What most people think depression feels like: Sad
What depression actually feels like: A broken stoplight
Yes, a broken stoplight.
Depression is not just one sole, consistent feeling of overwhelming sadness every second of every day. Though, there are periods of time when it is.
The good days are green, the okay days yellow, and the bad days red. Except, much like in the real world, sometimes you hit a really long red light. Sometimes you drive straight and full speed ahead through the yellow light to beat out the red.
Sometimes the green light isn’t long enough for you to get past the intersection, and now you’ve got to sit and wait. Sometimes the transition from green goes straight to red and you’re unprepared. And even sometimes yellow back to green. There is no system, no accurate one. You just go by what is “supposed” to happen.
Traffic changes though, with certain flows of traffic – heavy or light, or is influenced by triggers. The same goes for people with depression. Or me at least. The transition from sadness to happy to okay can be unpredictable, leading to frustration and often causing anxiety.
The light might change in the middle of a social interaction, or before a presentation making it difficult to be upbeat and pretend that the sadness isn’t really a thing. “I’m too sad” isn’t a good enough reason to cut class, and it gets tired as an “excuse” via friends and family.
But you figure it out. If happiness is a destination, then you’ve got to drive there. You’ve got to have the motivation. If there is a will, there is a way even if it isn’t the one you planned to take.