One of the most insidious lies that depression and trauma tell us is that we are fundamentally DIFFERENT from the rest of humanity— in a bad way.
That we are dirty. Inconvenient. Annoying. Unworthy. Incompetent.
We may “know” that our depression or trauma are lying to us— but we may believe them anyway, because what they’re saying FEELS so true.
We humans have a hard time reality testing things that FEEL true.
It’s a habit cognitive therapists call “emotional reasoning”— when we assume something MUST be true because it FEELS so real.
We may have people in our lives telling us, straightforwardly, that they like us, that they want us, that we’re worthy and competent and desirable.
And still our depression or trauma will whisper, “Yeah, but…what if I’m actually terrible?”
Then, sometimes our depression or trauma will double back and accuse us of being ESPECIALLY terrible— because we’ve SOMEHOW convinced the people in our lives that we’re NOT terrible.
How TERRIBLE must we be, to have LIED and DECEIVED so many people, so convincingly?
Again: we may “know” none of this is true.
But our depression or trauma is really good at whispering in our ear, “But what if it is true?”
“What if they secretly hate you?”
“What if they’re just too polite to tell you?”
“What if no one will ever tell you the TRUTH about how TERRIBLE you are?”
That’s how depression and trauma operate.
Depression and trauma are masterful at just dropping these poison seeds into our minds, that blossom not in sunlight in the dark of our self-doubt.
Part of recovery is recognizing when we’re being fed lies by our depression and trauma— and challenging those lies in our head.
This does not come easy. We DON’T like to challenge what our nervous system says is real.
It’s MUCH easier to just roll with “Huh, this feels about right”…even if the thing that “feels about right” is a poisonous lie about your worth, likability, or competence.
The lies spun by our depression and trauma will masquerade as “intuition” and “gut feeling.” They’re REALLY good at pretending to be something that we instinctively “know” and we should just “accept.”
Part of recovery is learning to recognize the poison seeds planted by depression and trauma— and distinguishing those lies from who we really are and what we really deserve.
We are not always awesome. Life is not always awesome.
But depression and trauma will try to convince you that the fact that we, and life, sometimes suck, is not only your fault— but it is evidence that things will never get better.
Don’t buy their narrative.
Their narrative is not about truth.
It is about you feeling a certain kind of way.
Depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders— they do not care about truth. But they will SAY they do.
They’ll try to convince you they are being more “honest” with you than those people in your life who are telling you they like and love and want you.
But they are not honest.
We know this because— if you notice— they change their tactics to hit you at your most vulnerable spot in any given situation.
They don’t care about what’s real.
They care about you feeling the way they want you to feel, and doing the things they want you to do.
Remember that you are in charge of your worldview and your behavior choices.
Depression, trauma, addiction, eating disorder— they don’t get a vote.
No matter HOW much they really, really want one.