When Depression Makes Joy Hard to Come By

I’m young, married, have a steady career, and am a dog rescuer. From all accounts, I am happy, healthy, vibrant and loving. I also struggle with depression and anxiety every single day.

On the outside, it is easy for me to post dog pictures and Bible verses, both of which mean a great deal to me. Doing this it is easier than saying I am drowning inside my own head. While the sun may be shining and the birds chirping on the outside of my body, on the inside it is dark, bottomless water, churning and sloshing up fears, worry and doubt. The sunshine does not get to make it to the inside too often, the cracks for it to come through too small.

I wish I could tell everyone I am not shy and it isn’t them that makes me not want to talk. I wish I could tell them it was them who got me out of bed in the first place. I am not moody, but anxious over stuff I that needs to be done at the office, at home and the simple worry of time. I sleep maybe four hours a night because the dread of the next day rushes over my mind, blanketing it in darkness that only can be remedied by compulsive list making to ensure I do not miss a beat. I am not apathetic intentionally, but joy is hard to come by some days.

The struggle and endless search to find joy never ceases. I search as I attend counseling, take medication, exercise, meditate, cut out jobs that once made me happy, but now confine me. Anything to find one piece of sunshine through the clouds blocking the view. Anything to lessen the worries that bound me internally. Anything to stop the self-doubt that creeps up more and more often.

I wish there were more pictures, more realism, to show every day is not a good day, every smile is not a real smile and every cold shoulder is filled with weight. I wish I could focus on the light at the end of the tunnel every day, remember this is not forever, but temporary.

Mental health is such a heavily stigmatized topic, but it does not discriminate. It can put its grips on anyone, at any time. Please don’t struggle in silence, alone and isolated. Reach out. Work for the cracks to open, to let the light stream in and break up the darkness.

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