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The Hidden Facts About the Girl Sitting in the Coffee Shop Who Has Depression

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Imagine a young woman sitting in a local coffee shop. She is at a table, laptop open, black coffee and a glass of water. She’s wearing sneakers, jeans, a graphic tee and a denim shirt.

There is nothing strange about this image. It is the hidden facts that make it unique. This woman did not get out of bed until 1 p.m. She showed up to the coffee shop at 1:30. No shower, no socks, no breakfast, with dirty teeth. But no one knows these little facts.

I am this woman.

This is my life as a high-functioning, anxious and depressed human. Right now, the depression is my main monster. And this monster is kicking my butt.

Getting out of bed seems like a win every day. Taking a shower, brushing my teeth and eating a balanced meal are huge milestones. Laundry, vacuuming and cooking take an enormous amount of energy.

Battling depression is exhausting. Hiding it from the outside world is even more exhausting. But the moment I show my face to the world, I am happy, smiling, dancing, productive, chatty and friendly. I am the put-together, get-stuff-done, encourage-others kind of human being society has come to know. I keep up this act until the moment my bedroom door closes behind me. Then I wade through whatever clothes and belongings stand between me and my bed.

This routine happens day in and day out. I am waiting for a break in the clouds or a moment of clarity. I don’t like to live a double life, but the depression monster takes me down every day. Having hope I will be my fully productive and life-loving self again has started to feel ridiculous.

What the world sees and what I see are completely different. This is not how I want to live my life. I want to feel balanced and true to myself. For now, I am accepting my situation. I am taking steps to hold myself accountable and face the world. It is not easy. Some moments are worse than others. Sometimes I don’t do what I set out to do. But I’m trying and I’m not running away.

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Originally published: November 9, 2016
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