Sometimes I wish I could look back and comfort the little fifteen-year-old girl, crying alone in her bedroom to the sounds of constant banter and distress in the room next door. Her selectivity to pain had faltered, allowing tiny hairline fractures in her heart. I would tell her to stop dyeing her hair so often, she looked fine the way she was. I would tell her that it was okay to be alone on a Friday night. I would tell her that the anguish was only temporary, but she and I would both know that was a lie. As you can probably assume, I was once this little girl. A part of me still believes that the little girl is still of my being, allowing for moments of past emotions to come rushing back in. This is what depression feels like. It is a living, breathing animal that strangles you until you can barely pull air through your lungs. It creeps back in when you're happy, angry, or scared. It will sit and thrive off of the insecurities and pressures of your everyday life. From what I can tell, depression isn't all that great of a thing. So why do communities on social media endlessly affiliate this disorder with an 'aesthetic', or attribute to beauty?

Let me say one thing: depression is not pretty. It does not make someone's mind more tragically beautiful. It is a very real, very scary thing to encounter. Being depressed is not fun. It does not draw prettier art or create edgier photographs. It does not make you grunge. It does not make you 'tumblr'. What many people fail to comprehend is that depression is an ongoing issue in our society that should not be handled lightly. No one wants to be depressed. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, "Wow. I want my brain to make this a crappy day." And frankly, seeing people toss the word 'depression' around like a new lipstick shade they want to wear for the month is degrading to me, and others who suffer from the same disorder. Disorders are not an aesthetic. Period.

For those suffering from depression, my heart goes out to you. It isn't easy being told that your disorder 'doesn't exist', or that you should 'just be happy'. It is much, much more than that. Never give up. Keep moving forward. You'll get there.