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'Better' Is Not the Same as Being 'Cured'

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“But you’re smiling.”

“You look so happy.”

“I’m so glad that you’re better now.”

Like everybody else, I have good days and bad days. But what I also have are depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. What that means is that I spend a lot of time anxious, worrying and well, depressed.

I think there is a common misconception about depression. To those who haven’t experienced it first hand or witnessed it in real life, it’s hard to have an accurate representation of what it is when it is constantly being romanticized in the media we consume every day.

It’s not always self-harm. It’s not always laying on the floor, wide-eyed and pondering. It’s not always tears and being curled up. And it’s not always “being depressed.”

Depressive episodes happen, but having depression doesn’t mean I’m depressed all the time. I still have the ability to smile. I can appreciate the beauty of life around me. I can still love the people in my life, even if I can’t show it all the time.

Funny movies are still funny. I can appreciate when my sister tells me to smile. My favorite meal is still delicious.

But having a good day doesn’t mean I’m cured. Please do not dismiss or invalidate an illness that affects the everyday lives of millions of people. Whether it’s just putting on a brave face or trying to enjoy a precious happy moment, please understand my battle isn’t over.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Thinkstock photo via fona2

Originally published: March 15, 2017
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