Depression Makes Me Feel 'Ugly'
In the middle of a depressive episode, I feel so ugly. Not necessarily physically ugly, but mean, emotional, unapproachable, short. It takes so much energy to tuck that ugliness down because I feel, deep down, it’s me, not them.
The episodes come about at the most random times. Yesterday, I hung out with friends and had such a great time, but today, I feel like I can’t face people. Usually I can identify my episodes, and know when they are coming, based on life and tiredness, but many times they sneak up and leave me suddenly not wanting to engage in anything. Spring, summer, winter, fall — doesn’t matter. Though late winter seems to be a safe bet for me. However, it seems like each season there’s a week, or weeks when I feel low.
These episodes leave me feeling unworthy, incapable, sloppy, worthless, hollow…
I cry all the time, over everything, usually alone so people won’t ask. I get angry easier, I get irritated faster, I snap more quickly, I leave a path of destruction that is still there when I come out of it, causing even more anxiety and clean up in the end.
The people who stick around and refuse to question my faith are the ones I keep. They don’t throw in a “love God more and things will be different.” They don’t shame me with “you should haves” and “you need to’s.” They get it.
Every assumption made about me is more vivid. Every word means more. My body hurts more physically. Every action is harder. Leaving the house is near impossible, and I simply carry on out of obligation and responsibility, but those things are heavy and hard suddenly.
I either can’t care, don’t care or care too much in the middle of it. I feel like I need to just be with someone, but I don’t want to be around anyone.
I want to talk about it, but I feel like the “shame phrases” will be thrown out, causing more guilt, so I don’t talk about it, which makes everything so much worse and plummets me down darker roads. I don’t know how to articulate it.
Nothing causes it, yet everything causes it. Everything is irritating. I just want to sleep all day, but I lay awake all night.
I replay conversations. I hope I didn’t bite too hard. I wonder if I bit hard enough sometimes. I worry about what people think about me. I worry about what God thinks about me.
This list of “feelings” could go on and on.
I post this here with some anxiety. But I also post it with awareness. Before I actually started experiencing depression, I was absolutely clueless about it. In fact, I was one that believed if you “trusted God more,” or if you “fixed your life,” or if you “were thankful enough,” depression wouldn’t be a factor. I was so wrong. It isn’t selective based on your faith, or gratitude, or life situations.
There is no way to explain it fully because it is so inexpressible. But please, love those with these episodes. Show some grace to them. Many times they are left in a puddle of shame after getting through a time of depression, and many times they know it. It isn’t an excuse, but it’s a fact, at least for me.
Unsplash photo via Drew Hays