Since I became ill and found myself subsequently battling with depression it’s been really hard for me to connect with people. I think that’s partly why I began writing this blog because I have very few outlets for my emotions. One of those outlets was social media and in particular Instagram.
Instagram allows just picture posts and doesn’t involve saying too much so it made it easier for me to express my thoughts without going into any great detail. I suppose it was an easy way to reach out to strangers who might be dealing with the same emotions as me without actually having to directly contact someone. I’d just post a picture or a quote that portrayed how I was feeling that day and I’d see if anyone would leave a comment. Likewise, I could search through hundreds of pictures other people had posted and find that one post that really connected with me and I’d comment on that.
This was how I met, well, let’s call him Mr X.
Mr X is also battling with mental health problems and negative emotions. His words just seemed so real to me and when I read them I could feel that same emotion he was trying to portray. Something just clicked and I thought YES! this is exactly how I feel sometimes. A few comments later and we were brave enough to start messaging one another and entering into a conversation. It felt really easy to tell him things that I’d wanted to tell other people but couldn’t. Why is that?
Maybe him being kind of anonymous makes things a bit easier because I don’t have to face him in real life and own up to the things I’ve said. I don’t need to worry about him judging me because he feels the same way and even if he did, it wouldn’t really matter what he thought because initially we weren’t really friends. I could tell him anything and there seemed to be no real consequences. No feeling of guilt for having piled my worries onto someone else. I was free to chat when I wanted and there was no pressure to respond for either of us until we felt ready.
It really helps to have that someone there who you can reach out to whenever you feel the need. Even just typing out the words is therapeutic in itself. A sort of release. It makes me feel less alone when there’s someone else there that struggles with the same negative feelings as I do. As our friendship developed we were able to discuss what was going on in our lives and it was an opportunity to get some advice from someone who could look at situations from a neutral perspective and with some understanding of how I was feeling. For me, it’s been really difficult to find that same connection with real life friends.
When I think about it, I could have pretended to be anyone when I messaged Mr X. I could have made up a whole different life story. But I didn’t. I chose to tell the truth about how I was feeling and I’m so glad I did. It’s nice to know that someone out there can look past the label of depression and can listen to all the negativity I speak about and still want to hear more. Our journey through mental illness has brought our paths together, maybe just for a short while or perhaps we will remain friends, but whatever the outcome i’m glad we got to share a part of our journey.
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