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When You Hide Depression but Don’t Know Why

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What’s it like to hide depression, to have very select people know what you’re going through? It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying to hold this secret within your soul, to know its power but still not be able to reach out for help or even truly open up about it.

I know people care. I know if I called one of the people who know, they would talk to me until I have nothing left to say. They would try to understand. They would do their best to make sure I feel better. But none of this is truly getting down to healing the depression.

I know I should talk to a counselor. I know I should talk to a doctor. I know I should tell my family. I know all of the right steps I must do. I know I should not be keeping this all bottled up and hiding it from the people I care for the most. But I still do, and I don’t know why. Maybe I’m scared to talk to someone who could really help me because it will make it real. And knowing that it’s real is horrifying, because who really wants to openly admit they need that much help?

I don’t tell my friends and family I’m struggling because I don’t want them to worry about me. I don’t want them to constantly be worried every time I say I am tired or I dip out of plans and their minds jump to the worst possible conclusion. I don’t want to have people worried about me, because it feels like my job to help others. I want others to be able to talk to me and open up without the worry they are burdening me with their problems. I want to be their reliable source for a helping hand or listening ear. I don’t want them to feel like they need to be mine. So I hide it all.

I tuck the pain and numbness away until I am home and can be alone. I sit alone in my room and overthink or just not think at all. I have so many things to do but nothing gets done because I don’t have the energy. I have put so much of my energy into being happy, talking, laughing all day that I have none left to face my own problems. I hide everything from everyone so they don’t have to worry.

I want to get help. I want to talk about it. I want to reach out and say, “Hey, I’m having a bad day. Can you just sit with me a while even if I have nothing to say?” I know what I need to do to get better, but I cannot find the strength to do that. Depression has stolen it from me. Depression is the thief that has stolen my voice — the voice that’s trying desperately to ask for help.

I know what I must do.

I know I must take my voice back, steal my power back.

I know I must take back my strength, put away my pride and reach out.

I just hope I find the right listening ear to help guide me out, to hold my hand along the way, and help me become who I want to be.

It’s never too late; this much I believe.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Originally published: February 7, 2019
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