I am constantly surprised at how depression affects memory. On a good day, I’ll make a list of things that help me feel better during a downward spiral. On the next day, in a downward spiral, I’ll completely forget that the list exists.
Another weird, common brain fart is simply not noticing when I’m feeling a little better. When I go without nightmares for a few days I focus instead on how my headaches are still there. When I have a day without racing thoughts I worry that I’m too worried about something else.
My friend from “That Loving Step” had to be told by his therapist that he no longer agreed with “the mean voice.” He hadn’t noticed that he’d gone from acquiescing to fighting.
The overall effect is that we’re more discouraged than we should be.
So I want to say to all you friends and allies out there: encouragement can be pure gold. Please be sensitive to the reality that a positive step doesn’t mean that your friend won’t slide back again, but every step they notice is another reason to hope.
Another reason to be encouraged.