The Mighty Logo

I Forgot to Include Fun and Joy in My Life With Depression

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

My husband was playing online trivia and seemed genuinely engaged. So, I asked, “Are you having fun?”

He nodded. “Yeah.”

And then it hit me, like all heavy moments that were inevitable but blindsided me anyway. My mind was so ravaged with the shouting monsters of depression that it never occurred to me to even want to have fun. How sad is that?

This last year has been pretty awful, but the last couple of months have been hell. One day I’d feel confident in my creative abilities and would write five poems and two blogs, but the next I’d hide under the covers and watch serial killer documentaries. They numbed my mind and distracted me from the growing hole inside.

I’m finally, finally starting to feel better. As my unraveling slows down a heaviness in my chest appears. I’ve lost a year of my life. There are so many goddamn years that I’ve lost and will continue to lose.

What do I miss the most?

1. Laughter.

Not chuckling from a sitcom with predictable tropes, but an explosion of laughter. Pepsi shooting out of my nose laughter. Bent over, not able to catch my breath laugher. Joy that doesn’t expect me to earn it. All my struggles with eating and sleeping and hiding fade into the background. The joy will drain away, and the hidden will be revealed, but the moments of glee give me hope.

2. Hugs.

I shy away from hugs when depression bulldozes through the life I’ve just rebuilt. I wish I spent less time falling into depression and more time falling into my husband.

3. Nature.

When I go into the forest or sit by the ocean, I’m always amazed by how calm and whole I feel. Nature takes the sting out of knowing this illness will never end. I start to wonder if maybe the real power of my broken pieces is not in how they tear me down but in how they help others build back up.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Originally published: February 8, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home