On Monday evening my dog Lilly the beagle went missing for 16 hours. She finally returned the following day, well and not one bit repentant.
During this anxious time I learnt something, there are two types of friends, those that got my feeling of distress as they had been through similar events themselves, and those that tried to get it, but instead ending up advising me on how I should feel and what I should do.
Anxiety, depression, low mood or numbness can have a similar response from friends and family.
There are those that get it, and may have been through a similar time and do not try to find the cause, or analyse. Simply they accept what is happening for you right now and stay by your side giving gentle support and understanding.
There is the well intentioned friend who believe that to support or help you what is needed is to point out what is great in your life, "other people have it much worse" or they ask you "what is wrong".
What is not understood is that it is not your choice to feel this way - you dont wake up thinking "well today is the day that I disconnect from people, my job or my life" - it just happens.
Often there is no warning and that can be the most distressing aspect - one day is good and the next is very very different.
My depression feels like a thick blanket covering me, cutting me off from the rest of my life.
It's very difficult to feel this way, I have learnt from experience to accept the depression, not to try and fight it or analyse why it is present in my life. I take one day at a time, even an hour at a time, with the belief that things will get better and have learnt not put a day or time when I expect to "be better".
I hope that sharing my experience will support you through your difficult times.
Having time to talk helps, experiencing acceptance helps - counselling where you will experience this helps, talking with a qualified, experienced therapist helps.
If you are unsure how to find a qualified counsellor try www.psychologytoday.com or www.counselling-directory.org.uk - all the counsellors listed are qualified.