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

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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

Originally published: January 10, 2020
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