Depression is not "feeling like I don't want to go out so I'm reading a book alone on a Saturday night with hot chocolate on one side and a piece of pie on the other". Do you know how easy that sounds, though? It sounds magnificent. It sounds easier than anything I've ever been able to cope with. It sounds like the perfect evening. Unfortunately, we are taught that depression is a quiet illness that doesn't really seem to make that big of a difference in someone's life, and that it's "cute" or "romantic" on someone. Here's what I say to that: It's not. It never was, and it never will be. I can tell you a lot about what depression is, but I can tell you even more about what it is definitely not.
Depression is NOT always falling in love with someone and then magically being fine. It's falling in love with someone, questioning everything about it and worrying about how you could possibly mess it all up, distancing yourself from that person, then feeling like everything fell apart and it's your own fault.
Depression is NOT always someone eating a whole tub of ice cream and crying to Adele. It's forgetting to eat because it isn't important to you, or it doesn't seem like a number one priority anymore.
Depression is NOT always living alone with seven cats and playing with them everyday. It's a feeling of being alone, even if you were surrounded by a dozen breathing creatures, and trying to understand why loneliness has been your only feeling for five days in a row.
Depression is NOT always going to a party and being too shy to talk to someone there. It's going to a party, trying to have a good time, then randomly getting a feeling like you got smacked in the face by a gust of anxiety, listening to it tell you how much you hate it there where you are and shutting you down for the rest of the night.
Depression is NOT always wondering a bookstore alone in your leggings and oversized sweater, picking and choosing books to read all weekend because you know you won't be leaving home. It's not being able to read a book that you once enjoyed, because it's hard for you to find the things you loved the most as excitable as you once did. That love and passion for whatever you enjoyed the most is now all replaced with tiredness and no motivation to do anything.
Depression is NOT something to be taken lightly or just blown off. It is not just a "head thing" or a feeling that can just be put away. Depression is an illness, and one of the worst ones, at that. It never goes away and it always keeps you on your toes, wondering when the next wave of it is going to hit you. It's staying in constant fear that people are going to find out and not want to be around you anymore. It's keeping yourself locked away, physically and emotionally, because you just can't handle the idea of being around anyone, even your best friend. You have to explain to everyone why you aren't around anymore, because you always seem to have a good excuse as to why you can't hang out, even when you're actually almost always available.
If you struggle with depression or anxiety, you keep trucking along and try your hardest to ignore the ridiculous romanticizing and underestimation of the one thing that has always seemed to hold you back and keep you from living your life to its full potential. You're stronger than most could ever dream of being, and you deserve more than what your mind is trying to convince you that you do.