The Isolation of Depression
You are not alone
I felt alone during the years I lived with bipolar depression. There is nothing easy about the reality of living with mental illness but from my perspective the most difficult thing to deal with and move past is the isolation.
No one seems to understand you. Even you don’t. You aren’t sure what is wrong – just that something doesn’t feel right. You can’t quite find the words to express it and may lack people who are willing to truly listen.
This leads to so many people struggling silently. The fear of being judged and the current stigma around mental illness doesn’t encourage people to speak up and get help. Our sense of isolation grows in the silence.
The greatest relief for me came when I found myself on a counselor’s couch. She was patient, non-judgmental, she knew when to speak and when to listen, she didn’t try to fix me, she didn’t label me. She just held space for all the upset, confusion and fear I had been living with to come out and be released.
I had struggled silently for months before this tipping point came; trying to figure things out on my own, afraid to speak up, not sure of what to say…
I looked for comfort, hope and clues all around me but came up short. I was unequipped to deal with it and things got very bad, very quickly. I felt utterly alone.
When I first started to write my book, The Other Side of Bipolar, someone gave me the wise advice of starting with a letter to myself at the height of my illness.
‘With everything you have been through and what you know now – what would you say to that 14-year-old girl to help her through it?’
Here is the letter that came out… I hope it brings any of you who are struggling relief, hope and most importantly the awareness that you aren’t in this alone.
You’re not alone.
I know it seems like the end; like it isn’t worth it to keep going. As if there is nothing on the other side of this pain, embarrassment, shame, anger and confusion you feel. That you can’t possibly survive it. That there is no hope for coming back, for changing or being like the happy people you see around you. The sadness is suffocating. The confusion can spin your head. You may feel like you are losing grip on reality. That you are going crazy. That there is something really wrong with you.
Try as you may, you cannot shut out the pain. It is hard to see past it. It seems that it will never get better—that there is no hope.
You may think the world will be better off without you. You may think that you are so insignificant that your absence will not be missed, that life will go on and no one will even remember you.
But what if you are important beyond measure?
What if your absence will rob the world of what only you can offer it?
What if the bullies, the judgmental people, the hate and sadness in this world aren’t more real or true than your kindness, gentleness and hope?
I am here to let you know there is a possibility for your life far beyond what you can see right now. There is freedom from this pain.
Today is World Health Day and Depression is the chosen focus. More than 300 million people are dealing with Depression on a daily basis in the U.S. You truly aren’t alone in this struggle and with any luck more information, awareness, tools and possibilities will be created for you to move past it. Just as I have.
I’m holding a FREE online workshop on How to Quiet the Mind next Wednesday.
We’ll explore little known perspective shits and the most effective tools I have found on my 20-year journey to move past my bipolar depression and create a life that I love. Please join me for an in-depth, content-rich conversation by registering here: https://quietmind.laurenpolly.com/30-days-to-a-quiet-online-workshopzzwx0a5h