Depression isn't being sad when a minor inconvenience happens. It's also not when someone loses someone or something close to them. That can be defined as heartbreak or longing, even loneliness, and emptiness. Depression is something that doesn't have an end date. There's no recovery period and no cure. There's no guaranteed happiness on certain days and there can be more bad days than good. I'm here to tell you about that.
Living with depression is like a back and forth voice in your head, similar to anxiety, but it's all down talk and can be very negative. No one person has the same kind of depression as the next but we do have a commonality: we suffer. I don't mean we suffer from slashes and gashes in our skin which is physical; I mean that we suffer emotionally and mentally as if those cuts and bruises are on the inside. We're beating ourselves up all of the time and we can't stop it.
Photo by Adrien Olichon
Lots of people who don't experience this think that it can be relatively easy to control levels of happiness and to keep emotions in check. While this is not true, it's also inconsiderate of the fact that depression is a legitimate mental illness; this means, like any other type of illness, how quickly it spreads and how badly it gets can be out of our control. It's as if we wake up and decide not to have a good day because we don't feel positive or happy; this isn't how it actually plays out. I don't wake up and decide what kind of day I'm going to have. I have friends tell me that every day is a new day and that it's a fresh start. A fresh start to me is having a mental breakdown after an exam, doing something drastic with my appearance and then pretending nothing ever happened.
Photo by Paola Chaaya
When we hear the words "chin up" or "don't be so down," it quite literally is an insult straight to our faces. People don't think much of these words when they say them because they mean well and aren't made to be malicious. But to be honest, it's like being called the girl in school who's too skinny for the guys to like her. It ruins your image and makes you feel so incredibly small next to other people, powerless if you will. I've felt like I stand out all too often from a crowd and it's become a normal occurrence now.
Feeling different isn't a privilege, it's something I wish I didn't feel. I want to be able to feel like I'm a normal person who doesn't have to rely on medication and talking to someone with a license in order to be okay. Unsure of whether I or anyone around me also struggling will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'll keep walking down the path that is my life and try to understand and not have to question why everything is the way that it is. Maybe it'll help me to open my eyes and see a better tomorrow.
Photo by Kleiton Silva