It has often been said during the peer support meetings I facilitate that you wouldn’t talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself; So after a long time it has finally dawned on me a week or so ago that this is why these groups are so helpful to those suffering with depression. The meetings literally benefit greatly from this very fact.
For instance, when listening to the stories and problems of strangers, we often find ourselves almost instinctively responding in a kind and considerate way, even though we may even recognize the same or similar situations or states present in our own lives or selves. Therefore it is very difficult to respond to others in the same way we have become accustomed to dealing with ourselves. We are not likely to turn round and shoot them down for every little mistake they may have made. We’re not likely to express our hatred for them because of their physical state, what they may have said etc. Instead those who attend my meetings always tend to be so thoughtful, understanding and up-building towards each other, therefore in consequence and amazingly, unbeknown to themselves they actually learn from this new experience of thinking positively or even lovingly towards other people and end up taking away from the meetings a much kinder, patient and more considerate attitude towards their very own selves in the process.
So helping others it seems by kindness and genuinely having a feeling of good will towards others in the same situation as you actually helps you to see the good in yourself. Helping you with your depression as it feeds off of low self esteem and a lake of kindness towards yourself.
My next article will be about the importance of feeling supported or you could say being in danger.