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If Depression Makes Me Seem 'Pathetic' or 'Lazy,' Here’s the Truth

I don’t currently have a 9 to 5 job. I spend most of my time holed up in my room. I take far too many naps and don’t do nearly enough laundry. Some days, I can’t bring myself to eat three full meals. I rarely leave the house to meet up with friends.

I may sound like a sad excuse for a human being, but I’m neither pathetic nor lazy. The truth is I’m clinically depressed, but I’m working through my brain’s lack of serotonin one day at a time.

Because of my depression, I’m learning to dream new dreams. I long believed that excelling at a high-powered job is the key to a happy life, but my depression forced me to reconceptualize success. Instead of slaving over case briefs and panicking over making Law Review, I’m sharing my heart with the world, writing and informing and polishing and tinkering. To the outside world, I may seem unmotivated, but I’m full of ambition, intent on forging a fulfilling path that will show others they are never alone.

Because of my depression, I’m learning to practice self-care. I used to constantly fear that self-care was selfish and I was undeserving of my own time, but my depression awakened me to the reality that self-care is necessary. Instead of overworking and under-caring, I’m beginning to nourish myself, eating and sleeping and binge-watching and pampering. To many, I may seem lazy, but I’m recharged, ready to forge ahead with anything I pursue.

Because of my depression, I’m slowly pulling myself back together again. For years, I believed I had to appear perfect, well-kept, successful and “together” no matter how disheveled I felt, but my depression spurred the realization that with time, my life will gel together. Instead of displaying impeccable poise, I’m regaining it, recovering and showing up and trying and living. To the wider world, I may seem sloppy, but I’m effortful, working on providing myself the tools to re-enter the life I used to lead.

You might see my undernourishment, my non-traditional job and my propensity for taking naps, and assume I’m pathetic and lazy. But the truth is, I’m battling, rebuilding and rising from the ashes. Even though my depression is invasive and difficult to overcome, it will never beat me.

A version of this article was previously published on Thought Catalog.

Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash