I remember when at first I was going through these feelings and emotions, when I was sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, the only people on my team, were my friends and I put a lot of weight on them. Every time we hung out, I was always down and that’s no fault to me (so it’s not to put blame on yourself!) but I put a lot on my friends. Depression is an illness, it is serious. It’s because it’s an illness that it’s treatable. My friends didn’t know how to respond - they are not psychologists, they are not therapists, they are not counsellors – they are not experts in this.
Build your team to have multiple strengths. So realize, friends are friends, they are great at being social and they are a really important part to the puzzle of overcoming something like depression, but also realizing that if things are really, you know challenging, then there are other experts that really need to be on that team too. All of them have different expertise and different paths they are going to go down to support you. Maybe your team will have mentors, an adult, maybe it’s a teacher, or a community member. Having all these different people to go to with different questions freed up my friends, it let my friends just be my friends.
They really actually became champions for me, because what, what they do best is exactly what I needed. And I just allowed them to do it. So things like “Hey, come do Dragon Boat with us! Hey, let’s go to a movie, come over and play some board games.” Those were the freedoms that I needed from therapy because recovery doesn’t happen in an office.