To a Friend: Your Pride Is Killing You

by Bill Brenner on November 8, 2012

A longtime friend is letting a bout of depression hold him back. He needs a helping hand but won’t ask for it because he’s too proud. This post is for him and anyone else living under the delusion that not getting help is a sign of strength.

Mood music:

[spotify:track:2FEfAIvMfp24ZBRVCZIiBZ]

I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there many times myself. I’ve had bouts of depression that made me lose interest in everything except my addictions. In fact, in those moments the fix of a food binge, the bottle or the prescription pain pills I used to get for a bad back was all I was really interested in.

The biggest things in life — my family, friends and work — remained important to be sure, but giving my full devotion to them was just too much work. I wanted to dull the pain and then hide under a rock. I usually settled for the couch in front of the TV. I lost interest in my own¬†hygiene, forgetting to shower for days at a time, especially in my early 20s. You were around back then and remember how my part of the house stunk to high heaven. Gross Bastard, you called me. And the label fit.

I let it kill relationships. I thought I could cure it by putting all my self worth into work, but that made me sicker and my workmanship eventually suffered.

The difference between you and me is that I didn’t quite grasp that I had depression, OCD and anxiety. I felt it all, but I didn’t see them as legitimate medical conditions. You’ve known about your condition for years but won’t do anything about it.

Why?

Because of pride.

You have this notion that getting help is a weakness and you’re too good for that. Not just help from friends. Help from doctors.

I get it. In your state of depression, motivation and interest go in the toilet. It hurts to think about getting out of your chair and retrieving them.

I just wish you could understand what I’ve learned: that you can regain control of your life and that it’s OK to accept help. You’re not taking from someone when they want to give you a hand up, you’re actually giving. When someone is able to help another person, they feel higher and happier themselves. And down the road, when they are in need, you have the chance to pay it back.

Everyone smacks into times of need. Everyone.

Of course, none of that will happen unless you get your ass off the chair and turn off your video games.

There is nothing brave, romantic or glamorous about being trapped in your miserable head. Cut the pride bullshit and do something.

I’m always here to help.

Your friend,

Bill

Chained Skeleton

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

LP Odie November 15, 2012 at 6:34 am

That nasty little thing called pride. I learned a long time ago how to swallow it. I think that’s the deal — we’re so chocked full of pride that we don’t know when it hurting us. I think that comes from being safely tucked into our own little worlds. All you can do brotha is be a good friend. Just think about all the returning Veterans suffering from depression.

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