What It's REALLY Like To Have Depression
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Health and Wellness

What Battling Depression REALLY Feels Like

Faking happiness is all part of the routine.

What Battling Depression REALLY Feels Like

Sometimes we smile and laugh, to fake what truly is going on with us. The sadness, stress, and depressive thoughts that eat at us each day. People respond by saying "try to be happy," or “just be more positive." If only they knew how destructive their words were, how they don't help whatsoever.

Family is supposed to stick together and be there for each other, especially during stormy thoughts. But instead, they don't realize that they are the ones who hurt us the most, with their words and misunderstandings. No one truly knows what goes through our mind and how hard it is to win a war each day. When we get up from bed, go for a walk, or even pretend to be happy. When our family is not there for us, we can always count on those friends who will always be. The ones who have talked us out from taking our lives because they actually need us, and love us. Those friends become family and save us from ourselves.

1. I'm not lazy

Most of the time, I want to be alone, I prefer to stay in bed. Not because I'm lazy but because I feel emotionally and mentally drained. My family and friends think I hate them and I don't like to spend time with them. But in reality, I tend to stay on my own to protect them from my own self.

2. I'm wearing an emotional mask

When I say I wear a mask, I don't mean the masks we have to wear due to the pandemic. My mask is composed of fake smiles and laughter. Hiding the sadness, anxiety, and frustration I truly feel.

3. Listening to music helps

My family always asks me why I always listen to music. It's because music keeps me going. When words can't come out, I let the music do the talking.

4. I really am trying

I try every day — what looks so easy for you might be hard for me. Getting out of my bed feels like the biggest mistake most of the time. But I do it, I eat, and I even try to go outside from time to time. I try to find my happy place again. I'm trying to find my lost self.

5. A single thought can destroy all the hard work

A blade, a sharp object was my best friend. Helped me feel pain when I felt sad and depressed for no reason. It helped me feel something. But it was never as bad as my thoughts. Many times I have felt alone even when surrounded by many.

6. Nighttime can bring fresh tears

Wearing my emotional mask all day is very tiring, I cry at night to avoid being watched. To avoid being judged and pitied. I cry myself to sleep and then wake up and paste the smile on.

7. I miss "the old me" 

Just because I've become "lazy" doesn't mean that I don't love what I used to, it doesn't mean I hate writing, playing soccer and guitar. It simply means I have no energy. It might not look like it but fighting against your own mind and body to even get up of bed in the morning is very exhausting.

8. The past is haunting

I'm all for "everything happens for a reason" but most of the time, mainly at night, my mind likes to go back to the dark times. I go back to happy moments with people who are no longer part of my life. It breaks my heart to remember those days but I'm never able to avoid it.

9. It helps to talk about it

Some people have the impression that we hate to talk about it because people think they understand when they actually don't. But in reality, we like to feel loved and supported. Even if it's a simple text to check-in. It's super hard to talk about it with a family member because they are too quick to jump to conclusions and judge. Instead of helping, they make things worse. Although the friends that actually know the real you, the ones you can talk to without a mask? Those are the friends I like to go to, the family I have created. That's why I'm always on my phone.

10. Please reach out

Believe me when I say that suicide has crossed my mind so many times, yet I've never been able to do it. Not because I'm scared, but because I've been saved many times. I'm thankful for the friends that convinced me that I'm worth something, the ones that told me they needed me. I couldn't dare myself hurt the ones I love, just to try and stop my own pain.

Please reach out if you need it. You are worthy, you deserve happiness, and I (along with many others) care.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse or mental health issues, call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

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Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

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