I tend to mumble. I'm a mumbler. The thing about the volume deficient is we’re not the most self-confident group either. A typical mumbling conversation for me goes like this:
Me: Do you know where the elevator is?
Stranger (looks at watch): About 3:30.
Me (trying to play it off): Oh thanks. Yeah my phone's dead.
Me: Never mind.
Now I know what I'm saying. I can hear myself perfectly. I wouldn't know I was mumbling if it wasn't for feedback from other people. We’ve already said that it’s important to know yourself, but that doesn’t fully happen in a vacuum.
Many people have directly and indirectly told me that I’m a mumbler, but they’ve also told me that I’m kind-hearted and insightful, funny and easy-going. It’s so important to have other people that love you telling you who you really are. In the faith section of our website we discuss the importance of hearing your true identity from God, but even the most spiritual person also needs to hear it from other people. That’s why community is so important.
Depression will always try to draw you into isolation, but learn to recognize it when it’s happening and try to stay near people that love you. You won’t be able to do this perfectly but at least hold it in your heart as the ideal. It’s difficult because when you’re severely depressed there’s often not much that you’re able to say or contribute in most normal circumstances, but let your loved ones know what’s happening and simply be around them. Even if you’re just sitting there. Don’t be alone.
I highly recommend joining support groups as a form of community too. Lean on your usual friends when you can and keep them abreast of what is going on, but they might not fully understand depression and be able to empathize with you like a support group can. These groups can be hard to find and if you don’t have the strength to do the searching, ask a friend or family member to help. When you’re there, give the group grace too. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s so good for you. As long as you don’t sense any weird psychological abuse going on, stay. Open up your heart to the other people in the group. The simple act of sharing and being heard and acknowledged is so powerful in and of itself. You may get some great advice too.