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

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

8 'Red Flags' People Missed Before They Realized They Had Depression

8 'Red Flags' People Missed Before They Realized They Had Depression

When we think of depression, often the first thing that comes to mind is sadness. But depression is so much more than just sadness, and we need to talk about the different ways it manifests. Maybe you are perpetually exhausted and don’t know why. Maybe your fuse is shorter and you lash out at your loved ones when [...]
text between mother and daughter about mental health

The Text That Reassured Me It’s OK to Struggle With Depression

I never expect anyone to know what to say. I think that is what can be so terrifying about reaching out, even in a text. Any other conversation in the known universe has an expected response… a “normal” response: “I ate a bad burrito and I am keeled over the toilet.” That’s awful! Drink some [...]
man on beach looking out to water and pale blue sky

How Depression Is an Ocean With a Dangerous Undertow

Today I am depressed. I’m more than sad. I’m “wanting to stay in bed all day and let the world pass me by” sad. This is depression. People say, “Yeah, I know what it’s like to be sad.” I know they mean well and, of course, we all know sadness. Depression, however, is so much [...]
bella swan twilight new moon

How Bella in 'New Moon' Perfectly Explains the Different Stages of My Depression

This weekend, I was watching the “Twilight” series for the umpteenth time. As I sat back to enjoy the second installment, “New Moon,” it occurred to me once again how beautifully it depicts my depression. Near the beginning of the movie, our hero, Edward, breaks up with our heroine, Bella. The shock of his rejection (I’ve written about [...]