I know what it means. I get it, and I appreciate it most of the time, but let's face it, what they mean is actually, "You aren't the only person that experiences these feelings."
When I start feeling like I'm seriously broken, when I start thinking of myself as some kind of freak because of my depression, it is good to be reminded that I am not in fact a statistical anomaly with a unique condition. The thing is, sometimes, when the darkness is really wrapped tightly around me it's because I AM alone. I may not be unique in my experiencing depression, but I am in fact alone, without a partner, with no person there next to me if I wake in the middle of the night from a nightmare, with no person there to coax me off the floor when I don't have the strength of will to move myself.
I know that I am loved. There are even people in my life that let me know that they need me. I know that I would be missed if I gave in to my suicidal fantasies, and I know that there are a lot of people in my life that will listen if I need a friend. All of that helps to keep me here, but just barely some days. I have not been able to pull myself up lately. I feel afloat and in danger of drowning. I have at times been within sight of the shore, but I keep being swept back out to the deep. I don't feel like I have the strength to swim anymore, only to tread water and try not to sink completely out of sight.
I am alone. I wake up alone, I spend most of my time at work alone, I eat alone, and fall asleep alone. I dream of people. At night, when sleep finally comes I dream of people who love me, who want to be near me, I dream of not being alone. When I wake, with those dreams half remembered, a fresh day's worth of sadness seeps in before my eyes are even fully open.
Most nights I don't even make it to my bed. I fall asleep on the couch with the television on just so that there is some human voice to break the silence and distract me from the thoughts that tell me how bleak my future is, and how lonely my present is.
This community at fightdepression has been a good source of support over the past 6 years. I appreciate all of the comments I get from the members here. But please, next time you start to tell me that I am not alone, don't. Tell me you understand, tell me that I have your sympathy, tell me that the reality is never as bad as the depression makes it seem... but don't tell me I'm not alone. I am, and I hate it.