For/inspired by lampbane
Depression is tough. Not only do you have to grapple with this invisible enemy within, but no one seems to know how to handle you or what to do. Usually, folks try to help; which manifests in the form of trying to fix you or your depression, when it can't simply be fixed and indeed resists fixing. Which, of course, they take as anywhere from a personal challenge to a personal affront; as if you're the one challenging or resisting them. And now in addition to fighting depression, you've got to fight off people Who take your illness as some kind of personal affront.
So I cultivate friendships with other "depressives" (hooray, being labelled by your illness; stigma!) or people who understand; people who don't see your condition as a reflection on themselves or as a slight to their abilities as a friend. I cultivate those friendships where it's OK and enough to just be; be in each other's space, be silent together, and to be imperfect. To let our imperfections not merely be, but flourish... or at least breathe. To let us be us, and to realize that like gems, our flaws are what make us who we are, and not merely some featureless sample grown in a lab. Feature, flaw, imperfection, character.
Give me one person with character over a thousand perfect featureless (faceless is a horror trope) "friends" any day. Or year. Good friendships are cultivated on the scale of a, lifetime, so I can afford to be patient. It's worth it. Because, given patience and a modicum of attention, you may find the person showing themself to you; not necessarily some mythical "true self" but a glimpse of some facets of the gem they don't usually show. Or not; you can't really control it (nor should you try, but if you've read this far you likely already know that). Just be with me. Just be.