This just about sums up what I feel about depression, and how I picture it as it affects me.
"Your power is only rumour and lies... You bore your way into people when they are uncertain and weak and worried and frightened, and they think their enemy is other people when their enemy is, and always will be, you - the master of lies. Outside, you are fearsome; inside, you are nothing but weakness."
From I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
This ties in with twisted thinking. You know, those little twinges of uncertainty that strike when friends stop laughing as they are approached, or when the gleam in a stranger's eye seems to linger just a fraction too long on an aspect of appearance that until that moment felt comfortable. Neurosis, paranoia, self-consciousness, shyness, self-hate; depression feeds these and is in turn gorged on by them. Trust, in myself and in others, is the first and biggest victim, but because my world-view is out of kilter, is quickly re-engendered just to be shot down again every bit as quickly, because the new generation of trust was birthed on sand in a sideways world.
Taking a step back to focus on the truth takes confidence. And I have to pretend to feel confident in order even to want to take that step. But doing so makes the picture slowly right itself, back into a concrete and upright world, where I can stand with both feet on the ground and trust solidly in those whose friendship and love has never waivered, and who are still there calling me, waiting for me, listening to me and caring. Do I owe them a debt of gratitude? That's a tough question, the guilt in me would say yes every time, the unworthiness would rise up and shout yes from the rooftops, the self-hating me would demand that I consider myself unequal and unworthy.
But I say no, I owe them nothing; but I love them and care about them as much as they do me, will stand by them in their hour of need, and will be content with that not because of a debt or sense of duty, but because I consider them as worthwhile as they do me.