all my years in therapy.
I had a recent extremely powerful session with Joanne where I was talking about a traumatic incident from my childhood when I was pulled under by the ocean waves in Maui at age 6. When I was revisiting this incident I remembered hearing my own voice telling me to stop panicking, relax, ride it out to the end and that it would be ok. The ocean did in fact drop me back on the beach, after pounding the hell out of me, of course. But I hadn’t been alone, I had been there for me. Also, of course when I was able to stand up, my father was on his way in to the ocean, my sister was there and my mother, too.
I don’t think it was until I truly understood how I’ve never been alone that I could allow myself to see how my isolating actions when I’m suffering from depression truly hurts those I love and who love me.
I know now I have more friends than I know!
With all my love,