What I Wish People Knew About My Depression

It is more than feeling sad on a sunny day.

It is more than sleeping in when you’re not tired.

It is more than turning down plans with friends.

It is more than just a feeling that comes and goes.

It is a constant feeling of your heart in your stomach.

It is being unresponsive to loved ones who reach out to you.

It is staring out the window for hours on end.

It is having every thought imaginable while still having a blank mind.

I wish people knew that, when I turned down trips to farmer’s markets or walks downtown, or dinner in the dining hall, it wasn’t because I’m an antisocial person.

I wish they knew I genuinely wanted to go and had every intention of going, but the second my right foot stepped out the door my depression said “today’s not the day” and made me go back inside.

I wish they knew I wasn’t a flaky person and I didn’t mean to snap at them when they questioned me. I wish they knew depression had a harness and leash on me and was yanking me back every time I tried to run away.

I wish people knew that when I don’t have much to say, it isn’t because I don’t enjoy their company.

I wish they knew I had this feeling deep within my gut that felt like an empty hole where laughter and joy should belong, but for some reason, depression kicked them out.

I wish they knew I wanted to speak and have a great, genuine conversation, but I couldn’t find the words and depression was holding my tongue.

I wish people knew I’m not going to let depression win. My story has only begun, and I am ready to take on the battle of my life. With a sword and shield in hand, I plant my feet in the ground and hold my breath.

I wish people knew I can laugh, and love, and live. I can carry on, and care, and cope. I am an individual. I walk my own walk and take on every challenge depression throws at me.

I wish people knew that I am not depression. I have depression. It does not define me, and it most certainly will not stop me.

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Thinkstock photo via Dreamerjl83

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