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The Secret Language I Use as Someone With Depression

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Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

What does it mean when you ask what’s wrong? And all I reply is, “I’m tired.”

What does it mean when you ask how my day went? And all I reply is, “fine.”

What does it mean when I tell you “I’m struggling.”

We all have a secret language — our way to hide behind the very personal mask we wear daily to hide our inner turmoil, a sense of protecting you and our loved ones from the darkness that can envelop us. So, what does this all mean? Now, everyone has their own secret language and this is just my own interpretation, though I do hope some people can relate.

1. “I’m tired.”

This is probably one of my most-used secret codes, mostly when you may be able to tell something is off or something may not be right. This is one I use on multiple occasions — when I’m struggling and feel as if the world is closing in on me; when I feel like I’m a failure; when my outlook on life has reached some of the darkest and lowest moments and I don’t want to talk about it or worry you.

2. “Fine.”

I’m sure almost everyone can relate to this one. I’ve used it so many times I’ve lost count, for many different reasons. “Fine” is used to hide the shitty day I’ve had. My struggles and pitfalls. It is the armor on my mask, my super suit to help me get through life and make it to the other side.

3. “I’m struggling.”

This is to allow for a glimpse into my struggle, but make no mistake; I’m still wearing my mask. This often means the darkness of my depression has taken over in such a way that I might harm myself and I need support. But I also don’t want to worry you.

One of my biggest worries is that I have become a burden to you, to my loved ones. That I have somehow made it not easy but harder to live with or be around. I always want to protect them from dangers and from experiencing anything like that which my depression has made me experience.

Photo by whereispykh on Unsplash

Originally published: July 23, 2019
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