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When Your Facebook 'Year in Review' Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

I didn’t want to look at my Facebook “Year in Review” video this year.

I haven’t shared it on my timeline for family and friends to see.

There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s a perfectly lovely collection of photos of our once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Australia, days out with friends, our children’s birthdays.

But much like the smile I’ve pasted on so often this year, it doesn’t tell the whole truth.

What you don’t see in my “Year in Review” is the depression that has crippled me over the past 12 months.

You don’t see the self-harm scars hidden beneath the long sleeves I’m wearing.

You don’t see me lying in a hospital bed with drips in my arms after a life-threatening overdose.

You don’t see me curled up in the corner of my room in the psychiatric hospital, out of my head on tranquilizers.

You don’t see the tears running down my face as I said goodbye to my children after a far too brief visit.

You don’t see the collection of pills I have to take every day to try to keep me from plummeting back into the bottomless black hole that is depression.

You don’t see the effort that goes into the weekly psychology sessions that are helping me unpick the devastating mess that my illness has caused.

You don’t see me sitting at the very back of church, knowing that my mental illness has made me unwelcome and unacceptable in the eyes of that community.

You don’t see the paperwork documenting the social services assessment I had to go through to prove I was capable of mothering my kids.

My “Year in Review” video is a good liar. And so am I.

But I’m not going to share it this year, because it’s not the whole story.

It conceals the truth of my illness, and that only adds to the sense that it’s something to be hidden away.

This year, despite what the photos suggest, has taken me to the very brink and back, but against all the odds, I’m still here, and that’s something to be proud, not ashamed, of.

I refuse to pretend it didn’t happen.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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 Image via Thinkstock.