A bad day starts with my alarm going off, but I cannot get out of bed. My body feels like it weighs more than an elephant. When I finally get out of bed at noon, I feel so stupid that I let my depression win. For the rest of the day, I am tired, but I cannot just sleep it off. Even after a good night’s sleep or a nap, I am still exhausted from head to toe. I get through my day just to start all over again the next morning, but there are a few things that I want everybody to know about me.

1. Depression is not a choice and I don’t get to choose when it hits me.

2. Sometimes, I do not know why I am sad.

3. This is not a phase in my life, but at the same time, I will not struggle with depression forever.

4. I’m not trying to hurt you when I give short answers or don’t want to leave the house.

Sometimes, I just want to be alone with myself. I am not mad at you. I just get overwhelmed by everything that is going on in my life.

5. I try my hardest every single day, but sometimes that is not good enough

6. Making friends is hard for me because a voice in my head constantly says, “They won’t understand!”

7. If you have questions about my depression; just ask. Talking about it helps me.

8. Just because I don’t look like I have depression does not mean it is not there.

9. Just because I am depressed, doesn’t mean that I am suicidal.

With all of this, do not define me by my depression. I want people around me to be understanding, but do not coddle me. I am a real person and I want people to value me for who I am, not because they think I am fragile. This is not something that will go away with time, but I am working on it. I see a counselor every week and I put my self-care before anything else in my life, but most of all, God has been my rock through this whole journey. Through my faith, I am able to see that I will be able to overcome what I am going through. With Him, I have all the hope in the world. So, the next time that somebody opens up and tells you that they are struggling with depression, remember these things.