"Why can't I just be my old self again?"
It's hard just going through the motions. The advice to fake it 'til you make it is a load of crap. You've been faking it for a while now but still feel like a shadow of the person you used to be. Everyone around you seems to be happy and connected, they're getting their shit done and laughing, hanging out with friends...life seems to be so light and easy for them. But you're so heavy and weighed down.
Maybe your friends have noticed that things are off or that you've had a shorter fuse. They keep asking if you're okay but you don't want to be the Debbie Downer and drag them all down too. They shouldn't have to worry about how you're doing. They have their own problems, some of which are way more intense than yours. It's almost ridiculous that you can't pull it together given how much worse other people have it.
Or maybe no one has noticed that you're not feeling like yourself, which is good and bad. Good because no one is pestering you about it but bad because to you that's proof of how little people care about or really know you. You'd love to make some connections but it seems impossible when you're feeling this low. Who will want to hang out with you? What will they think of you? Are you even worth it? Making friends and fitting in is already an uphill battle. Social situations can be excruciating. You want to be around others so much but it can sometimes (often?) leave you feeling worse and more alone afterwards. It seems hopeless.
Except...it's not. When it comes to depression, it's important to work on letting yourself off the hook. You are beating yourself up about a million things, most of which are really unfair. You would never so relentlessly hold anyone else you love to the same standards you apply to yourself. There's a script running through your head telling you that you don't deserve good things and that you're a loser. Where did it come from and why does it exist? I like to work with clients to figure that out and then tear that script up. Or at least red pen the heck out of it. Let's re-write your story and turn it into one where you are good enough to have love, affection, appreciation and all the good things...just for being you. You deserve it. I promise.