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The Contradiction of Living With Depression When Life Is Good


You have probably heard it a million times — mental illness doesn’t care how wealthy you are, it doesn’t care how great your job is or how much you are loved. Mental illness can come like a monster in the night and steal your joy. It comes and takes your breath away, it takes your smile, your energy and your motivation. What no one really talks about is the frustration that comes along with this — how depression can be that much worse when things in your life are going well. No one talks about the anger you may feel — anger at yourself, anger at your genetics, anger at whatever higher being you believe in.

When you have no reason to feel this sad and empty, what do you do to fix it? Feeling emptiness when your life is full can be the scariest thing because it feels like there is no hope. There is no hope that maybe if you just had better friends, you would be feeling better. There is no hope a promotion will solve everything because you already love your job. What do you even do at that point? How do you keep fighting? What are you even fighting for? What will make you happy when you already have everything?

Growing up with depression, I always thought maybe it was just a phase, or when circumstances improved I would be better. As life moved on things did get better, but I did not. I started to question whether I ever would. The realization that happiness comes from within has had a significant impact on my life. I now see that while people and other things can help, sometimes it’s just not enough.

I was unlucky enough to have depression coded into my genetics, and discovering this nearly destroyed me. I thought this discovery had stolen any hope I had of getting better. I realize now that while it may have taken almost all my hope, the human spirit is strong. I want to be here and I want to keep fighting. Exhausting as it may be, I want this. I want those little moments of pure bliss. I want those moments where I am laughing in the car with my best friend. I want the little kisses and loving touches from my boyfriend. I want those nights where I go exploring in the amazing city I am lucky enough to call home. I want to keep making my parents proud.

Throughout my closest and oldest friendship, we have  said, “I will see you at the top.” I want to be standing at the top with her. On the darkest days I can’t see it, but today the sun is shining and I see us at the top, smiling, strong and proud.

Follow this journey on TranQool’s Blog.

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Thinkstock photo via Sjale