themighty logo

What I Want You to Know About the Times Depression Makes Me Shut You Out

Yesterday was just one of those days when my world feels like it’s unraveling and, suddenly, I’m back to being the 12-year-old girl who just wanted her mom.

Unfortunately, I am not good at hiding my hurt. Something happened, and I snapped.

In the moment, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I wanted to sit at my desk and be left alone while I pulled myself together, but my phone kept buzzing. My sweet friends, whom I absolutely adore, were trying to be let in. They wanted to be there for me which is kind and so appreciated, but it’s not what I needed.

You see, the thing about depression is that it isolates you. Most of the time, you feel so alone in your struggle. After a while, that’s all that makes sense. So, when those bad moments come, I do what I know; I go into self-preservation mode and my only goal is to wait for the moment to pass.

At the time, I may seem short and angry. You may not understand why the goofy person I present to the world is sending one-word texts and responding to everything with a simple, “OK.”

The truth is, that is how I want people to see me. I don’t want to be seen as a ticking time bomb or someone fragile who breaks like glass, so I keep to myself. I internalize and beat myself up about what I could have done differently.

I appreciate people who want to help me; I really do. I know that it means you care about me and you want to help, but I learned a long time ago how to put myself back together. I learned how to hold myself together in those moments when I want nothing more than to explode and take out everything in my wake.

Not telling you what is happening does not mean I don’t love you. In cases like yesterday, I didn’t know what had just happened. I needed a minute to process and form an opinion because I had no clue how I felt, much less how to articulate it. In all honesty, if I had elaborated in that frame of mind, I probably would not have had anything nice to say. For a long time I took my problems out on those around me. I pushed them away before I could get hurt and I am trying so hard to break that cycle.

Sometimes, I need to be alone. I need to sit with my thoughts and figure out what the hell is happening. If you have come to me in one of those moments, you probably thought I was mad at you; I can assure you that I wasn’t. My “mad” is loud and explosive. Please don’t mistake my boundary for anger. Boundaries are how I know to protect myself. They do not mean I don’t want to hold you close and tell you everything. It just means I’m waging a war inside and I need to prepare the troops before we head out for battle.

Photo by Ashley Light on Unsplash