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When There Is No 'Reason' for Bad Depression Days

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For my birthday last September, I got a t-shirt from my mother-in-law that says, “When I woke up today I had no plans to be awesome. This just happened.” I think it’s great, but it is not a shirt I can wear every day.

Today is one of those days. 

I woke up this morning feeling that empty-gut, lump-in-my- throat, kind of depression. The kind of depression that changes satire into condemnation. The idea I could be awesome becomes a biting lecture in my head of how awesome is something I will never be. I feel as if my brain is not just blocking the feelings of joy in my life, it is outright combatting them. 

Before I go any further, I should probably say I am safe. I’m not at risk of hurting myself. My suicidal ideation is definitely bringing its A-game today, but really, I am safe. I just feel like hell.

I am functioning; I’m writing this after all. I was able to eat. I will be at my recovery meeting tonight. I will make it through the day. I am sharing this because I want you all to know that, I, like many, have high-functioning clinical depression. You may not notice I am struggling by looking at me, but I am. And there are millions of people around the world in the same state I am and many of them don’t have the capability to express it.

I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want my brain to tell me there is no hope. I don’t want to feel like I am going to break into tears, only to feel my throat close up blocking my ability to do just that. I can’t just have a good cry and feel better. I don’t want to give up, my mind does. I don’t want to push people away from me so I can isolate; the sound of isolation just seems to make more sense because I can’t hurt you if I’m alone. Try not to take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.

Please don’t tell me to cheer up. I can’t. I want to laugh. I want to smile. I want to be happy. I just, can’t. Not today. Not when I feel like the rope I am hanging onto is starting to fray. I am sorry about the clouds in the sky, that’s my fault. They are there to torment me, punishment for something my brain hasn’t yet thought up. I’m sorry for everything else, too. I don’t know what I am apologizing for but I am sure it’s my fault. 

And there is something I don’t want to say, but I need to. 

I’m scared. I have always come back. I have come out of the pit my brain pushes me into. But … what if this time is different? I don’t want to feel this way forever. I don’t want to go through this alone. That is what my brain is telling me is going to happen though. Don’t try and fix me, you can’t. But please, don’t go.

When I woke up today, I had no plans to be depressed. This just happened.

Unsplash image by Warren Wong

Originally published: December 10, 2019
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