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When You Compare Your Depression's Severity to Others


Dear Depression,

You have always been a quiet companion. You come long before I realize you’ve claimed your part of the bed. We talk constantly, and our conversations are repetitive. We never fail to bring up all my failures and the pointlessness of any effort I make to create a good life. You don’t let me eat much or shower much. We spend a lot of time in my room, but we go out and live life, too. I’ve brought you to work, to school, to my friends’ homes. You make things harder but not impossible. You always overstay your welcome, but I know how to send you home. A trip to the therapist, a few life changes here and there, and I’ll see you soon.

But often, you make me feel like a fraud. I’ve seen others named Depression, and they blow through with a gravity I never see in you. Some live with their partners year around.

When I see what depression is like with other people, I want to call you something different. Sadness. Or Laziness. Maybe Just Who I Am? Anything but Depression, because when you’re here, you don’t really announce yourself like the others.

Then I think if you were able to hear me say any of this, you’d be pretty upset. You all have the same name, but like the chemicals in my body, you share a home with and the experiences that led me to you, you are unique. I know this. But when my body starts to slow and the weight of my world is too much, I sometimes feel guilty for calling you Depression. Shouldn’t you be louder, heavier?

But you are an individual, as am I. I’m not any less human because I speak infrequently, and you are no less depression because you’re quieter than others, or louder than some. Like the people of this world, you express yourself in your own voice. I’m sorry it took me a while to realize this, but now I can get to know you better.

You are my depression, and you are enough.

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Getty Images photo via Wavebreakmedia