The Mighty Logo

The One Thing I Will Never Get Used to as a Person With Depression

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Depression has been a part of my life for so long, at this point it feels almost normal. Crying for no reason in particular is a daily activity and having no interest in leaving my bed is more common than not. I’ve dealt with it for so long I’d like to think I have a pretty good grasp on my condition at this point. Yet, the one thing I will never get used to is people telling me I need to “choose to be happy.”

The idea that being happy is something we decide on each day is a distressing misconception. We need to stop broadcasting it to everyone who has ever been sad. Sorry to break it to you, but there will be mornings when you wake up and the comforter wrapped around your body feels like the only thing holding you together. For some of us, those mornings are the norm. You should not be expected to constantly hold all of your broken pieces in place, while forcibly curving the edges of your mouth just to make everyone else think you aren’t screaming inside.

Know this: Every time the sunlight starts creeping through the blinds you never open, you don’t need to choose to be happy, you simply need to choose to live. Choose to get up, go outside and live. If that means you fall apart, then one day you will need to find the courage to put your pieces back together.

Stop letting people tell you to choose happiness. The darkness in your mind isn’t wired to an on/off switch you can control. I know that isn’t always the case. But today, even if you aren’t smiling, you are living. Keep making that choice.

Originally published: July 28, 2016
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