The Despair and Hope Depression Brings Me
We all know what depression is, but there’s still misconception about it. Depression isn’t just feeling sad all the time. It’s not just losing interest in things that once made you happy. It’s not just struggling to get out of bed because nothing feels worth the effort. It’s not just…
It’s not just depression.
It’s being wide awake until you’re supposed to be getting up, and not feeling tired.
It’s making excuses because you just can’t socialize, no matter how much you want to.
It’s waking up in the morning (if you slept at all) and dreading the day.
It’s opening your favorite website a million times, wanting to participate and closing it again because you just can’t get the energy to.
It’s being angry at everything and nothing, all at once.
It’s strained relationships.
It’s the crushing, suffocating feeling of being alone, even if you know you aren’t.
It’s being in a quiet room and the room still being too loud.
It’s trying to hush the voices in your head, telling you all your worst fears.
It’s hearing the voices of your loved ones, deep into the night and hearing them say the things you know aren’t true.
It’s downplaying your own existence, your own problems, so you don’t seem selfish.
It’s doing everything in your power to not be a burden, but still feeling like one.
It’s plastering a smile on your face, and reciting your lines like an actor in a play.
It’s the lies you tell people, so you don’t sound whiny.
It’s, “I’m OK.”
“I’m just tired.”
“I’m just stressed.”
“I’m super busy, I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry I missed it, I got swamped at work.”
It’s placing your mask, ever so carefully, back onto your face every morning. And feeling disgusting every night when you take it off.
It’s feeling your security blanket, your mask, falling to pieces. And desperately trying to glue it back together before someone notices.
It’s people noticing.
It’s the, “You look drained.”
The, “Have you eaten lately?” (No)
The, “We haven’t seen you in awhile! Are you OK?” (Hardly)
The, “Are you sure you’re OK? Is there anything I can do?”
The, “Maybe you need to take a break from ___”
It’s so much. And it’s nothing all at once. It’s feeling like you’re suffocating, but hating yourself for it. Berating yourself because your problems aren’t that bad. Frantically trying to push through one more day of faking. One more day of lying. One more day of hiding your pain. Because your pain is nothing compared to other’s. It’s having a big heart, but not knowing how to share it without feeling hurt. It’s pretending to not care, not because you actually don’t care, but because you care far too much and it hurts you even more.
It’s slipping up.
Showing your true face.
And it’s the reactions.
“See a doctor.”
“Get some medication.”
“We’re worried about you.”
“We want to help.”
“It’s all in your head.”
“You just have to be happy!”
“Why are you such a downer all the time?”
“Depression isn’t an illness. Everyone gets depressed sometimes! You’ll pull out of it soon!”
“Stop using your depression as an excuse! I get depressed and I still hang out with my friends!”
“Just take a shower! Read a book! Do (insert loved hobby here)!”
It’s losing friends. And it’s feeling like an outcast. It’s people’s judgement solidifying the one thing you try to convince yourself otherwise. That you are broken. Defective. Not Worthy. You are a burden. It’s people trying to help by rattling off statistics, or telling you to see a doctor. And no matter how sincere their suggestion, it’s knowing it won’t help. You’ve tried it all before. You don’t do the things you used to, because they no longer hold appeal. You don’t socialize because it takes too much out of you. You’ve seen doctor after doctor, taken pill after pill. You’ve turned to homeopathy, herbology, Chinese medicine, anything that promises to take it away.
Depression is a dark and cold mistress. She takes what she wants, and leaves you with little. She twists words in your mind. Even though you know they mean well, you can’t help but get agitated. They don’t understand. They don’t understand. They don’t understandtheydontunderstandtheydontunderstandTHEYDONTUNDERSTAND!!!!!
They will never understand.
But, depression is also seeing the beauty in everything. It’s relishing the days you feel alright, because you know how few and far between they are.
It’s finding the beauty when everyone else sees the ugly.
It’s understanding, compassion, kindness.
It’s reaching out when no one else will, because you know how it feels to be alone.
It’s the hope that you won’t be like this forever.
It’s expanding your interests because old ones don’t hold appeal anymore.
It’s meeting new people. New friends.
And it’s waiting for tomorrow, both in fear and in hope.
Hope that tomorrow will be better.
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Lead image via the contributor