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Re: Why do I always say the wrong things? Penny

Posted by fallsfall on August 24, 2003, at 9:09:41

In reply to Re: Why do I always say the wrong things? fallsfall, posted by Penny on August 24, 2003, at 1:10:28

Penny,

I hear two themes in your post: You need some local friends to do things with, and you need some people to share your depression with.

Local friends:

It sounds like you had friends before you moved, but now they are far away (so they are unlikely to go get an ice cream cone with you). Some of those friends you will want to keep, but many will need to fade away - just because it isn't practical to keep things up.

In particular, I have had work friends in the past who were VERY close, but when one of us changed jobs (even though we still lived in the same place) contact virtually stopped. I still will exchange an email once in a while with a few old work friends, but our relationship was based on day to day detailed contact. When that went away we really didn't have much to say to each other. I still cherish them as friends, and if I needed something I know that they would come through, but our worlds are different now - it just isn't the same.

Similarly, you may have other friends from Charlotte who you will lose contact with because it isn't practical to keep in touch. You may have a small collection that you can send email to and will see periodically. But these friends aren't going to fill the same need for you where you are as they did in Charlotte.

So I guess that letting go of many of these friends is inevitable with moving. The trick is to make new friends where you are. You fall into the same trap as I do where you have had a lot of work friends, so if your new job doesn't have appropriate people you have to look elsewhere. I think that making friends is really hard. I have found the best way for me is to get involved in an activity that I enjoy (for me, it is ice skating). That way you can meet people with similar interests. Go to lectures or concerts, take a class in stained glass or cake decorating (I did that one!), join a sports team, join a political campaign, go to the local park and talk to people who are walking their dogs. There are lots of choices (the hard part is getting the initiative up to do them!).

Talking about Depression:

I,like you, need to talk about my depression (why do you think I'm here?). I joined a Depression Support group that meets at the local hospital. Every week 8 - 10 of us get together and tell our triumphs and failures. It gives me a chance to share what's going on with me so I don't feel so alone. It lets me hear of other people's issues so I know that I'm not the only one with problems. I have the opportuntity to share some of the things I've learned in hopes of easing someone else's pain (like Babble does). It makes sure I get out of the house every Monday night. People do meet friends at this meeting. I have brought 2 of my friends from elsewhere into this meeting (and I'm working on a 3rd).

You can find meetings like this by looking on the internet, newspapers, ask your therapist, call a large therapy practice, call the psychiatric hospital. If there isn't one nearby, you could start one - you need to get a room (call the hospital?), publicity (newspaper and fliers in therapists offices), find a moderator (probably you - makes sure someone is there every week, explains guidelines for new members (confidentiality, I-statements, no interrupting etc.), makes sure meeting moves forward - it isn't as hard as it sounds). I can help you know what to do.

I think that if you had a support group that it would be easier for you to reduce the depression emphasis with your roommate. I'm not saying that you talk about it too much, but it sounds like you talk about it more than she wants.

This stuff is really, really hard. Making friends is hard for people who Don't have depression. Getting out of the house and actually talking to people is really hard for me. I can suggest it a lot better than I can do it!

I see a caring, aware, sensitive person in your posts. Anyone would be lucky to be your friend.

 

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