As much as I want to say I can live normally with depression, I can't.
Being myself requires so much more energy than it should. Going out and being social is not effortless. I'm an introvert, which makes it even more difficult, but depression tells me that I should isolate myself.
Sounds counterintuitive, right? Sadly, my depression makes me feel this way.
It's like I'm living in a shell. Only some people can see what's going on inside, but I'm always on the verge of cracking. I'll glue the cracks together by lying and faking a smile.
As much as I hate to admit it, my depression is starting to affect my relationships. Social situations are overwhelming. I feel overwhelmed by the smallest things. Every time I say no to outings with friends, I fear that they think I don't want to hang out with them. I fear that they're secretly disappointed in me. I fear that I'm a liar. I fear that I'm fake.
This isn't my fault. It's my depression telling me that it's better to lie rather than tell the truth about what is going on with me. When people ask me if I'm okay, I usually say yes or just pretend like it's not a big deal. This has not helped me. I'm ready to stop it.
I'm tired of lying to people so they can hear what they want to hear. Life isn't all sunshine. I know my friends care immensely about my well-being. Why, then, am I lying so much? Why am I putting up a front?
It's about time I stop forcing myself to do things. It's about time I start being honest with the people I care about. It's okay to say, "I need a night in because I'm not at my best today." It's okay to not make people happy all of the time.
I need to continue putting my mental health first. I can't do it only sometimes, and I can't sacrifice it to make other people happy. In reality, people just want me to be happy. I know that. It's time to stop lying to myself too.
Yes, depression makes me feel fake sometimes. But that doesn't mean that I am fake. Making people happy is important to me, but I have to remember that putting up a front isn't going to help me in the long run. It's going to hurt me. I don't have to fake a smile to be liked.