Let me put this on record now: I have gotten help in the past and continue to get help for my depression now. Unfortunately, it doesn't just go away. I battle with it every day, and many other people do, too. Hopefully, this will help you understand a little bit more what it is like, and help YOU to better help those you know who struggle with depression.
1. Sleeping becomes the highlight of every day
I, like most people when they become teenagers, began to appreciate sleep a lot more when I started high school. The days were longer, and the work was more tedious and sleeping after school became a necessity. However, unlike most people my age, I don't desire to go out at night and have a good time.
In fact, I don't really like going out at all. Being home, being asleep, is comforting to me.
Forget about waking up on time in the mornings. It has become impossible. It doesn't matter how important the events of that day are. Sometimes, I cannot physically and mentally muster up the strength to get out of bed. It's an activity that brings me comfort because I don't have to think about anything.
2. Going to work becomes harder than it should be
If you have a normal job like me, and not some kind of dream job, chances are, you don't necessarily enjoy working.
I have a somewhat easy going job, and the hours are very flexible. Despite that, I find myself equating going to work with a huge, impossible, unobtainable task. It's normal for people to dread their job, but I call in sick sometimes because I KNOW working is far beyond what I'm able to do.
I don't ditch to do anything fun, just to sleep the day away in hopes I'm stronger tomorrow. Unfortunately, not working means not getting paid.
3. My relationships deteriorate
If you don't experience depression, it can be hard to empathize with someone who does because it's confusing. I'm confused.
I face these weird feelings, I have scary thoughts, and I don't know why. And I can't make them stop. Because it's hard for others to understand, it causes my relationships with others to fall apart. Sometimes, I feel like all of the fun has been sucked out of me, and some of my friends don't like that.
Some people aren't able to sit with me in silence and just be. Some people don't like that I am moody and miserable (who would like that?) and aren't able to see around it. I'll tell you one thing though, facing something like this DOES reveal who your people are.
They don't budge, they remain constant, and they assure you that they are here for you every step of the way.
4. My motivation disappearsGiphy
Things that I once loved to do don't seem as intriguing anymore. I love to paint! And before the painting comes the drawing, with I also have no motivation to do anymore.
Even when it's nice out, I almost always choose to stay inside. I don't want to go on a walk or even step outside, things I used to not mind doing. Sometimes, I'll be out with friends, or doing something "fun," when it's almost like I crash and need to be alone.
Nothing else matters to me at that moment than escaping to be by myself. Depression is an intrusive illness and doesn't leave any room for negotiation.
5. I need to compensate for how I feel
Feeling grey and empty on the inside means one thing: compensate on the outside.
When I can, I shop. I buy clothes and shoes and spend way more money than I have in order to do so. Even though I don't hide the fact that I struggle with this, I still like to at least pretend I'm doing OK sometimes.
So, I buy clothes, I dress nice, I look good, and I hope that fewer people will ask me today, "What's wrong?"
6. I become rude
When asked to describe myself, the first word that comes out of my mouth would not be "nice."
That doesn't mean I'm NOT nice, it just isn't the first word that I would use. Unfortunately, I'm sort of a naturally irritable person. Even more, unfortunately, it becomes way, way worse when I'm having a hard day. I don't MEAN to be rude when I dismiss someone's caring questions, but the truth is, if I say just one word, I'll break down in tears. I choose to stay to myself because I might explode on someone who doesn't deserve it.
I'm not intentionally being grumpy, or rude, but it comes with it. All I can do is keep my mouth closed and hope to resume a conversation when I'm feeling better.
7. I'm emotional...ALL the time
I've never been an overly emotional person, but now, it's like I can't escape my emotions. I cry, a lot. Over stupid things. One not being able to sit up in bed.
Over not wanting to go in the shower because that means I have to start my day. It interrupts everyday life, like when I'm at work and have to excuse myself to the bathroom to get myself together. Or when someone tries to comfort me, but I can't tell them what's wrong because I don't KNOW what's wrong.
I'll go from being OK to being upset in minutes, and nothing people say can help me out of that space. It just needs to pass.
But, as I mentioned earlier, though everyday life sucks while dealing with this, it's something I have to get through, and thousands of other people do too. Though being alone is the most favorable option to me, I try to surround myself with those who I love, and those who love me. There is a quote somewhere on the internet that says, "When you cannot see the light, I will sit with you in the darkness." Thank you to those who do just that for me.