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Being Depressed Doesn't Mean I Hate My Life

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There are days where I’m feeling especially low. As someone who has had depression since my preteen years, I understand how it comes and goes. I understand how something small can set it off and usually know exactly what sets it off. As a mother of a small child, I try my best to show her the best of me. I smile even when I’m feeling blue. At the moment, she’s too young to fully understand the emotions her mother goes through at times. Adults, on the other hand, see when I’m feeling down. They hear my words when I need to vent how I’m feeling and on more than one occasion I’ve heard, “You hate your life.”

Hearing these words hurts. It makes me feel as though I’m doing a terrible job of being a wife and mother, because apparently I’ve given reason to believe I hate my life when really the truth is the exact opposite. The truth is I love my life. I get to raise this amazing little human, live in a place we really enjoy, be the wife to a husband who is incredible inside and out. Yes. I am grateful for this life. But something is wrong. I’m doing something to make people think I don’t love my life.

I’m certain others have misunderstand the reason behind the sadness. Perhaps I should have done a better job of explaining how it works.

I’m not depressed because I hate my life.

mom watching daughter play with doll

Some days I’m depressed because it’s just been a rough day.

Being a mom isn’t easy. After the fourth toddler meltdown of the day it’s not too farfetched to think the exhaustion and frustration may start to take its toll. It’s easy to feel alone and incapable when one tries to do their best all day only to be greeted with screams of protest followed by endless chores. Sometimes I’m sad because I look in the mirror and see I haven’t put makeup on or ran a brush through my hair in 24 hours, and I think I look like a gross, unwashed hag. It isn’t every day, but some can make me start feeling the blues.

Sometimes I get depressed because I miss my father and hate all the things he’s missing out on with his grandchild. I tear up because I thought I’d visit him every day as he was retired, and that dream was stolen from me only four months before the birth of my baby. I struggle with his death because I never got to say goodbye, and that hurt is going to come and go when it feels like it. It’s not every day, just some days; the depression over missing such an important piece of my life takes over and makes me hurt. I get depressed because at times I feel alone and wish I had more support, but I don’t know how to reach out to people like my mother because she’s busy with her own job, her own pain, her own life. I know she has her own sadness, and I feel ashamed being the one to add more pressure.

There are days I’m depressed because I don’t feel like I deserve the great life I have. There are times I feel depressed because I feel I don’t have enough to offer, or I haven’t accomplished enough.

Sometimes I feel depressed because I just feel depressed.

There are times when there isn’t any rhyme or reason to why it occurs. I just feel a dull sadness inside. It’s just a part of who I am. It’s not all of the time. Depression doesn’t last forever. I wait it out, I go on with my day and eventually the feeling fades. I don’t want to be afraid to talk about it because talking about it is like lifting a huge weight off my chest.

I’m not trying to set that weight down on anyone. I’m releasing the pain, but it’s not directed at anyone. Sometimes I just need to talk, to vent it out and let it go. That’s all I want. I’m not trying to project the idea that I’m unhappy with my life. I’m not trying to imply people aren’t doing anything to help me. I’m just looking for an ear, preferably the ear of someone who loves me, to listen, to understand but never to burden.

I get that it’s hard to listen to someone who is feeling low and not feel some sort of responsibility for the way they are experiencing. I understand my words may come across as an indication that I’m asking for help, even though that isn’t typically my intention. Depression is tricky, but just because it sneaks in and out of my life doesn’t mean I’m generally unhappy. It’s easy to comprehend that tears can make a bigger impression than smiles. I may smile 95 percent of the time, but the remaining 5 percent has a much larger impact. I know it’s because it hurts to see me in pain.  I hope our loved ones realize people don’t necessarily feel depression because they hate their lives. It’s a feeling, a pain that doesn’t always have a direct or even logical reason.

The best thing I can say is that in my case (and I’m sure with many others), it’s not a reflection of how I feel about my life. I have a beautiful life, and it’s always there waiting for me once the clouds pass. I just hope deep down the people I love know that.

Originally published: July 18, 2016
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