When I’m in a depressive slump, I tend to shut myself off from people. My psychiatrist told me that I should follow through with plans, regardless of how I feel on that day. He said that it would help me feel better.
He understood that it takes more energy for a depressive person to do this, but he stressed the point that isolating myself and lying prone in bed is not helpful, and only serves to reinforce my loneliness.
Last weekend, I went for after-shift drinks with my friends from work. I tried flaking out, but I decided to join at the last minute (literally the last minute: I was shutting down my PC to head home).
It might be an overstatement to say that we had drinks: we mostly just ate a lot of food (like, a lot) with 2 bottles of beer each. As my nights out tend to go, it was pretty tame.
The good old days of my hard drinking are behind me. We spent a few hours chilling and bonding over experiences, both shared and varied.
Those few hours of meaningful human interaction with some wonderful people were a much-needed reminder to me that I am not alone. That regardless of our different situations in life, we are all humans, friends who empathize with each other.
In that moment, I fully understood what my psychiatrist meant about following through with plans. Silently, I thanked him for this push.