I have suffered from depression since I was ten years old. I call it my best kept non secret, because many people who know me had no idea I’m dealing with this. Honestly, I spend a couple of years of my life denying that I even was dealing with it. I would smile and laugh but inside I felt empty. I was angry that I felt horrible but had no reason why. I wanted so badly to be normal, not realizing that depression was my normal.
Some days you will wake up and just say no.
I’ve had days where I would wake up, just say no to living my life, and slept my whole day away. I’ve had days where I had to mentally prepare myself to see my own friends because I know they would ask me what’s wrong and I would not have an answer. I had days where I could only see all the negative things the world had to offer and no amount of support could change my mind. I’ve had days where I’ve gotten so bad that truthfully I should have been on a suicide watch.
A small victory is still a victory.
If I can get through my lowest days, I can get through anything. I’ve gone through days barely being about to function, but I made it. Getting out of bed may seem so simple but in the middle of a depressive episode it takes everything you’ve got to put your feet on the ground. If I can get out of bed, even though I feel like just laying there that to me is a win.
A good support system is always a plus.
I am lucky I have a good support system. I have some great friends who are willing to get educated on mental illness. They know when I am going through a depressive episode and help keep me from falling off the deep end. They understand that I am not sad but that I am sick. I know that sometimes it gets difficult for them to deal with me but they know it’s difficult for me to deal with this. They don’t make me feel ashamed that I have this illness.
Some people will think you’re faking it
The sad fact is that some people don’t understand that I could not will myself to be fine. I have been told that I am overreacting. I’ve been told that all I want is attention. I have been told that I need to get over it and move on. Some people just won’t understand that what is happening isn’t just a feeling, but a state of mind. One that can’t be willed away, but has to be worked through. That’s why I need my support system, because I know when need help to get me through.
Depression is a part of you, but not all of you
On a regular day, I am laughing and making jokes. My friends have described me as nice and funny. Which is why they are shocked when I reveal I have depression. I have goals for my life, things I want to accomplish. Sometimes when I am at my lowest, I feel like I’ll never move forward. I don’t let what I think during a low point stop me from getting what I want. My depression is a part of me, one that I can’t control but I can manage. I am who I am, depression just happens to be a part of me.
The thing about having depression, you never really know when it’s going to hit you. Depression is a very real but unseen illness. Whenever I feel like everything is too much, I get help. Some days I feel like I am drowning in my own life. I’ll always have depression but not everyday will be a bad day.