Up until recently I have lived my life only hoping to die. I went to work, as I need money to function, as everyone does. Yet, the only thing I could think about was getting home, crawling into bed, going to sleep, and not waking up. I dreamed for death, every single day. Although I most likely don’t need to explain it to you, this was my depression. My depression stole the joy from my life. I went through each day, a mindless zombie, praying for the sweet release of death. It was the majority of my short life (I turn 25 on the 31st). For over 2 decades, I wanted nothing more than death. I was horribly bullied as a child, and I was reserved, which made it easier to pick on me. I think the first moment I remember being depressed, was when I was at a classmates birthday party in elementary school. The entire party I just laid on the trampoline, crying. I couldn’t get along with people my age, whether it was depression beginning to rear it’s ugly head, or maybe just anxiety bubbling to the surface, I’ll never know.
However, the point that I’d like to drive home, is that you never truely know what someone else is going through. They can explain it to you in excruciating detail, and you still wouldn’t be able to understand completely. Of course you can empathize, especially if you’ve been through a similar experience. Just because you can empathize, doesn’t mean you feel what they feel. I like to think that there is a multitude of emotions hiding behind every smile. For me, I would smile to not only hide my pain, but put others at ease. Even now, on my road to recovery, I hide behind a smile. No matter how well you know someone, or think you understand what they’re going through, you can’t replicate their emotions, in that moment, in yourself. It’s just not possible. I like to tout on my blog Out Of My Mind that I’m 99.9% cured of my depression. While I stand behind this statement, it feels like I’m standing on the top of a mountain. A sizable achievement, but also a long way down. I have been in a “survival” mode for so long, most of my habits were formed because of my depression. It feels so difficult to break away from these habits. The new, healthier me wants so desperately to be better. In all honesty, it feels like relapse is just a breath away. I no longer feel depressed, but I still act depressed. I don’t take care of myself, my room is a mess, etc. I mean unemployment certainly isn’t helping, but I grow so weary of the job search. Putting all this energy into applying to places, and not hearing anything back. I can feel depression slowly gaining ground, I hate to say it, but it’s true. I just need to get a job, and I’ll feel less uneasy.
The long winded point that I’m trying to make is that everyone is fighting an invisible war within themselves. But what the “healthy” people have over us, is they aren’t fighting alone. Don’t isolate yourself, while I understand it sometimes is necessary, it’s the worst thing for your mental health. Mine included. If you let people into your little bubble, you’d be surprised at how much help they can offer.